PASIG CITY, April 28, 2023 – Recognizing his exceptional contribution to education and his advocacies on sustainable community, a teacher from the Department of Education (DepEd)-Ilocos Region is the Philippines’ fifth recipient of the prestigious 2023 Princess Maha Chakri Awards (PMCA).

Mr. Jerwin O. Valencia, Teacher III of Digras National High School in Ilocos Norte, is one of 11 recipients of the PMCA in South East Asia as he presented a significant impact on students’ lives through his initiatives and projects. He will receive his award on October 17 in Thailand.

With a goal of creating a sustainable community for his learner and their families, Valencia launched the Backyard to Kitchen Project Year 2, where he helps beneficiaries to cultivate their own gardens at homes by providing seedlings for them to produce a BIN-I (seeds) that they can use for the next crop making this project sustainable.

He has also created the project Ayat Para Iti Arapaap (Gift of Love for a Dream), which aims to motivate children to strive more for their studies, assist them in their studies, including mental health and emotional aspect through the support of individuals, and develop skills and relationship of children through arts and craft.

In addition, Valencia also initiated the Project Wag MATHakot, which provided learners an opportunity for on-task activity through games and technology-innovative activities, and Project MATH (Make A Tremendous Help), which includes the practical application of Mathematics, such as constructing plant boxes in different shapes and recyclable materials to foster environmental awareness among them.

Aside from being a Math teacher, Valencia is also a reservist of the Philippine Air Force and a Boy Scout of the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction Management Coordinator.

Princess Maha Chakri Award is given once every two years to recognize teachers who change students’ lives, particularly the disadvantaged groups. It aims to promote excellent practices to inspire and serve as examples for other teachers in Southeast Asia.

Since 2015, four Filipino educators have received the PMCA, namely Mr. William Moraca from General Santos City (2015), Mr. Jesus Insilada of Iloilo City (2017), Mr. Sadat Minandang from Cotabato City (2019), and Mr. Marcelo T. Otinguey of Benguet City (2012).