It’s women power that now rules the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos Region.

This, after Dr. Annie Bares assumed her post as the new OIC-Regional Executive Director alongside Dr. Evelyn Fernando, who holds the plantilla position as Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations and was recalled to the regional office following her one year stint as Assistant Director for Admin & Finance at the Bureau of soils and Water Management (BSWM). Completing the ‘power of three’ is Dir. Doris Joy Garcia, former Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) chief who was also recently designated as OIC-Regional Technical Director for Operations.

In a simple turn-over ceremonies today, September 19, 2022 held at the DA-RFO I Conference Room, Dr. Bares accepted the key of responsibility from outgoing OIC-RED Atty. Jennilyn M. Dawayan who virtually joined the ceremony as she has been recalled at DA-Cordillera Administrative Region as Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations after serving as RED for DA-RFO I from August 8, 2022 – September 15,2022.

Director Bares who works in the government service for 34 years is a graduate of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Central Luzon State University batch 1984.

A resident of the City of San Fernando, La Union, she entered public service four years after graduating in college. She started as contractual worker at DA-RFO I as Agricultural Technologist starting in August 1988. With her dedication at work, she was given a permanent position as Agriculturist and Animal Breeding Technologist a year after.

Young and eager to explore many possibilities for a career growth, she transferred to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) in La Union as Agriculturist I in 1996.

However, fate must have brought her to where she really belongs because in 1997, she returned office at DA-RFO I and held the position of Agriculturist II.

Competent and passionate in doing her assigned responsibilities at work, she rose from the ranks from Senior Agriculturist in 2002, to Agricultural Center Chief II in 2013 and Development Management Officer V in 2015.

This position has led her to become the Chief of the Operations Division for almost 5 years. Prior to her designation as the Chief of the Operations Division, Dr. Bares is the Livestock Banner Program Coordinator in the region and among her significant contributions is being able to work for an ASF-free and FMD-free status of Region I.

However, with the change in management of DA-RFO I in 2017, Dr. Bares held several other positions which has helped mold a well-rounded knowledge and skills for her to competently deliver her responsibilities at work. She was head of the Regulatory Division, Integrated Laboratories Division and most recently as OIC-RTD for Operations.

These hopping from one position to another has somehow prepared her to lead the agency.

“I never expected this to happen,” Dr. Bares said as she recalled how she felt when she received her Special Order as OIC-RED of DA-RFO I. “Unexpectedly as it has been, I sincerely accept this responsibility, but I cannot do this alone,” Dr. Bares added.

Encouraging her subordinates to work diligently, Dr. Bares enjoined all employees to work together to regain the region’s outstanding performance like in the previous years.

“If we are living with a purpose, hard work is not an option, it is a necessity. Kailangan nating magtrabaho ng doble, triple,” Dr. Bares said.

Citing the tremendous works that Atty. Dawayan has made in her short stint in the region, Director Bares expressed gratitude to the former OIC-RED especially the transition notes that was turned over to her by Atty. Dawayan to continue and adopt what was initiated to carry on the vision of a better performance of the region in the coming months.

Meanwhile, RTD for Research and Regulations Dr. Evelyn Fernando, who was warmly welcomed by the DA-RFO I management and staff, also expressed her eagerness to work hand in hand with the two equally competent lady Directors and with the whole DA-RFO I workforce. “I thank you for the very warm welcome and assure you of my utmost dedication to work with you and achieve many things, let us make Region I back at being number one!”, she enthusiastically expressed during the Welcome and Turn-over Ceremonies.

RTD Fernando has served the DA-Central Luzon office as Agricultural Programs Coordinating Officer (APCO) and was later assigned to the BSWM in Manila.

With the three ladies heading the DA-RFO I office, armed with their motherly instincts of nurturing and caring nature, certainly, the DA-RFO I, and the Ilocos Region agriculture sector in general, is in for a promising, and inspiring leadership, after all, Mother knows best!###