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               DA celebrates Women's Month 2010

PRESS RELEASE
March 9, 2010

The Department Agriculture in Bicol through its Lady Employees Association recently celebrate women's day with the theme "Babae tagumpay ka ng Bayan". The theme recognizes women's advancement and empowerment amidst major challenges. It also celebrates the success of women's commitment in the pursuit of equality which resulted in the enactment of the Magna Carta of Women.

Atty. Ma. Lourdes Pesino-Pacao, the regional director of the Cooperative Development Authority discussed the Magna Carta of Women. She said that this is a comprehensive human rights law which serves as the national translation of the UN CEDAW, the international Bill of Rights for Women. The Magna Carta of Women or RA 9710 spells out every woman's right to: protection from all forms of violence, including those committed by the State; protection and security in times of disaster, calamities and other situations; participation and representation; equal treatment before the law; equal access and elimination of discrimination against women in education, scholarships and training; equal participation in sports; non-discrimination in employment in the field of military, police and other similar services; non discriminatory and non-derogatory portrayal of women in media and film; comprehensive health services and health information and education; special leave benefits for women employees who undergo surgery caused by gynecological disorders; and equal rights in all matters relating to marriage and family relations. She added that the law also mandates the state to prioritize allocation of all available resources to effectively fulfill its obligations under the said law.

OIC Regional Executive Director Marilyn V. Sta. Catalina on the otherhand said that the theme is relevant and emphasized that it is a big challenge to all women in the Department of Agriculture because the success in the implementation of all agriculture programs is also the success of the women in the DA. But she added that she is not setting aside the contributions of men because they are also part of the organization and have given their share in the effective implementation of DA's programs and projects. Sta. Catalina lauded the efforts of the lady employees and urged them to continue with their projects and continue to inspire other women especially those in the rural areas.

Meanwhile, Ms. Junelita C. Mora the Micro Small Medium Enterprise Center Manager of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also discussed the Micro Enterprise for Women in particular DTIs role in making women "Entre-Pinays" and the various services of their office and including training assistance they offer. Mora said that Camarines Sur in particular has a lot of business opportunities for women entrepreneurs. She said their office can assist women in starting their business through business counseling; skills/entrepreneurial training; packaging and labeling and market matching. She also gave insights on how to prepare business plan the AKW in business which is A- Ability to handle money wisely, K-knowledge in business, the merchandise, the laws and the W or willingness to accept responsibility and wait for results.

Aside from the lectures, DALEA president Aloha Gigi Bañaria together with Bicol Regional RIC Council President Cecilia V. de Asis and DA OIC RED Marilyn V. Sta Catalina launched the sewing project of the Association. Over 120 lady employees and RIC club members and officers attended the celebration held at the RIARS Training Center, DA compound in San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur. (mabelle r.ilan)