Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija
13 November 2012

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala represented President Benigno S. Aquino III in honoring the twenty-five national winners of the 2012 Gawad Saka who have excelled and made significant contributions in enhancing the development of the agriculture and fishery sector in their respective communities and in the country.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija where the formal launching of Year 2013 as the National Year of Rice (NYR) was also unfolded coinciding with the 27th founding anniversary of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). The month-long celebration has the theme – “Sapat na Bigas, Kaya ng Pinas.”

Due to heavy rains and zero visibility, the President was unable to proceed to Nueva Ecija via the Presidential chopper and instead asked Secretary Alcala to take his place during the ceremony.

The 2012 Gawad Saka winners received a total of P6.5 million in cash prizes and project grants plus a Presidential citation and trophy.

President Aquino declared 2013 as the National Year of Rice thru Proclamation No. 494 signed on October 18, 2012. It aims to reinforce current efforts of the Department of Agriculture in partnership with farmers’ groups, local government units and the private sector to provide needed infrastructure, technical, marketing and institutional support to successfully attain rice sufficiency by 2013, and at the same time start exporting fancy and upload rice varieties.

 *  *  *