MMSU-NBERIC cited for innovative service


When an institution does a good thing or two, its accomplishments might escape unnoticed. But when it continuously does good, its efforts are surely recognized.

This happened to the National Bio-Energy Research and Innovation Center (NBERIC) of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) when it received the Gantimpala Agad Award from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for its innovative service during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

The CSC award cited the research agency for its initiative and innovation efforts in helping the government address the dwindling supply of 70 percent alcohol in Ilocos Norte in order to fight the spread of the dreaded Corona virus disease.

What is so unique was the way MMSU-NBERIC received the award. No ceremonies nor photo opportunities. It just received it via electronic mail from the CSC, which sent it to MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis on Tuesday (May 19).

Although it came 12 days after the date indicated in the citation, it arrived just in time when the MMSU-NBERIC is again preparing for a “second wave” activity of producing 70 percent alcohol, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for its front-liners and those in the province.

The CSC Gantimpala Agad Award, which is under the agency’s Aksyon Agad Para sa Taumbayan Program, is a quick response program to address problems and issues that confront the various sectors of society.

In the citation signed by CSC Director Hedy Jose B. Lardizabal, it states that “this initiative of MMSU-NBERIC, under the leadership of Dr. Agrupis, is highly commendable,” emphasizing that the MMSU research agency “is greatly recognized by the CSC for having demonstrated responsive, accessible, courteous, and effective public service especially in this time of public health crisis.”

“The MMSU, through the NBERIC was the first state college and university in the Ilocos region that developed a technology that ferments inexpensive and indigenous raw materials -- such as nipa sap, coconut sap, and molasses – in order to produce 70 percent alcohol, which is called Nipahol,” it added, noting that “since March 14, the MMSU-NBERIC continuously supplied free Nipahol to hospitals, national government agencies, banks, MMSU constituents, and communities in Ilocos Norte.”

“May this gesture of appreciation inspire the whole MMSU family to continue deliver quality service to our mamamayan,” the citation reads.

“I am overwhelmed by the recognition,” Agrupis beamed, noting that it’s not the award that matters but “our concerted efforts of working together for the service of our fellowmen.”

Aside from producing and distributing free alcohol, the university also conducted relief operations in Ilocos Norte in partnership with the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

Since the start of the pandemic crisis, 10 municipalities in Ilocos Norte have received almost three tons of milled rice and 3,000 packs of assorted vegetable seeds for their selected 1,000 family-beneficiaries.

The initiative is through the project titled, Science-based Emergency Assistance in Response to COVID 19 Crisis in Ilocos Norte” with funding from DOST-PCAARRD. The activity will help the local government units (LGUs) with Zanjera organizations and other rice growers and, at the same time, provide food to the affected indigent families. (StratCom)