As part of continuing efforts to strengthen partnership with its host community and government, IRRI donated a total of nine utility vehicles to the Municipality of Bay, Laguna and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) of the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (CALABARZON) region.
In a ceremonial turnover on 19 November 2015, Mr. Bruno Ramos, mayor of the Municipality of Bay, accepted seven vehicles, including two pickup trucks, from IRRI. The mayor expressed his appreciation to the institute, and announced the stewards and recipients of the donation: (1) Bay District Hospital (formerly known as PPL, Pagamutang Pangmasa ng Laguna); (2) Bay Municipal Police; and five out of 15 barangay or community village recipients—(3) Barangay Masaya, (4) Barangay Tranca, (5) Barangay Paciano Rizal, (6) Barangay Tagumpay, and (7) Barangay Santo Domingo.
During the vehicle turnover ceremony held in Bay, IRRI Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships, Bruce Tolentino, mentioned that IRRI is supported by several governments, including the government of the Philippines. He emphasized that the municipality of Bay is home to many IRRI staff members. “Many employees at IRRI are residents of this town. To IRRI, Bay is not only a neighbor, but also a friend,” he adds.
Mr. Anselmo Pastidio, barangay captain of Santo Domingo, said that the donated vehicle will be helpful to citizens in the community, especially during disasters. Santo Domingo is one of the economically fast-growing barangays in Bay, with an area covered by subdivisions, commercial buildings, and rice paddies. The barangay has around 8,000 inhabitants who are often affected by floods caused by overspill of waters from the nearby Laguna de Bay. “A ready means of transportation (service) is basic when typhoons strike. So we are grateful to IRRI for this pickup truck. It will serve our people well,” said the barangay captain.
LTO Region 4A
In another turnover ceremony to LTO CALABARZON held on 23 November 2015 at IRRI headquarters, LTO Regional Director Eric Lenard Tabaldo (top photo) thanked IRRI and said that the two vehicles they accepted will address a need for patrol vehicles in some locations where there are none. He added that his team looks forward to continuing the partnership with IRRI’s transport services in conducting a series of seminars for drivers. The most recent drivers’ seminar was held at IRRI in July 2015.