DA-PCC’s genetic scientist Dr. Flores is ‘CSC Pagasa’ awardee

Dr. Ester Flores deems the past two years of her government service among her anni mirabiles, after she was conferred the rank of Scientist I under the Scientific Career System in 2020 and was hailed, this year, as one of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Pagasa awardees.

Dr. Flores, DA-Philippine Carabao Center’s (DA-PCC) supervising science research specialist, and other outstanding government workers were conferred recognition during the virtual awarding rites led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on November 15 for exemplary display of public service. The conferment ceremony was aired via the Facebook pages and YouTube channels of CSC and Radio Television Malacañang, respectively.

The DA-PCC’s National Genetic Improvement Program (GIP) Coordinator was recognized for her significant contributions and professional expertise in research and development particularly in animal breeding and genomics and for being the prime mover of the central animal genetic data management program.

Among her noteworthy accomplishments include the establishment and implementation of separate structured breeding program for riverine and swamp buffaloes, development of a suitable genetic evaluation model for estimation of genetic parameters and estimated breeding values (EBVs), and marker assisted selection, which all paved the way to DA-PCC becoming the only livestock agency in the DA that has a well-organized and -structured breeding program demonstrated with locally produced riverine buffalo and swamp buffalo bulls with EBVs.

These initiatives, coupled with genomic selection using high density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping, ushered the latest generation of performance- and progeny-tested Philippine dairy buffalo bulls with pedigree-based and genomic breeding values.

“What’s more encouraging is when you see your efforts pay off. Knowing that farmers are benefiting from our breeding program is priceless and I call that job satisfaction,” Dr. Flores said.

“Job satisfaction is more than money. It’s really looking at your effort to see if your job actually has done something or has impacted the lives of our farmers. If that happens, it is definitely a pat on our back and that’s it for me,” she added.

President Duterte also imparted an inspirational message to the awardees saying: “The awards that you received today only mean progress for our nation. Carry it proudly and use it to inspire and serve more Filipinos.”

Pagasa award is “given to an individual or group of individuals for outstanding contributions that directly benefit more than one department of the government.”

The CSC said the awardees will receive a gold medal crafted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, cash prize and a plaque signed by President Duterte.