Dr. Vo Tong Xuan, a Vietnamese scientist who obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture (UPCA) in Los Banos, Laguna in 1966 when the late Dr. Dioscoro L. Umali was the dean, was recognized once more last November 27, 2008 when he became the first recipient of the Dioscoro L. Umali Achievement Award in Agricultural Development. Earlier in 1993, Dr Xuan received the Ramon Magsaysay Award_for Government Service.
Dr. Xuan received the D. L. Umali Award during the 42nd anniversary celebration of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), which is based at UPLB. Three authorities in agriculture, Dr. Emil Q. Javier (president of the National Academy of Science and Technology or NAST), Dr. Arsenio Balisacan (SEARCA executive director), and Nelia T. Gonzales (president of the Dioscoro L. Umali Foundation or DLUF), presented the award.
The award is a brainchild of SEARCA, in partnership with NAST and the DLUF. It comes with a cash prize of US$10,000. Dr. Xuan was easily singled out by the selection committee, says Dr. Javier, as he has all the traits that qualify one to receive the award. The citation for his award reads: