Published: April 26, 2021 | gmanetwork.com
Photos: Embassy of the Netherlands in the Philippines
A Filipina scientist was knighted by the Netherlands in recognition of her work in agriculture and dedication to promoting Dutch-Filipino relations. Dr. Mary Ann Pelagio Sayoc received knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau and was awarded by Ambassador Saskia de Lang for her efforts in transforming Philippine agriculture and boosting farmers' productivity.
With her help, the Philippines and the Netherlands have "developed strong ties in the agri-food sector in the areas of trade, investments, agricultural technology, and knowledge transfer."
"It has pleased His Majesty King Willem Alexander to award a Knighthood on a leading personality of the Dutch Filipino community," a press release read.
Since the establishment of the East-West Seed Group (EWS) where Sayoc is the public affairs lead, it has become a dominant market leader in vegetable seeds in the Philippines. The Philippine company with Dutch roots has expanded its operations to countries in Asia and Africa, proving its growth from when it was founded in 1982. As the chairperson on the Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSAI), Sayoc also contributed her Dutch expertise in establishing the National Seed Technology Park (NSTP).
The NSTP is their initial step to pursue the Philippines and the Netherlands' planned collaboration on horticulture development.
Apart from continuously contributing to agriculture developments, Sayoc has also been strengthening the relationship between Filipinos and the Dutch as the head of the Philippine-Dutch Fellows Network, Inc.
As a board member of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (DCCP), she also shared her knowledge of the Philippines to Dutch companies who wish to do business with Filipinos.
The Order of Orange-Nassau is awarded to individuals for longstanding meritorious service to society.
—Franchesca Viernes/MGP, GMA News