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It’s another great year for another big award to Dr. Imelda A. Agdeppa and Ms. Marcela C. Saises and team.

The 2017 CSC Pagasa Award was conferred to the COMVAL iRICE Team of the Department of Science and Technology Regional Office XI composed of team leader Dr. Anthony C. Sales, Director, DOST Region XI with members Mr. Kenneth D. Barroga, Provincial Science and Technology Officer, DOST Region XI, Dr. Imelda A. Agdeppa, DOST Assistant Scientist, Ms. Marcela C. Saises, Senior Science Research Specialist, DOST-FNRI, and Governor Tyron L. Uy of Compostela Valley.

The COMVAL iRICE Team received their award from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on September 20, 2017 at the
Rizal Ceremonial Hall, Malacanang Palace. This was during the 2017 Outstanding Government Workers Awards Rites. The CSC through the Honor Awards Program (HAP) conferred the award to individual or group for outstanding contribution/s resulting from an idea or performance that directly benefits more than one department of the government.

In 2013, the FNRI-Iron Fortified Rice team conducted an efficacy study in Maco Heights Central Elementary School funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Technology Innovation for Commercialization (DOSTTECHNICOM). The study demonstrated the effectiveness of Iron Fortified Rice (IFR) in significantly reducing the prevalence of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). Regular consultations through engagements of other government agencies and social enterprises, helped ensure the sustainability challenges of the initiative.

As a servant hero or “Lingkod Bayani”, the COMVAL iRICE Team implemented the Bayanihan Para sa Kalusugan Program among wasted and severely wasted children from Kinder to Elementary levels employing the evidence-based and collaborative approach in addressing the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia and malnutrition in Compostela Valley.

The COMVAL iRICE Team received a goldgilded medallion and plaque containing the citation and bearing the signature of the chairperson of the CSC pursuant to the Employees Suggestions and Incentive Awards System of Executive Order No. 292 and other Pertinent Civil Service Laws. In addition, the team also brought home with them a considerable amount of cash reward.

Prior to the conferment of this national award, the team was also recognized as semi-finalist winner for the 2017 CSC Regional Search for Outstanding Public Officials and Employees under the Pagasa AwardGroup Category. The Regional Awards Rites was held on September 8, 2017 at the Grand Men Seng Hotel, Davao City.

This is not the only achievement that the dynamic duo of Dr. Agdeppa and Ms. Saises has garnered this year. Earlier, the two together with the rest of the research team from FNRI, namely, Dir. Mario V. Capanzana, Ms. Trinidad II T. Arcangel, Ms. Abbie B. Padrones, Engr. Charlie E. Adona, Ms. Cecile S. Quindara, Engr. Sandro S. Flores, Ms. Jeannelyn R. Sevilla, Mr. John Lester G. Ramirez, Mr. Junimer B. Lala, Ms. Carmina Lainez, and Ms. Maricel Muga, also reaped the Alberto G. Romualdez Jr. Outstanding Health Research Award (ARORHA) for their entry, “Scaling Up Rice Fortification Program Through Techno-transfer: A Strategy Towards Nutrition Security”. This recognition was given by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the Department of Health (DOH) during the recently concluded 11th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week Celebration, August 25, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). The group received a trophy and a cash reward.

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