SAN AGUSTIN, PILI CAMARINES SUR–As one of the highlights of the Farmers’ and Fishermen’s month celebration this May, a Farmer Director has been designated by agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol in every DA regional field Office. The incumbent chairperson of the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council or RAFC (RAFC) is automatically designated to assume the roles and tasks of the DA Regional Executive Director (RED) in the implementation and dissemination of key programs of the agency.
In the Bicol Region, Alfredo R. Rillo , RAFC chairperson officially accepted and assumed his new designation on May 2 after the flag raising ceremonies where he was introduced by RED Elena B. de los Santos to the DA officials and personnel. Director de los Santos explained that the designation of a farmer director is a token of recognition and aims to further strengthen the Department of Agriculture’s partnership with the Agricultural Fishery Councils or AFCs, a consultative body composed of agri-fishery sector representatives.
Rillo, former regional director of the Philippine Coconut Authority and now an upland farmer , said that he feels overwhelmed by the task ahead considering that unlike his former office , the DA is such a big agency which is highly decentralized. He thanked the DA for recognizing and supporting the AFCs and for the opportunity to be at its helm even for just 27 working days. He said before accepting the post he sought God’s guidance and blessing and negotiated with Him that he be granted three wishes: that while serving as the DA director, the employees and those under his watch be healthy, cooperative and happy.
Based on the implementing guidelines issued by Secretary Piñol, the authority of the farmer-director shall be limited to non-policy determining activities which should not in any way affect the government accounting rules and procedures as well as the civil rules and regulations governing regular government employees. (Emilia B. Bordado)