Her typical day is filled with processing reimbursements, sales, production and inventory report, and billing statement; accommodating visitors and farmers who usually buy seeds; monitoring the field from sowing to harvesting; and overseeing the station when the station manager is on travel.
The lack of personnel at the satellite station has taught Riena how to wear different hats. Aside from her work as an administrative assistant, she becomes a cashier, disbursing and supply officer, farm superintendent, warehouseman, and satellite station manager when the situation calls her to be.
Life before PhilRice
Riena is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies at the University of Eastern Philippines, Catarman, Northern Samar. She first worked as a community organizer in a non-government organization for three years and as an administrative assistant at the Department of Agriculture – Catubig station for two years.
When PhilRice Samar was established, Reina was hired as a Clerk in 2015 and after three years of hard work, she was promoted to Administrative Assistant II.
A proud single parent, Riena manages her time between her two children and PhilRice.
Growing with the station
When PhilRice Samar was established in 2015, Riena was one of the 12 pioneering staff of the 21-hectare station.
“As one of the pioneering staff members, I had the first-hand experience of the struggles of this station. Before, our office was a just galvanized kubo,” Riena recalls.
“We did not have electricity then so I wrote our reports and sent emails at the internet cafe. I had to wait for hours until a student finished playing video games or making projects,” she adds.
She also reminisces the times when salaries would be delayed due to the lack of facility and location of the station.
When most people are lucky to use a private car or commute to go to work, Reina has to traverse approximately 1.5 km of muddy road to reach their office every day.
Grace under pressure
The limited personnel at the station brought out the skills Riena never thought she had. Performing various tasks with limited resources made her become more versatile and flexible.
Her secret? Stay focused, calm and be patient, she says.
“There were instances when our manager had to leave the station to attend to important matters and I was left here during harvesting time. I did not know what to do. We had no equipment and a proper place to dry our seeds. However, I still managed to resolve the situation. At the end of the day, everything ended well,” she recalls.
Loyalty to the job
Riena vows to be with the station through thick and thin.
“PhilRice gave me my life’s purpose, and I will continue to serve this office no matter what. I learned to love this Institution through the good and the bad. Now that the sky is clear, and the waves started to calm, I am more determined to travel beyond its horizons,” declares Riena.
PhilRice Samar has built a new office that the staff have been using since March. A generator was also provided to provide electricity to the station. With a new laptop, Riena no longer needs to go to an internet café to finish her work.
“I was happy before, and even happier now. That’s what love for work brings you. PhilRice molded me to be a better person. I am forever thankful to this Institute.”
As a hardworking and committed staff of PhilRice Samar, Riena has been nominated in this year’s Dangal ng PhilRice search for outstanding employee.
“This is my first time to be nominated and if I don’t win the award, I would still be happy. The nomination itself is an honor for me knowing that my colleagues appreciate my work.”
Before the end of the interview, Reina has a message to her peers, “Love your work with all your heart, and no amount of adversities will bring you down. Be patient, and always look at the bright side of things. Never think of doing something for recognition, because eventually, it will come unnoticed. It’s more than a sweet success.”