Iriga: RAFC Bicol farmer officials cap off remarkable journey with culmination event

photo courtesy of DAR Bicol

The Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) Bicol Farmer Officials celebrated a meaningful and successful culmination event last May 31, 2024, at the 3rd Floor, PMED Building, DA RFO 5. This event marked the proud conclusion of a month-long dedicated service by the Agriculture and Fishery Council (AFC) Members, who served as the DA Farmer Officials during the 2024 Farmers and Fisherfolk Month Celebration.

Numerous farmers, AFC members, and 4H organizations attended the activity. Present at the event were designated Farmer Officials, Bernadette B. De Los Santos, the Farmer Regional Executive Director (FRED); Rebecca S. Purisima, the Farmer Technical Director for Operations; Benedicto A. Palmares, the Farmer Technical Director for Research and Regulations; and the eight Farmer Division Chiefs: Annielen I. Panerio, Efren Fragata, Alfredo Gatongay, Maria Daisy Geolin, Claudia Esmeralda Honrado, Roy Nelson Layosa, and Roberto N. Diesta. Also in attendance were Lorenzo L. Alvina, the OIC RTD for Research and Regulations, and DA-RFO 5 Officer-in-Charge, division chiefs, and the guest of honor, Atty. Emilio D. Escueta III, the Acting Regional Director of Cooperative Development Authority 5.

The main highlight of the activity was the compelling five-minute video presentation that captured the Farmer Officials’ devoted month-long journey. The video presentation showcased all the activities attended by the farmer officials and their dynamic involvement in various agricultural-related activities during the Farmer and Fisherfolk Month.

On behalf of the Regional Executive Director, Alvina applauded the dedicated service and tireless efforts of the designated farmer officials highlighting their unwavering commitment and exceptional contributions to the agricultural sector, acknowledging their significant impact on the Department of Agriculture.

In a parallel gesture of appreciation, FRED De Los Santos, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Department of Agriculture for entrusting her with such a challenging and rewarding role. In her speech, the FRED highlighted the significant impact of the new initiative of the Regional Executive Director (RED) in appointing Farmer Division Chiefs, a strategy uniquely implemented in Bicol. She also acknowledged the invaluable support and guidance provided by the people behind the scenes throughout her tenure. De Los Santos particularly extended her most profound thanks to the RAFC Bicol Regional Executive Officer, Aloha Gigi I. Bañaria, whose wholehearted and tireless mentorship has been instrumental in guiding the farmer officials.

As part of the culmination activity, RAFC Bicol proudly recognized the winners of the RAFC Bicol Agri-Art Workshop, held on February 10 and 17, 2024, at Binanuaanan Norte, Pili, Camarines Sur. This workshop showcased the participants’ artistic talents and inspired youths aspiring to be young artists. The event also featured the distribution of award certificates for the apiculture project packages to 11 validated beneficiary organizations, a significant step towards supporting and enhancing local agricultural development.

A significant highlight of the culmination event was the oath-taking ceremony for the new AFC and RAFC Speakers Bureau members. This ceremony, which involved 20 new AFC members and six new members of the RAFC Speakers Bureau, marked a new chapter in their agricultural journey. Atty. Emilio D. Escueta III and FRED Bernadette B. De Los Santos served as the inducting officers, adding to the event’s significance. Additionally, the event featured the induction of former RTD for Operations Luz R. Marcelino, into the RAFC 5 Climate Change, Environment, and Natural Resources Sectoral Committee and into the RAFC Speakers Bureau.

The culminating activity concluded with the traditional boodle fight, sponsored by the RAFC Farmer Officials, which symbolized not just a meal but a shared sense of unity and camaraderie among the farmer officials, members, and attendees. The boodle fight featured various locally sourced agricultural products, reflecting the region’s bounty.

The successful culmination event underscored the collaborative spirit and dedication of the RAFC Bicol Farmer Officials. It highlighted their commitment to supporting and advancing the agricultural and fisheries sectors in the region.

(Source: DAR Bicol)

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