SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – Ms. Bernadette delos Santos, Chairperson of the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC) assumed as Farmer Director of DA RFO 5 for the month of May. This is in observance of the Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month celebration for the whole month of May 2023.

DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla personally turned over the DA banner to Ms. Delos Santos on May 2, immediately after the flag ceremony. The turn over was witnessed by the RTDs, division chiefs and other DA personnel.

In his message, RED Tornilla urged the RAFC Bicol, particularly RAFC Regional Executive Officer Aloha Gigi Banaria to come up with a proposal to include two Farmer Regional Technical Directors in the Farmer Director program, who will help Director Delos Santos in running the regional office.

Meanwhile in her acceptance speech, Farmer Director delos Santos recalled how she started as first woman RAFC Chair of the Bicol region and also the only female RAFC Chair in the entire country.

Under her leadership, the RAFC Bicol team bagged eleven (11) National awards during the 2022 National Volunteers Day held in Manila last December, which inlcuded the Change Maker of the Year award. “Yes, it is such a glory! Also, it is such a challenge and responsibility, ” she said.

“.. the task of holding the reins of running this huge regional agency is passed on to me by the regional director Tornilla, with full trust and confidence, the days ahead look daunting and exciting as well,” she added.

“We have proven, last year, that a woman can do it! This year, I humbly ask for your undying support and your endless assistance to the office that I have been entrusted with, for the period that I am the Farmer Director. Let us first and foremost remember, that all that we do is for the sake of our farmers and fisherfolk, who continue to toil and risk limbs and lives to feed the nation. Let us also remember that we are volunteers, we can only do so much, thus, we count on you! As I take on this role, and with your and my fervent and zealous love for our country, I will, by the grace of the Almighty, face the nitty gritty of being the farmer director as efficiently, creatively and graciously as I can. It will be, as it is, my daily mantra to do my best and show the world or us here at the Department that if men can do it, so can women! Thank you so much! Filled with eagerness and enthusiasm and willingness to work hand in hand with you all, I start today as your farmer director. Let us give our best in what we do. Let us be the best of who we are,” Director delos Santos eloquently said.

The Farmer Director will perform routinary functions that would not affect the government accounting rules and procedures. These include representing the RED during launching activities; preside over management meetings; conduct visitation to various DA facilities in the provinces and issue memoranda on events that are supposed to be held in May. (Lovella P. Guarin)