Dr. Lucia M. Borines, Professor III in Plant Pathology of VSU’s Department of Pest Management (DPM), is the recipient of the 2015 Region 8 Gawad Saka-Outstanding Agricultural Scientist Award accorded by the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 8 (DA-RFO8). 

Dr. Borines received the award from Regional Executive Director Leo P. Cañeda on May 29, 2015 during the culmination and awarding ceremonies of the DA-RFO8’s 2015 Farmers and Fisherfolks’ Month Celebration held in Kanhuraw Hill, Tacloban City with the theme “Lupa at Tubig Pagyamanin, Magsasaka’t Mangingisda Kilalanin” and with a tagline “Umahon at Patuloy na Bumangon.” 

Dr. Borines’ research work started when she was hired as instructor of the then VSU’s Department of Plant Protection where she earned in 1981 her BS in Agriculture major in Plant Protection with specialization in Entomology (Magna Cum Laude).  Aside from teaching for 29 years, she also does research in relation to diagnostic and management of abaca, coconut, rice, vegetables and jackfruit. 

She is currently the head of the VSU Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory that caters to the identification of crop disease problems of farmers, students, and research institutions.  She recommends solutions based on the diagnosed problem.  Dr. Borines has been consistently tapped as an expert to various seminars and workshops for farmers and agricultural/extension workers.  She is also a consultant of the Consultancy for Agricultural Productivity Enhancement (CAPE) of the Department of Science and Technology of Region 8.  

Dr. Borines finished both her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Pathology from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1986 and 2001, respectively.

As she spoke on behalf of other awardees during the awarding ceremony, Dr. Borines expressed her sincere appreciation to the organizer for recognizing her endeavour and contributions through the different agricultural research and extension projects that she conducted.  She also presented a glimpse of what research projects she is currently doing at the Visayas State University in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture.

Being the regional winner, Dr. Borines shall be competing with other winners from the different regions throughout the country in the 2015 National Gawad Saka Search (Outstanding Agricultural Scientist), the most prestigious award conferred by DA to an individual who has done outstanding research work in the field directly related to agriculture and fisheries.

The criteria used in selecting the winner for the Regional Gawad Saka Award (Outstanding Agricultural Scientist) are as follows: a) Quality of scientific work – 32%; b) Productivity of the scientist – 23%; c) Creativity of the scientist – 20%; and d) Impact of research project/s conducted – 25% with a total of 100%.

On the other hand, Ms. Alicia D. Bulawan, a BS in Agriculture major in Agronomy graduate of VSU in 1985 who is working at the DA-Abuyog Experiment Station, was also named 2015 Gawad Saka-Outstanding Agricultural Researcher for Eastern Visayas.

Moroever, Dr. Ricardo F. Orge, a BS in Agricultural Engineering graduate of VSU in 1982 who is now working as Scientist I of the Philippine Rice Research Institute, is the 2015 Gawad Saka-Outstanding Agricultural Scientist for Central Luzon.

Gawad Saka is an annual event of DA in cooperation with other government institutions, non-government organizations and the private sector which aims to give due recognition and to pay tribute to dedicated individuals and institutions whose exemplary accomplishments in their respective fields of endeavour and contribution in the country’s agricultural development are deemed worthy of emulation. JFMBaldos