Lales accepts DA-BAR directorship from Abdula

DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) newly-designated OIC-director Joell H. Lales officially took over the bureau leadership from former OIC-director, now DA-SOCCSKSARGEN OIC-regional executive director Dr. Sailila E. Abdula on 10 November 2022 during a simple turnover ceremony in Diliman, Quezon City. 

As Dir. Lales accepted the challenge as the bureau’s chief, he encouraged all DA-BAR divisions, units, and sections to pursue the new BAR Research for Development and Extension (R4DE) Agenda. In his speech, he mentioned that the R4DE agenda is market-driven, problem-oriented, and people-centered agriculture and fisheries technologies. 

“The new agenda is based on the impact pathway model, hindi tayo hihinto sa output, dapat may impact and outcome na kailangan sundan,” he said. 

He also underscored that the agenda aims to continuously build institutional capacity and strengthen the quality and competitiveness of the agricultural RDE human resources to ensure sustainability of the sector and promote its global competitiveness. 

“I would like to enjoin everyone that this is our collective journey as a bureau and every single one of us here has to understand the deeper underlying purpose why we are here at [DA-]BAR and it is because we are serving the institution, we are serving the public and most importantly, we are serving the Filipino farmers and [fisherfolk],” he added. 

“Raising the BAR of Excellence,” the new tagline of the bureau, shall encourage DA-BAR colleagues to work together with the public sector, particularly the agri-fisheries communities. 

“The excellence of [DA-]BAR can only be measured if we are really causing transformation in the grassroots…and can be pronounced as we saturate the needy communities with [R4D] interventions that they really asked for,” Dir. Lales said. 

He also mentioned looking for institutions in those areas to implement and launch technologies that could benefit the community. 

Further, Dir. Lales expressed his sincerest gratitude to Dr. Abdula for his contributions to the bureau and looks forward to raising the bar of excellence with his colleagues and constituents. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Abdula, in his outgoing speech, emphasized that the bureau will be more progressive and innovative under Dir. Lales term. 

“I think it is time for the bureau to shine…We should keep improving from time to time dahil nababago rin ang panahon,” he said. 

Also, he shared how his two-month directorship has given him the opportunity to learn and share knowledge, particularly on staff development and institutional capacity. 

“I would like to do so much for the bureau, but was only given [been] a short while to pursue it…My term as an OIC-director signifies an experience in the history of my public service and I am grateful that you (DA-BAR) are part of it,” he added. 

To end his speech, Dr. Abdula also reminded the bureau’s employees that public servants must be accountable at all times and serve fellow Filipinos with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency. 

Lales will also be working hand in hand with DA-BAR OIC-assistant director Dr. Anthony B. Obligado. Dr. Obligado was designated as the bureau’s OIC-assistant director simultaneously with Dir. Lales on 24 October 2022 through DA Special Orders 869 and 871, series of 2022, respectively. 

“This momentous event marks the beginning of a new era for the bureau, as organizational productivity is directly influenced by the leadership style of the executive committee, especially that of the director,” Dr. Obligado said during the turnover ceremony. 

On behalf of the bureau, Dr. Obligado also hoped for the success of both leaders that could bring ripples of change to the agriculture and fisheries sector. 

Attending the turnover ceremony were DA-BAR key officials, division and unit heads, and staff. (### Diwa J. Velasquez)