Former DA-BAR directors recognized as bureau celebrates founding anniversary

To give due recognition and gather insights and wisdom, DA-BAR convened former directors of the bureau for a technical meeting organized during the first day of the week-long anniversary, 1 August 2022, at the RDMIC Building. 

Current DA-BAR director Dr. Junel B. Soriano opened the meeting with a message of gratitude for its former leaders. 

“With your efforts, expertise, leadership, dedication, and commitment to serve the agricultural sector through research for development, the bureau was indeed able to prosper and deliver on our goals,” he said. 

Aside from offering their commendations, former bureau directors shared their insights and recommendations to further propel the bureau towards its goals. 

“Being a research coordinating bureau, you have to employ the best of experts—be it internally or externally,” said Dr. William D. Dar, the bureau’s first director and former Agriculture Secretary, as he brings to the table the revival of DA-BAR’s pool of experts. 

This was first on the list of Dr. Dar’s points to consider in improving the role, relevance, and responsibility of DA-BAR. 

Emphasizing the need to modernize and industrialize the sector through research for development (R4D) endeavors, Dr. Dar highlighted the importance of having technology-based programs. He furthered that the bureau must ensure the upscaling of the technologies, as well as sustainability of technology-based start-ups. 

He also mentioned the need to analyze the current value chain system, move for more impact by funding more technologies, consider sustainability and resiliency for a climate responsive sector, and maximize networks, specifically DA-BAR’s linkage with the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development. 

“It is most fitting to acknowledge your continuing dedication to excellence. You’re [always striving] not only to meet expectations but also to exceed them,” Dr. William C. Medrano stated, recognizing all the efforts of DA-BAR and its partner institutions. 

Dr. Medrano, former Undersecretary for Livestock and Poultry and seventh director of the bureau, suggested the strengthening of DA-BAR’s efforts in the conduct of policy research. 

“[These policy researches] aim to provide inputs in policy and decision making, especially in expediting or institutionalizing iyong ating mga sinasabi na value chain approaches and clustering and consolidation as well the competitiveness of agriculture in the market,” he said 

Dr. Medrano also suggested to the group the institutionalization of a lecture series, named after the DA-BAR founding director, Dr. William D. Dar. 

Last to deliver his message was Dr. Vivencio C. Mamaril, current director of the DA-Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards and precedent to Dr. Soriano as bureau director. 

Dr. Mamaril encouraged the group to “embark on a food sufficiency project.” In his words, this shall be called Ka-DA, or “Kaibigan ni DA,” composed of our partners who will be helping us in matters of food production. 

Samantalahin natin ‘yong opportunity na mayroon tayong natulungan na gustong magbalik at magbigay pasasalamat sa utang na loob n’ya”, he added. 

Before calling the meeting to an end, DA-BAR assistant director for Programs Joell H. Lales thanked the former leaders of DA-BAR for serving as an inspiration for the bureau to “do more, do better, and not stop at the learning curve.” (### Geline Nicole A. Morillo)