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Mara Shyn M. Valdeabella

BAR takes pride as two of its undergraduate scholars graduated Magna Cum Laude during the 42nd Commencement Exercises of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) held on 26 April 2014.

“I am personally filled with joy as these two students, our first graduates, showed utmost excellence and diligence. They did not fail the Department of Agriculture (DA) in investing in their education,” said Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, director of BAR, during the UPLB-CA Breakfast Reception held at the Agronomy-Soils-Horticulture Lobby, College of Agriculture, UPLB.

Mr. Roden Carlo M. Lizardo and Mr. Mark Paul Rivarez earned the academic merit of Magna Cum Laude for BS Agriculture and BS Agri-Biotechnology, respectively. The two were the only ones in junior standing when the scholarship grants were awarded—making them the first of their batch to graduate. The two did not only graduate on time but also showed utmost excellence, proving them worthy of the support that DA has given them.

To personally award and congratulate the BAR scholars, a team from the bureau, headed by Dir. Eleazar attended the breakfast reception to congratulate and honor them. Also present during the event was Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, Project Development, Research and Regulations, Dr. Segfredo R. Serrano. It may be recalled that the DA-BAR Undergraduate Scholarship Program was the result of a suggestion and recommendation of DA Usec. Serrano.

Dr. Domingo E. Angeles, dean of the UPLB-College of Agriculture (UPLB-CA), formally welcomed the guests, graduating students and their parents, officials of UPLB, academicians, and faculty members to the event. In his welcome remarks, he urged the 212 graduating students to “create a difference, create unique stories that will bring honor to your family and your university.” This, according to him, is “the most important payment that you will give to us [the university].”

UPLB Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz posed greater challenges to the graduates as he laid the university’s expectations. According to him, the university expects the graduates to be models of: 1) “submission to and respect for laws and authority; 2) better decision makers who will make science and conscience the basic foundation of your decision-making process; 3) individual who is an expert of his discipline but is very much conscious of the bigger picture and the many members of that picture; and 4) resilience.”

Ms. Ma. Olivia Panaligan-Puentespina, UPLB-CA alumna and managing director of Malagos Food, Inc., Agdao in Davao City, in her keynote address, enjoined the graduates to give honor back to farming and to embody a true agriculturist.

The Breakfast Reception, which was done to honor its graduating students, was attended by the graduating students and their parents and the UPLB-CA Cluster directors, UPLB vice chancellors, national scientists, former deans of UPLB-CA, and UPLB professor emeriti.

Also present were BAR Asst. Director Teodoro Solsoloy; Ms. Digna Sandoval, OIC, BAR-Institutional Development Division (IDD); Ms. Marjorie Mosende, technical staff of BAR-IDD; and Ms. Mara Shyn Valdeabella, executive assistant, BAR-Office of the Director.

The DA-BAR-UPLB Undergraduate Scholarship Program started in June 2012 with 12 B.S. Agriculture students as its first batch of scholars. For the following year, another 12 BS Agriculture students were given the grant along with 12 BS Agriculture-Biotechnology, a recently-instituted course in UPLB. ###

Mara Shyn M. Valdeabella

“In every commencement address that I give, I always make sure that I am able to open and influence young minds to take proactive action not only for the good of themselves but also for others, especially their fellow Filipinos, who unlike them are not given the privilege to study and have a degree. I encourage graduates to have a wider sense on how they can better utilize what they have learned in the university for a noble cause and for the good of the nation,” said Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, BAR director and keynote speaker, during the 2nd Quirino State University (QSU) Commencement Exercises held on 4 April 2014.

In his address, Dir. Eleazar enjoined the graduating students and their parents, faculty members, and key officials of the university to celebrate not only their success inside the university but also the growth and excellence that the university has achieved. He applauded QSU for constantly striving to grow as an institution not only of higher education but also of leadership and excellence.

The bureau chief focused on the role that the graduates can play in the country’s quest for food security and sufficiency in the face of climate change. In his words, “as climate change continues to affect more on a greater scale, we also need to be more prepared and equipped. To do that, we enjoin you, new graduates, to share your creative minds. We need your intuitiveness and your insights. We need you to work with us in this quest towards a more resilient and climate change-ready nation. We need you to take proactive actions and become torchbearers towards attaining progressive communities. We need you to take a stand not only for today but for the future.”

Leading the commencement exercises was Dr. Samuel O. Benigno, QSU president, along with the faculty members and officials of QSU. Also showing his support to the university as well as his admiration to the graduates was Governor Junie E. Cua.

For the past years, BAR has been one of the active supporters and partners of QSU in implementing various research and development programs and projects. One noteworthy project is on the “Technology Utilization and Promotion of Tissue Cultured Banana” funded under the National Technology Commercialization Program of BAR. Dir. Eleazar awarded a check for the full release of the project’s budget to QSU President Benigno.

Prior to the ceremonies, Dir. Eleazar visited the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Building” which is funded under the bureau’s Institutional Development Grant. The building serves as the production area of organic fertilizer in the province of Quirino. ###

Mara Shyn M. Valdeabella

Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) celebrated its 32nd commencement exercises on 10 April 2014 with Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, director of BAR, serving as keynote speaker. Graduates, parents, members of the faculty, and key officials of SLSU, headed by President Cecilia Gascon joined in the ceremonies.

Dir. Eleazar, in his address, recognized SLSU’s contribution in advancing the country’s agriculture research and development through the programs and projects that it is implementing through BAR. With this, he highlighted the BAR-initiated Yamang Lupa Program, where SLSU serves as the lead implementing agency for Quezon.

The bureau chief pointed out that whatever the government and its partners such as SLSU have accomplished needs to be sustained. According to him, this is where the graduates can take part. “The government cannot do this alone. We need innovative and aggressive young minds that will serve as the vanguard of our national effort to organize, convey, and preserve knowledge. We need your fresh ideas in creating new knowledge in the vital fields of agriculture and fisheries. I believe the university has empowered you with knowledge and capacities to make a difference. You have acquired the ability to generate and disseminate information that our nation can use for the benefit of its people. With your creativeness and intuitiveness, I firmly believe that you can become steadfast partners in creating strategies and generating innovative technologies that can pave way to more opportunities for our people,” he said. ###