As regional winner, Dr. Vasquez will be competing with other winners from the different regions throughout the country in the 2013 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.

Likewise, Dr. Annabella B. Tulin, professor of PhilRootcrops, was given a Special Citation for Outstanding Scientist by the DA-RFU 8. She received a plaque and a cash award of Php 10,000 from the organizer.

On the other hand, Prof. Algerico M. Marsical, also of PhilRootcrops, just received his trophy and a cash award of Php 30,000 as the 2011 "Gawad Saka" awardee of Region 8 during the said occasion.

The criteria used in selecting the winner for the regional/national 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%.