The Philippine Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers (PSABE) has conferred the prestigious 2023 Maramba Award to BAFE Assistant Director Juana Tapel PhD during the culminating activity of the 72nd PSABE Annual Convention held at the SMX Mall of Asia, Pasay City on April 27, 2023.

Dr. Tapel’s victory is historic being the first woman engineer from BAFE to win the coveted Maramba Award, regarded as the highest honor and recognition presented to a Filipino Agricultural and Biosystems Engineer.

“Being a member of BAFE, I underscored the support and cooperation of my colleagues who in one way or the other contributed in getting the award. It’s worth reminding that BAFE is the outcome of our advocacies and professional journey.”  said Dr. Tapel.

DA-BAFE Asst. Director Juana T. Tapel (4th from left) receives the prestigious Maramba Award (Most Outstanding Agricultural Engineer) for 2023 during the 72nd PSABE Annual Convention held at the SMX Mall of Asia, Pasay City on April 27, 2023. Joining her in the photo (from left to right) are Engr. Crestituto Mangaoang, PSABE Chair of Awards Committee; Dr. Jovita Agliam, Convention Chair; Isidro Tapel, Jr (husband of awardee); DOT Asec. Christopher Morales, guest of honor; and Dr. Andres Tuates, PSABE National President

The Maramba Award or the Most Outstanding Agricultural Engineer is given to outstanding professionals who had significant contributions in advancing the theory and practice of the agricultural engineering profession.

“Maramba award is the highest honor that PSABE can give to an ABE. The award signifies hard work, dedication, honesty, perseverance and significant contributions in the advancement of ABE profession,” said Dr. Tapel.

Dr. Tapel has been a well-known figure in the Philippine engineering community for she was PSAE National President (2000-2001); Secretary of Philippine Technological Council (PTC) for six (6) years; Chairperson of PTC Women Engineers Network for seven (7) years; Board of Director of the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists of Asia Pacific Nations Network; and the first woman engineer to be appointed as member of the Professional Regulatory Board (PRB) for Agricultural Engineering of the Professional Regulation Commission in 2010.

Moreover, Dr. Tapel is a member of CHED Technical Panel for ABE (Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering) since 2016 where she participates in the development policies, standards and guidelines of ABE education, ABE curriculum, core competencies of ABE graduate, program descriptions and outcomes, program assessment and evaluations and sample outcomes – based syllabus.

Dr. Tapel is engaged in the crafting of different Philippine Agricultural Engineering Standards (PAES) for agricultural machinery and infrastructure. The PAES, now PABES which is the “bible” for ABE practice. 

Dr. Tapel’s significant contributions in advancing ABE practice span the whole value chain of ABE profession from education to regulation, both local and abroad.

“Work hard and passionately smart in your practice of the ABE profession, contribute significantly your time, talents and personal resources in advancing our profession,” is Dr. Tapel’s advice to young ABEs who would like to excel in their field. “Do share your knowledge and skills to your peers in the ABE and the whole engineering profession. Thus, elements of excellence are fully harnessed for you to be a respected ABE,” she concluded. ###Ralph Angelo Ongka (BAFE-ICTST)