THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental-South has recognized the significant contributions of all its retirees and personnel with 15 years of service and more.

The agency awarded 16 plaques of appreciation to four retirees, one recipient of posthumous award and 11 loyalty awardees during the virtual Salamat Mabuhay and Loyalty Award 2020 on Monday, December 21.

For retirees, the recipient-personnel were Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officers (Marpos) Prima Denila with 37 years of length of service; Lydia Garingo - 39 years; Samuel Robles - 29 years; and Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Sucille Roa - 16 years in service.

The late Senior Agrarian Reform Program Officer Rhea Hiponia, who died on October 18, was given the Posthumous Award.

Meanwhile, the following personnel received a loyalty award after serving the agency for 30 years: Marpos Francis Melicent Dionela, Ma. Victoria Lanuza, Aurea Lingamen, Rosario Norbe, Rutchel Ornillo, Joyce Palgan, Elma Popioco, Administrative Officer IV Mayflor Cerbo and Senior Agrarian Reform Program Officer Mitchie Abello.

Marpo Jeffrey Jardiolin and Administrative Aide VI Ma. Cecilia Aldeguer also received a plaque of appreciation as loyalty awardees for their 15 years of service.

Officer-In-Charge Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Arnulfo Figueroa, in a statement, expressed his gratitude to all the retirees for all their contributions especially in upholding the rights of the farmer-beneficiaries to own their parcels of lands, and by being the catalysts in improving the lives of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in southern part of Negros Occidental.

Figueroa also wished the retirees for a fruitful and meaningful retirement with their families and loved ones.

"You now don't have to wake up early in the morning and cram to meet our deadlines. It is now time to enjoy doing the things that you do not have time for before. Congratulations and thank you for being part of our family," he told the employees.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer I Enrique Paderes, for his part, congratulated the loyalty awardees and challenged them to remain faithful to the mandates of the agency and its program.

"Congratulations for reaching this far and I hope that you would continue loyal and sincere to our oath of office by helping the public especially our ARBs with utmost integrity, competence and accountability," he said.

On behalf of the retirees, Robles said he is forever grateful to the DAR for giving him the opportunity to discover his potentials and for helping him to become the best version of himself.

"For most of us, the DAR has been our torch to find our real purpose in this world. It has equipped us with all the things and knowledge we need and we are very thankful for that because you made us as instruments to change the lives of some of our farmer beneficiaries," Robles noted.