The regional director of the Department of Science and Technology-MIMAROPA (DOST-MIMAROPA), Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay has been recognized as one of the “CEM Oustanding Alumni” by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) College of Economics and Management (CEM). She was named as the “Outstanding Alumnus in Government Service and MSME Development.”

It was announced during the CEM Outstanding Alumni 2021 Awarding Ceremony last July 29 as part of the celebration of the 43rd Founding Anniversary of the institution, with the theme “Future-proof CEM: Harnessing Business and Economic Opportunities in the New Normal.”

UPLB’s College Distinguished Alumni Awards annually honors alumni who have demonstrated, in their chosen field of endeavor, exceptional achievements, and outstanding contributions that bring about substantial benefits to society and distinct honor to the College and the University.

Abilay was recognized for her innovative and impactful solutions to key development challenges in the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in the MIMAROPA region leading to improved productivity and development. She was also lauded for fostering and advancing science, technology, and innovation (STI) in the region through good governance, strong local and international collaborations enhancing research, development, and innovation (RDI), and empowering communities and building resiliency, among others.

Dr. Abilay virtually posed with other notable alumni of UPLB CEM, UPLB Chancellor Jose Camacho Jr., and Selection Committee Member, Ms. Nanette Aquino

She attributed her achievements in public service, particularly in the field of STI, to her alma mater. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Agribusiness Management from UPLB-CEM.

“It means a lot to be honored by an institution that has given me a solid foundation and has enabled me to create a change in the communities that I serve. The education I received from this college taught me vitality, the zest for problem-solving and prepared me to be responsive to changing conditions. CEM has given me the skills to seek to understand, analyze, synthesize, and critique situations and the ability to create the most efficient solutions to challenges. These traits I carry as I lead DOST-MIMAROPA and as we deliver S&T interventions to a wide range of customers,” said Abilay.

In line with the theme of the celebration, she also bared that DOST-MIMAROPA is currently working on assisting MSMEs and communities adapt to digital transformation to stay productive and relevant, which she explained a strategy to help them become “future-proofed.”

It is the second recognition Abilay has received just this year for her dynamic leadership in promoting STI in the region.