Neng to her family and close friends, Director Marilyn V. Sta. Catalina was a Bicolana from Daet, Camarines Norte. She was DA-Region V’s full-fledged Regional Executive Director before she joined the Cordillera Region on April 8, 2011. As the head of DA-CAR, she did what she committed: bring development to the agriculture industry in the region.
With her at the helm, DA-CAR completed the project on rehabilitation and restoration of the Batad Rice Terraces which were damaged in 2011 by Typhoons Pedring and Quiel. Fully believing in the quality of the region’s heirloom rice, she worked for its continued export to the United States.
She continued the initiatives of the DA in the establishment of the now-operational four-hectare Benguet AgriPinoy Trading Center (BAPTC), the biggest of 22 Agri-Pinoy trading centers in the Philippines. She also spearheaded the launching of the special foreign-assisted project known as Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) in the Cordilleras, with the provinces of Kalinga and Mountain Province as the first CAR beneficiaries.
As the chairperson of the RDC Sectoral Committee on Agriculture (Agri Secom) from 2012-2015, she led the Committee in pushing for DPWH to relax its national standard of 5 meters carriageway for farm-to-market roads (FMRs) and successfully had it reduced to 3.5 meters for the Cordillera Region. This led to the provision of more funds from the DPWH for the construction of more FMRs in the region.
It was also under her able leadership of the Agri Secom that the region’s coffee industry was given a boost through the formulation of the CAR Coffee Development Framework Plan and the conduct of the Coffee Stakeholders Summit in 2014.
Also a strong advocate for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Climate Change Adaptation, Director Sta. Catalina led the Committee in the formulation of the Agri-Resiliency Roadmap for Climate Change.
Indeed, Director Marilyn, during her brief stay in the region, showed that hard work, passion for excellence, and belief in one’s goals can go a long way.
Thank you, Director Marilyn. We will miss you.