MMSU-NBERIC receives CSC Gantimpala Agad Award



The National Bioenergy Research and Innovation Center (NBERIC) of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) officially received the prestigious Gantimpala Agad Award (GAA) bestowed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in a simple ceremony held at the Ferdinand E. Marcos (FEM) Hall on Monday (July 6).


The NBERIC first received the award via electronic mail last May because of the region-wide implementation of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).


The MMSU-NBERIC was commended “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 corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19).” 


Now that Ilocos Norte is under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), CSC Ilocos Norte Director Atty. Rex R. Ami personally bestowed the award to MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis and the NBERIC personnel during the flag-raising ceremony in front of the FEM Hall, which was attended by several members of the Administrative Council. 


Ami said the CSC is happy to personally bestow the award to MMSU-NBERIC, saying that this gesture “shows that there are still deserving officials and employees in Ilocos Norte who exhibit exemplary performance of public service.” 


According to Ami, the MMSU is the second recipient of the award in Ilocos Norte, emphasizing that the CSC rarely gives such kind of award (to government agencies). 


For her part, MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis thanked the CSC for recognizing the university’s humble effort to help communities fight against the coronavirus. 


“It is indeed an honor to receive this award, which we did not expect since we only did what is necessary to fulfill our mandate using our meager resources and to respond to the government’s call to heal as one during this pandemic crisis,” she said.


Since March, the MMSU-NBERIC continuously produced and supplied free Nipahol (alcohol from nipa) to local government units (LGUs), hospitals, checkpoints, government agencies, churches, banks, and other front-liners in northern Luzon, as well as the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH-MC), and other COVID-19 referral hospitals.


Agrupis has credited this milestone to the NBERIC team “who put their lives on the line to produce alcohol” and lauded the whole MMSU family “for the unity we have shown at the start of this pandemic crisis.”


Aside from producing alcohol, the university also produced personal protective equipment (PPE) and provided free medical, food, and accommodation services to front-liners; helped the MMSU stranded students via donation drives; and conducted relief operations to communities. 


“With such dedication, we can confidently declare that COVID will not defeat the MMSU spirit of service,” she stressed. 


Further, the university president believes that the award “is a reminder that we have to be fast, to act immediately, and to be responsive to the needs of our stakeholders especially in times of emergency.” (StratCom)