Two UP alumni awarded for exemplary government service

Written by Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta

Two alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) were recognized for their exemplary government service by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. at the awarding ceremony for the recipients of the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Presidential Lingkod Bayan, Pagasa, and Dangal ng Bayan Awards for 2022. The awarding ceremony was held on 8 March 2023 in Malacañang.

Among the six Presidential Lingkod Bayan awardees for 2022, recognized for having made significant strides in the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, is Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma Executive Director of the UP Philippine Genome Center (UP PCG), and UP Professor.

According to the CSC’s press release, Dr. Saloma was recognized for laying the infrastructure for genomics research in the country and the foundation by which genomic biosurveillance is now part of the arsenal for pandemic preparedness. With her leadership, the UP PGC was able to provide the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases with science-based genomics data critical to the whole-of-nation approach management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Saloma earned her Bachelor of Science in Fisheries degree from UP Visayas, magna cum laude.

Among the six CSC Pagasa awardees, on the other hand, is Professor Emeritus Edward A. Barlaan of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), North Cotabato. A Master of Science in Agronomy graduate of the UP Los Baños Graduate School, Dr. Barlaan was recognized for his exemplary efforts and outstanding output as an academician, administrator, researcher, scientist, and extension worker. Besides being a professor in undergraduate and graduate courses, he also served as Vice-President for Research, Development, and Extension (RDE) of USM from June 2020 to April 2022, providing improvements in RDE systems in the university.

The CSC’s Presidential Lingkod Bayan (PLB) Award is conferred on an individual or group for exceptional or extraordinary contributions resulting from an idea or performance that had nationwide impact on public interest, security, and patrimony. The Pagasa Award, on the other hand, is conferred to an individual or group for outstanding contribution/s resulting from an idea or performance that directly benefit more than one department of the government.

With reports from the UP Office of Alumni Relations.