Dr. Arsenio M. Balisacan and Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., both former Directors of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) were awarded Outstanding Alumni of the College of Economics and Management (CEM) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) during its Centennial Anniversary Celebration held on 19 July 2019. Dr. Balisacan, who is currently the Chairman of the Philippine Competition Commission, was keynote speaker of the event.
Dr. Balisacan and Dr. Saguiguit were among the 100 awardees recognized by CEM-UPLB for their significant contributions to their respective fields of study and practice that carry the College's brand of education and training. The two past Directors, who both earned their Masters degree in Agricultural Economics from CEM-UPLB, were cited for their illustrious career and outstanding leadership and service to governments and international organizations including SEARCA.
Dr. Balisacan, who holds a Doctorate degree in Economics from the University of Hawaii, served as SEARCA Director from 2003 – 2009. He preceded Dr. Saguiguit who led the Center from 2009 – 2018. Dr. Saguiguit earned his Doctorate Degree in Rural Economics from the Universitѐ de Montpellier, France.
Other former SEARCA officers were also given the Award including Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, former Program Head of SEARCA's Research and Development Department (RDD); Dr. Geronimo M. Collado, SEARCA Senior Fellow and former Project Manager of Agribusiness and Related Projects at SEARCA; and Dr. Maripaz L. Perez, Head of then SEARCA's Consulting Services Department (now Project Development and Technical Services).