PhilRootcrops Director shortlisted for Nat’l Presidential Service Award

The Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award is the highest national award accorded to a public official by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Besides her executive role at PhilRootcrops, Dr. Vasquez is also teaching graduate and undergraduate students, and doing research and extension activities.

 The VSU professor has made a major contribution in the field of plant disease and pest management in sweet potato and cassava. Her work in these areas, published in the book Plant Disease and Pest Management for Root Crops, led to her nomination.

Counter-attacking the threats in sweet potato, cassava


According to Vasquez, the prevalence of pests and diseases in high-value crops such as sweet potato and cassava poses a grave problem in the country’s root crops industry. These often result in high yield loss and reduction in the quality of produce.

Among the most serious pests is the sweet potato weevil, scientifically known as Cylas formicarius, and the cassava phytoplasma disease (CPD). Vasquez said these cause a 50-100% yield reduction and loss of planting materials.

To counter these threats, Vasquez developed the Sweet Potato Weevil Pheromone and Pre-planting Pest Management Protocol for cassava to control CPD.

Dr. Vasquez has been promoting these technologies to Filipino root crops farmers, in partnership with the country’s Department of Agriculture. 

Vasquez, through PhilRootcrops, was also able to produce five-million sweet potato cuttings and half a million pre-treated cassava planting materials to rehabilitate areas affected by the supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

CSC’s Honor Awards program is an annual event that recognizes government officials and employees who have displayed outstanding work performance.

The same award was accorded to VSU’s former president Dr. Jose Bacusmo in 2016, Dr. Roberto C. Guarte, and incumbent VSU President Dr. Edgardo Tulin, in 2015 and 2014, respectively.


About PhilRootcrops

The Philippine Root Crop Research and Training Center (PhilRootcrops) is a government research, development and training institution for root and tuber crops: cassava, sweetpotato, taro, yam, yambean, arrowroot and other rootcrops.
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Vision, Mission & Goal

Creating wealth, enhancing health, improving lives through roots and tubers
To provide the national leadership in formulating and implementing strategic root crop research and development programs that can reduce poverty and food insecurity
To generate and promote root crop innovations and information that can improve the lives of stakeholders along the root crop value chain.

Contact Information

PhilRootcrops, VSU,Visca, Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines 6521-A
Telephone / Fax No.: +63 (053)563-7229 Trunkline: +63 (053) 565 0600 local 1063
Email: [email protected] | [email protected]
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