Friday, January 6, 2017

LGU Sorsogon province wins P1 million in Be Riceponsible campaign

The provincial government of Sorsogon, Bicol’s lone entry to the DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) nationwide BeRiceponsible Search for Best Advocacy Campaign was adjudged as champion under the Provincial Government category and won P1 Million cash prize.

Photo by OPAG Sorsogon
Hazel V. Antonio, director of the Be RICEponsible campaign led the awarding ceremony which was held at PhilRice in Nueva Ecija on December 27, 2016. Members of the Sorsogon BeRiceponsible team and staff of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist Levy Barcelon, Engr. Hiroshi De Vera, Annavi Layco and Debbie Ferwelo received the award in behalf of the LGU.

The search for RICEponsible champions is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture to encourage the farmers, consumers and policy makers to promote or advocate non-wastage of rice and consumption of healthier forms of rice in their communities. Launched in August 2015, the BeRiceponsible search was opened to all LGUs, government offices and public and private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) aggressively promoting and advocating responsible rice consumption and reduction of wastage and appreciation of rice farmers using multimedia approaches.
A total of 35 public schools nationwide competed under the Academe Category and 25 Local Government Units (LGUs) competed under the LGU category. Winners in the two categories were given cash prizes: P1 million for the first prize; P500,000 for the second prize; and P300,000 for the third prize. All winners also received plaques of appreciation.

Antonio added that the Sorsogon LGU through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist which bested all other LGU entries, has implemented the best strategies and created the most impact on their campaign capped with the enactment of a Rice Conservation Ordinance requiring all food establishments in Sorsogon to offer half-rice servings.

Also seen as vital factor in the campaign of the LGU Sorsogon was the forging of partnership with more than 30 public and private schools, government and non-government organizations in advocating responsible rice consumption. With funding support from the DA regional office and other partners, several thousand copies of leaflets, flyers and stickers about the campaign were printed and distributed to schools, offices and restaurants, and intensified use of social media and special events like brown rice feeding and simple fora greatly helped in the campaign.

In cooperation with the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS) of the Department of Agriculture Bicol, the province conducted the Run4Rice year 4 in November 2016 which was well attended by more than 700 runners.

Taking off from the National Year of Rice 2013, the Be RICEponsible campaign tapped the RAFIS in all regions to engage all Filipinos to do their part in achieving rice self-sufficiency in the country through elimination of rice wastage; eating brown rice; mixing rice with other staples such as corn; and showing appreciation for our rice farmers. (Lovella P. Guarin)
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