CITY OF SAN FERNANDO-- The Outstanding Fernandinos Awards (Tofa), an annual search for this city’s most distinguished citizens, formally reeled-off Monday with the symbolic unfurling of the Tofa tarpaulin.

The Executive Committee tasked to conduct the search were also presented Monday.

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The Tofa 2011 is in line with the city’s celebration of its 10th cityhood anniversary next year. Usually, awardees are feted on February 4, the date the City of San Fernando became a component city.

City Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan said the Tofa search is conducted early starting with the submission of nominations in October, as deliberations and decisions on making the choices normally take months of scrutiny.

Mayor Oscar Rodriguez said that Tofa is a vital component of the city’s governance, which cites exemplary Fernandinos in various fields, contributing to development and delivering benefits for the people of San Fernando.

Tofa categories include awards in the fields of religious service, environment care and preservation, education, law, agriculture, science and technology, social service, military and law enforcement, medicine (including health services and allied medical profession), business, culture and arts (including heritage and history), community service, parenthood and family, senior citizens service, sports, media, youth service, government service (non-elected public servants) and entrepreneurship.

For one to be nominated, he or she must have been born in the city and where at least a parent is a Fernandino; must have been a resident here for at least 15 years; must have rendered at least 5 years of exemplary service in the city; of good moral character and exceptional personal conduct or must have exemplary accomplishment that has contributed to the enhancement of the honor and reputation of Fernandinos.

Nomination forms are available at the City Tourism Office and deadline for submission is on October 29, 2010.

This year’s Tofa Executive Committee is headed by former awardee, Ma. Theresa Laus, with Marco Antonio Jimenez as co-chairman.

Committee members include Councilor Jimmy Lazatin, Jose Victor De Leon, Luningning Llanto, Leticia Dayrit, Dr. Leticia Yap, Clarita Magtoto, and Dauphin Punzalan. (Jovi T. De Leon)