Farmer Regional Executive Director (RED) designate, Alfredo Rillo who served as the Department of Agriculture’s RED for the whole month of May ended his term by rendering a report to the DA regional officials and his fellow officers of the Agriculture and Fishery Councils in a simple ceremony.

He said that the DA personnel staff whom he had the chance to work and interact with during his short stint at the DA regional office and some of its provincial outreach stations were generally courteous and polite. He also observed that there were no idle personnel and that the officers and officials were focused and performing the jobs they are supposed to do. In his visit to some of the ROS in the provinces he said that the facilities and the on-going projects being implemented by these are presentable. But he noted that some facilities, machineries and production areas need repair and improvement.


Rillo also commended the DA Bicol regional Office for receiving an over-all rating of 8.5 to 9 points (in a scale of 10) from the national PCAF monitoring team which conducted a project monitoring of various projects being implemented in the region while he was serving his term as acting RED. Likewise. He commended the DA Bicol team for having the highest in the number of Value Chain Analysis completed among the region in South Luzon.

While serving his term as RED he has presided over the management committee meeting of the DA regional officials which included the division chiefs, program coordinators, section chiefs and focal persons of various special projects. He has also been representing the DA as guest of honor in various regional, provincial , city and municipal agri-fishery fairs, farmers fora and consultations and other agri-related events. 
Rillo, the former regional director of the Philippine Coconut Authority who retired from government service nine years ago has ventured into upland farming but has been an active volunteer leader and currently the chairperson of the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC), a private-led organization which has been working with the DA in identifying issues and concerns of the agri-fishery sector and has been helping in the monitoring of agri programs and projects. While he looks forward to returning to his normal life and usual routine as a fulltime farmer he said he will cherish the experience. “Di ko sukat akalain na after nine years after I retired from government service I have this chance to be at the helm of the DA which is much bigger than the PCA regional office I had supervised .
He recommends that DA Bicol must sustain its efforts as a transparent and committed institution and must continue to value the participation of the private sector.

DA regional executive director Dr. Elena delos Santos, thanked Rillo for accepting the job and the challenge of being at the helm of the agency at least for a month. She said that the experience has probably shown Mr. Rillo how gigantic the tasks and responsibilities are in running the DA. She assured Mr. Rillo that the DA will continue engaging the AFC’s participation in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the DA programs and likewise will continue to support AFC’s activities.

Also present during the exit conference of Mr. Rillo were: Regional Technical Director, Dr. Edgar R. Madrid, RAFC Secretary Peter Theodore Caro, RAFC executive officer and DA chief planning officer Aloha Gigi Bañaria, the provincial AFC coordinators : Alfredo Oben of Albay,; Edgar Canet of Camarines Sur; Virginia Oanzon of Sorsogon; AFC sector representatives and DAD division/section chiefs.

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 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.
Director delos 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. (Emily B. Bordado)