Department of Science and Technology (DOST)- Caraga Assistant Regional Director, Mr. Ricardo N. Varela served as one of the judges during the five-day quest dubbed as the Municipal Embassy Interactive Booth contest held during the commemoration of the 24th Naliyagan Festival, June 12-17, 2016 at Patin-ay, Prosperedad, Agusan del Sur.
Made with colorful, lavish designs and inspired by cultural heritage architecture-that is how the 13 municipalities and one city of the province of Agusan del Sur showcased their respective booths in accordance with the theme, “Productivity and Unity in Diversity”. Though artistic presentation of the booths was one of the criteria for judging, each contender must be able to relay the message of the booth projection of the municipality as a whole, showcase the products and present the best practices, initiatives and awards or recognitions through displays and multi-media presentation, centered on addressing poverty reduction.
Mr. Varela was set to visit the booths and gave his remarks on July 16, the day before the awarding ceremony. He was able to have an interactive discussion with the ambassadors and ambassadress of each municipality. Much of his questions were centered on the uniqueness and innovativeness in terms of flagship products, natural heritage sites and its local government initiative programs for its constituents. In addition, he was able to give recommendations most especially on the packaging and labelling of the products. He stressed that DOST-Caraga and its PSTCs (Provincial Science and Technology Center) could help them assist and improve their products’ appearance through proper packaging and labelling.
“I believe that this event is significant because it is one way to showcase our activity. Regardless if it is a contest, this is also a time that sectoral agencies will know the situation of our municipality and see if they could assist us,” said Christan D. Basan, Secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Rosario who also served as an ambassadress.
Competing were the municipalities of Bunawan, Veruela, Loreto, San Francisco, Trento, Rosario, La Paz, Sta. Josefa, Esperanza, Sibagat, San Luis, Talacogon and Prosperedad and the City of Bayugan.
Of the 14 exhibitors, Talacogon was awarded as the Best Municipal Embassy Interactive Booth followed by Veruela and Prosperedad which came second and third, respectively.
The municipality of Talacogon received a cash prize of Php 50, 000.00 and an additional incentive of project fund worth Php 1.5 million. Veruela also received a cash prize of Php 30,000.00 and additional project incentive of Php 1 million, as well as Prosperedad receiving Php20, 000.00 and Php 500,000.00 as additional project incentive. Aside from the major award, two special awards were also given to the Best Presenter and Best Multimedia Presentation both of which were claimed by the municipality of Talacogon, with a cash prize of Php 5,000.00 of each special award. Non-winning municipalities also received a consolation prize of Php 10,000.00.
It can also be recalled that the top three Best Municipal Embassy Interactive Booth last year were San Francisco, Bayugan City and Veruela.