Orientation Seminar on Credit Scheme/Livelihood Assistance and Financial Literacy held
The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office V through the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women Project 2 (GWP2) conducted the two day Orientation Seminar on Credit Scheme/Livelihood Assistance and Financial Literacy last February 27-28, 2018 at Villa Caceres Hotel, Naga City. The seminar was participated in by 26 GREAT Women Project beneficiaries, outstanding rural women awardees, and other aspiring micro entrepreneurs from the six provinces of Bicol.
The GREAT Women Project 2 is a collaborative project of DA RFO5 and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and funded by the Government of Canada which focuses on the competitiveness and sustainability of women’s enterprises. The project beneficiaries are mostly rural women entrepreneurs and leaders of active Rural Improvement Clubs (RICs) who still need to enhance their skills in handling financial resources and increase awareness on availing livelihood assistance from government lending institutions (NGAs, banks and others).
The orientation seminar was conducted to increase the awareness of the women entrepreneurs on how to efficiently manage their personal as well as their business finances, gain knowledge on the different credit schemes and livelihood assistance provided by National Government Agencies (NGAs), banks and other credit facilities, and learn the effective strategies on financial management in order to sustain enterprise development.
Technical staff from the different NGAs, banks, and cooperative were tapped as resource speakers for the activity. In line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) advocacy on consumer protection and financial literacy, Mr. Keith Eduard Hidalgo, Senior Research Specialist of BSP-Naga Branch shared and discussed topics on Savings and Budgeting, Debt Management, Investments and Common Financial Fraud/Scams. He gave important tips to the women participants on how to enhance their skills and manage their finances to attain financial empowerment. He also emphasized to make savings a habit. In addition, the speaker discussed the security features of the Philippine bills and taught the women on how to detect fake bills.
Representatives from the NGAs and government banks who served as resource speakers during the 2 day seminar also shared the respective services that can be availed of by women micro entrepreneurs. Mr. Charlemagne Abarca, Accounts Management Specialist of the Development Bank of the Phil. (DBP) Camarines Sur Lending Center informed the women of their ILAW Program which is a business loan program for women. Ms. Jhoan Salcedo, Accounts Officer of the Land Bank of the Philippines Camarines Lending Center discussed the various credit assistance programs being implemented by their office. The varied financing programs of LBP are mostly agriculture in nature, from crops, livestock, fisheries, agri-mechanization, climate resilient agriculture and farm school.
The General Manager of the CamSur Multi Purpose Cooperative, Ms. Annielen Panerio discussed the topic “Know Your Money: Are You Earning or Losing?”. She started with her lecture on understanding money mindset and later discussed the ways on how to build wealth and financial discipline. Included in her lecture was the discussion of a simple computation for income statement which indicates if one is earning or losing.
The Chief Accounts Specialist of Small Business Corporation, Naga Desk Office, Ms. Ma. Edena Diez presented the Pondo sa Pagbabago Program (P3) which offers an alternative lending scheme for the micro finance sector. This has an initial funding of P1 Billion allocation which shall be administered through its wholesale program based on simplified evaluation and documentation. She also mentioned that 60% of the business inventory and 80% of its receivables can be applied for loan at the SB Corporation. Ms. Cecilia Andalis, Labor and Employment Officer III of the Department of Labor and Employment, Camarines Sur also discussed the different livelihood assistance programs of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). All the resource persons with financing programs discussed the respective qualification criteria and documentary requirements of their programs.
The women participants were very happy that through the orientation seminar they were informed of the different services especially the financing programs provided by the different NGAs and banks where they can avail of affordable loans to help in the sustainability of their enterprises. They realized that there are many financing assistance program to choose from.
The participants also enjoyed the lectures and topics discussed by the competent resource speakers. One important point that was given emphasis by almost all speakers that an entrepreneur should have is the entrepreneurial mentality represented by the equation: INCOME – SAVINGS = EXPENSES. Another important point shared during the seminar is that borrowing money is not a bad idea only if it is used to expand business and acquire more income.
Financial education is the way to achieve financial literacy. It helps people especially the entrepreneurs develop confidence to make informed choices, to be more aware of financial opportunities and risks, know where to go for help and to take effective action to improve financial well-being. (M.V. Ayo)
Bicol rural women market week 2017
December 14, 2017
NAGA CITY - To showcase the best products of Bicol rural women entrepreneurs and to heighten awareness on various women’s livelihood projects and the various interventions and assistance available for women , the Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Camarines Sur Multipurpose Cooperative and the Philippine Commission for Women conducted the 1st Bicol Women Market Week in this city from November 30 to December, 2017.
According to Aloha Gigi Bañaria, Chief of the Planning and Monitoring Division of the Department of Agriculture Bicol and focal person of the Gender and Development (GAD) Program said activity was in line with the DA’s GAD program to empower and bring the rural women into the mainstream of development. She explains that the Philippine Commission for Women through its GREAT Women Project 2 funded by the Canadian Government has engaged the Rural Improvement Clubs of Bicol to participate in its livelihood projects after noting the viability and success of the micro enterprises of these groups.
Thirty two women’s groups and individual entrepreneurs participated in this activity which also featured discussions/presentation of various topics by successful and multi-awarded women leaders engaged in micro agri -enterprises. Among them were: Luzviminda T. Oropesa National Outstanding Rural Women2015; Cerena V. Arellano, 2nd place, National Outstanding Rural Women 2016, Myrna Acayen, National Outstanding Rural Women 2012 and International Model Farmer Awardee cited by the FAO.; Bernadette de los Santos., 2nd place National Outstanding Rural Women 2008 and currently president of Bicol GREAT Women; Adelia Q. Magsino, 2nd place National Outstanding Rural Women 2013 and; Rebecca S. Purisima, National Finalist , National Outstanding Rural Women 2017
Luzviminda Villanueva, Project Manager of the GREAT Women Project 2 personally graced the opening ceremonies and delivered a message. She said that the challenge for the project is to make the micro- enterpises of women “lumago at maging sustainable and be competitive”. She happily announced that the Women Economic Empowerment of the Philippines is regarded as a project mode for the world.
She noted that while private sectors and organizations are actively supporting women’s group to make them economically empower many government assistance for women are not reaching or unknown to most of the women. She thus, urged women’s group to approach the various agencies for assistance. She also admonished the women to also approach successful entrepreneurs as they are great mentors. She also urged them to continue the fire, the energy and enthusiasm to alleviate themselves.
Meanwhile , DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Elena B. de los Santos , represented by Emily B. Bordado, the chief of the information office extended her thanks to the Bicol rural participants for continuously advancing the cause and advocacies of the women. She said that the market event also serves a venue for sharing experiences and good practices among women entrepreneurs as they themselves were the resource persons during the symposium. Bordado also underscored that the Bicol women are already so empowered and their products are proof of their innovativeness, creativity and dynamism. But they need support in the promotion and marketing of their products.
Also present during the Opening program were; Atty Ma. Lourdes P. Pacao, regional director of the Cooperative Development Authority; Annielen L. Panerio, manager, MPC and Eudeza Racadag, chairperson MPC; Luz Marcelino , chief, Research Division and Rosita Imperial, OIC chief, Regulatory Division also of the DA who are also members of the DA-5 GAD Focal System, and Jeanette de Vera, Mall Manager of SM city, the venue for said event. (Emily B. Bordado)
December 14, 2017
QUEZON CITY – Rebecca Sanchez-Purisima, a Bicolana chieftain of Agta Tabangnon tribe in Tigaon, Camarines Sur was hailed as 2017 National Outstanding Rural Woman during the awarding ceremony of the Department of Agriculture’s Gawad Parangal sa Katangi-tanging Kababaihan sa Pagsasaka at Pangingisda sa Kanayunan held at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) this city on December 7, 2017.
Purisima received a cash prize of P150,000 and plaque. The winning agricultural extension worker will also receive P25,000. She was accompanied on the stage by her husband Bayani; DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Elena B. delos Santos; Mayor Pamela Fuentebella of Tigaon, Camarines Sur; and DA Bicol GAD focal person Aloha Gigi I. Banaria.
Out of the 14 nominees from the DA regional field offices, eight finalists were selected to receive cash prizes, plaques and trophies. First runner up Vivian Taniza of Isabela (Region 2) received P100,000 cash prize. Second runner up Lilibeth Galendez of Bukidnon (region 10) received P75,000 cash awards. The other five finalists received P10,000 consolation prizes.
DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, Usec for Agribusiness, Marketing and Regional Engagement and Chairperson of DA GAD focal system said that since 2003 when the search started, the Bicol region coveted the top award six times already. “Ano ba ang nasa Bicol at laging nananalo?” She enthused during her keynote speech.
Usec Puyat reported that the GAD funds utilization by the DA regional offices, bureaus and attached agencies in 2016 is 9.64% which is higher than the mandated 5% requirement. To empower women in the rural areas, the DA implements easy access financing programs, provides insurance to farmers in high risk areas, and promote women’s access to climate resilient information technology through the National Color Coded Agriculture Guide Map which can be accessed in the internet.
Philippine Commission on Women Executive Director Emmeline Versoza who is also one of the board of judges imparted an inspiring message during the awarding. She said that an excellent and inspiring woman has clear mind, big heart, high EQ and knows how to care for herself. An enterprising woman can be successful if she cares for the environment, she added. “Saan ka man nakatanim, let your light shine and be a blessing.”
Also present during the awarding ceremony were Usec. for Special Concerns Atty. Ranibai Dilangalen; Assistant Secretary for Administration Roldan G. Gorgonio; MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Antonio Gerundio; Agricultural Credit Policy Council director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola.
In her speech, Rebecca Purisima stressed that she is very proud to be a woman farmer. She thanked Sec. Manny F. Pinol for implementing various programs supporting the women and farmers like her. She also thanked the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) for the trainings she has undertaken which she was also able to share with her tribe. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that provided her the land they are now tilling under the CARP was also mentioned. She also thanked the Local Government Unit of Tigaon for the full support to her endeavors. She advised other farmers to convert to organic farming to be successful and to be able to compete with other ASEAN countries. One hectare of her farm which is planted to rice and fruit bearing trees is certified Organic by the OCCP, while another one hectare planted with corn, vegetables and herbs and spices is Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified. (Lovella P. Guarin)
August 11, 2017
A 15- women delegation from Bicol composed of outstanding Rural Improvement Club (RIC) leaders ,micro-entrepreneurs and members of Regional Project Management Team (RPMT) and secretariat of the Great Women Project 2 visited projects in Nueva Ecija. They had the opportunity to observe and have a hands-on experience in processing of selected commodities using the Multi-Commodity Solar Tunnel Dryer (MCSTD) and also exchange knowledge and good practices as micro entrepreneurs with their fellow women. This was held on August 1-4, at the Central Luzon State University Alumni Hostel.
This activity was undertaken by the Department of Agriculture Bicol in partnership with the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (Philmech ) as implementing agencies of the Gender Responsive Economic Action for Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) project 2. Said project according to Aloha Gigi Bañaria , DA Bicol ‘s chief of the Planning and Monitoring Division and Regional GAD Focal Person aims to improve the productivity and competitiveness and sustainability of women enterprises. The Philippine Commission on Women provides support and oversees the implementation of this project.
Bañaria led the Bicol delegation which included leaders of women groups engaged in medium enterprises and enrolled in the GREAT Women Project. They were joined by their counterparts from Region 2, and members of the Rural Improvement Club of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija and some staff of the City Agriculturists office .
The group was welcomed by Raul Arpas , PhilMech Deputy Director and Dr. Helen Martinez , ECES project leader who also discussed about the features and uses of the MCSTD and the various experiences of its beneficiaries and adopters.
The group then visited successful women projects such as the fruits and vegetable processing project of the Kababaihang Masigla ng Nueva Ecija (KMNE) , headed by its president Vilma Joson who gave lecture and tips about their enterprise; the mushroom noodles and chicharon and other products of the Parista, Barangay Defense System Multi-Purpose Cooperative ; and the turmeric tea processing of the Canossian Daugthers of Charity.
The participants were also toured around the Science City of Muñoz where many agricultural institutions are based such as the PhilMech, PHilRice, Philippine Carabao and the Fruits and Vegetables Seeds Center. As an output of the activity the participants prepared their re-entry plans.
The Bicol delegation include: Luzviminda Oropesa, president of Happy Farmers Food Products, Inc. based in Catanduanes; Carena Arellano, president, Nasipit RIC of Irosin, Sorsogon ; Bernadette de los Santos, president , Baao RIC and Burda Initiatives Inc; Adel Magsino, president, Napawon RIC Goa, Camarines Sur; Rebecca Purisima , president, Tinawagan RIC , in Tigaon also of Camarines Sur; Narie Asuncion, president, Cabitan RIC in Mandaon, Masbate; Josephine Artiaga, president, Lupi Organic Farmers and Agribusiness Association and Lorna Daud, owner, Yulaik Foods and Beverages of Naga City.
The DA staff included Emilia Bordado, Chief ,Regional Agriculture & Fisheries Information Section and member of the RPMT; Ma. Bella Ilan, representing Luz, Marcelino, chief of the research division who was also an RPMT member; Marilene Dimaculangan, representing Rosita Imperial, HVCDP coordinator and also an RPMT member; Gladys Regondola, Maria Vivian Ayo and Raymond Tapel members of the GWP secretariat/staff . ( EBBordado)
Rural women learn basics on food safety
April 12, 2017
SAN AGUSTIN, Pili, Camarines Sur---More than 30 rural women-entrepreneurs from Camarines Sur participated in the Training on Basic Food Safety held recently at the Library of the Department of Agriculture-5 here.
Lecturer Ma. Theresa D. Alcantara, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Department of Science and Technology-5 (DOST-5) said that food safety is the acceptable and safe levels of contaminants naturally occurring toxins that may make food injurious to health.
Since food safety starts with the acquisition of different food items and ends with the proper storage of leftovers for future use, Alcantara encouraged the participants to observe the proper handling, preparation and storage of food to prevent food borne illnesses and health hazards.
According to Science Research Specialist II Fae B. Banda of DOST-5, food safety maintains good health and also helps save money. Storing food properly and preparing food in a clean environment has less chance of food spoiling which will decrease expenses on food and allow households to enjoy more food at a lower cost.
Alcantara said that there are three food safety programs being implemented---Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP); the Hazard Critical Control Point (HACCP); and the ISO 22000 or the Food Safety Management System.
GMP is the application of a science-based quality management system to food manufacturing and processing business enterprise aimed in the production of quality, safe and affordable food products.
HACCP is a science-based system wherein food safety is addressed through analysis, monitoring and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards from raw material procurement, handling, storage to its processing, packaging, distribution, consumer handling and use.
The International Food Safety Management Standard, ISO 22000 is a worldwide standard supported by an independent, international organization to encourage harmonization of national and private standards for food safety management.
In the discussion of DOST-Provincial Science and Technology Director Patrocinio N. Felizmenio, handling food safely requires good personal hygiene. Since majority of the members of RICs are mothers, she stressed the importance of personal hygiene in handling food for the family.
Other topics discussed were Good Food Hygiene, Food Hazards, Product Recall, Good Personal Hygiene and Pest Management.
The one-day activity was capped with a distribution of kitchen tools and accessories to be used in their preparation and processing of their food and food-based business.
This training will be conducted on October 11, 2017 at Legazpi City for the rural women-entrepreneurs of Albay. (jaysonmgonzales with photos taken by boboy tapel)
Women in Oas, Polangui, Ligao City take on community farm for food, add’l income of family
March 31, 2017
LIGAO CITY---In the middle part of 2016, Congressman Fernando V. Gonzalez visited the remote areas of Oas and Polangui in Albay and noticed the women doing unproductive activities either gambling (tong-its and bingo), gossiping, or simply idling while their husbands are busy farming or working in other places.
He also noticed idle and vacant areas in the barangays.
In his visit to the coastal barangays of Catburawan, Cabarian and Maonon in Oas, he learned that during habagat (southwest monsoon) which is characterized by hot and humid weather, frequent heavy rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the west, the fishermen have no economic activity. Thus, farming provided an alternative livelihood.
In partnership with the Department of Agriculture in Bicol, his office and the city agriculture office, Gonzalez organized these women, trained them into farming and food processing, and provided them with vegetable seeds and farm tools.
Through the assistance of the High Value Crop Development Program (HVCDP) of the DA, the more than 100 women-farmers were able to establish communal gardens in some barangays of Oas, Polangui and Ligao City.
However, their farms were ravaged by Typhoon Nina last December 2016 when they are about to harvest. But they never waned in their enthusiasm to farm for food and additional income of family.
In January this year, Gonzalez sought the DA for rehabilitation by requesting vegetable seeds and other farming tools for the affected families.
After three months, they began harvesting their produce and their harvest were showcased during the Farmer’s Forum which coincides with the 6th Cityhood anniversary of Ligao City on March 24, 2017 with Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol as guest.
Piñol handed over 100 sets of garden tools and 100 packs of assorted vegetable seeds worth Php170,000.00 to these women groups.
According to Gonzalez, this project is in support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to the agricultural sector especially the women.
Gonzalez is promoting farming in the Third District of Albay because he believed that his congressional district is agricultural. (jaysonmgonzales)
DA Bicol awards GAD champion implementers
March 23, 2017
CADLAN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – In celebration of the Women’s Month this month of March, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office in Bicol recognized the efforts of the banner programs, divisions and sections in integrating gender perspective in program implementation. The awarding was held during the Women’s Month Celebration for DA employees held at the Villa Del Rey in Provincial Capitol Complex this town.
Aloha Gigi I. Bañaria, DA RFO 5 GAD focal person said the High Value Crops Development Program was chosen as Best Banner Program in recognition of its successful conduct of GAD focused value adding trainings, provision of quality vegetable seeds, planting materials of economically important crops, starter kits, postharvest facilities and processing facilities for pili, pineapple and vegetable resulting to additional livelihood, job generation and increased income for the women beneficiaries. Rosita Imperial, HVCDP banner program coordinator received the P20,000 cash award and certificate of commendation.
The Best Division award went to the Field Operations Division which allocated more than 15% of its total budget for GAD and provided technical support, irrigation network facilities, and agricultural equipment and facilities, support services, marketing assistance, livelihood trainings and seminars, starter kits and livestock to about 21,402 rural women. Dr. Josefina Bañadera, assistant division chief received the P15,000 cash award, and certificate of commendation in behalf of the division.
Three special citations were likewise awarded to the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section, the Food Laboratory and Mushroom Project of the Research Division and the Corn Program. They received P5,000 cash awards and certificates.
The Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section was recognized for its efforts in highlighting the role of women in agriculture through the publication and airing of women-led success stories in quad media and production of women friendly IEC materials which contributed to awareness raising and women empowerment. The RAFIS has also been the GAD focal system’s consistent partner in producing national awardees in Outstanding Rural Women and Gawad Saka Searches. Emilia B. Bordado, chief of RAFIS received the award.
The Food Laboratory of the Research Division was cited for empowering more women through innovation and product development, coming up with original recipes using mushroom, indigenous fruits and vegetables and imparting these technologies to more rural women through conducts of cooking demonstrations and seminars inspiring the women beneficiaries to start their own business enterprises and earn additional income for their families. Arlene De Asis received the award for the Food Lab.
Meanwhile, the Corn Program was cited for the successful conduct of numerous Climate Farmers Field School for corn production where most of the participants were women farmers and GAD focused value adding training reinforced by provision of starter kits which greatly encouraged and helped them start an income generating projects.
More than 80 women employees of DA and Provincial Rural Improvement Club presidents attended the celebration.
Dr. Patrocinio Felizmenio, provincial Science and Technology Coordinator of Department of Health discussed Basic Food Safety. She emphasized the importance of washing hands as food safety is in our hands. She added that the Bureau of Food and Drugs requires food handlers, processors and vendors to follow the Food Safety Act and Good Manufacturing Practices. She also discussed the factors that favor the growth of bacteria which are acidity, temperature, presence of oxygen and moisture. Four hours is enough to spoil foods containing mayonnaise and tomato sauce which can cause illness, while high moisture content of food makes it susceptible to bacterial growth.
Emilia B. Bordado, Chief Information Officer and Resident Ombudsman discussed Women as Catalyst of Change Towards Moral Recovery and Value Restoration. She said that for a true change to take place in our nation, there must first be a change within ourselves. She challenged the women to achieve change with a heart or true compassion. As the word CHANGE means C-ompassionate H-armonized A-ction N-etworks for G-ender E-quity.
As a tribute to women employees, TESDA brought its Health and Wellness Program and give free massage, hair cut, manicure and pedicure to the participants. (Lovella P. Guarin/photos by Jun Collantes)
Bicolana agri-entrepreneur is 2nd Runner Up in Search for Outstanding Rural Women
January 3, 2017
MALATE, MANILA – An agri-entrepreneur from Castilla, Sorsogon made it to the top three in this year’s search for Outstanding Rural Women. Carina V. Arellano, president of Rural Improvement Club of Nasipit in Castilla was adjudged 2nd Runner Up in said search during the awarding ceremony held at the Land Bank of the Philippines Plaza this city.
Arellano received P50,000 cash award and trophy from the DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and other members of the board of judges of the search.
Arellano manages a five-hectare mango, cashew, and rootcrops plantation which was left from their 48 hectares land appropriated by agrarian reform to 16 families in Sitio Nasipit. She also organized the ARBs into Rural Improvement Club (RIC), 4H Club and P4MP. Arellano is the president of the RIC now composed of 21 members. The Nasipit RIC is among the six RICs in the Bicol region chosen by the GREAT WOMEN 2 project to be the recipient of capacity building support and to be linked to investors here and abroad.
At their residence in Poblacion, Castilla, Arellano grows lettuce, herbs and spices she uses in her catering business. She also practices organic agriculture and prepares her own vermi compost which she uses as fertilizer for her crops. Her garden is an accredited learning site of the Agricultural Training Institute Bicol and has been venue for various trainings of the Nasipit RIC, P4MP and 4H-Club, the longest of which was the six months Farmers Field School Diversification in Organic Agriculture.
The search is being conducted annually by the Department of Agriculture Gender and Development (GAD) Focal System since 2003 to pay tribute to women especially in the rural areas as women compose half of the entire population, Director Verzosa said. “Agriculture sector contributes 40% of the Gross Domestic Product and 60% of the jobs, or 67% if agribusiness generated in agriculture is included.
Alex V. Buenanventura, the new President and CEO of Land Bank of the Philippines, announced that his vision is to triple the loan exposure of Land Bank to small farmers from its current P37.9 billion, which is only 8.2% of the bank’s total loans, to up to P115 billion by the end of President Duterte’s term.
This year, six outstanding rural women from Regions 2, 5, 6, Negros Island, 12, 13 were honoured.
The 2016 national Outstanding Rural Woman Jocelyn Moya – Hekrdle of Negros Island region, in her acceptance speech said that the poverty is not a hindrance to succeed in life, and the best quality of a woman leader is servanthood attitude. She is a leader of an indigenous peoples group in Barangay Bandila, Toboso in Negros Occidental.
Aloha Gigi I. Bañaria, DA Bicol GAD focal person said that for the past five years the Bicol region remained in the top three, and bagged the top award in 2015 by Luz Oropeza of Baras, Catanduanes.
As Charles Malik, former president of the United Nations general assembly, puts it, “the fastest way to change the society is to mobilize the women of the world.” (Lovella Guarin/ photos by Raymond Adversario)