MAGARAO, CAM. SUR – Over 100 women entrepreneurs and women leaders of various women-led associations such as Rural Improvement Clubs and DA-PCW Great Women project beneficiaries joined the celebration of the national Women’s Day on March 8, 2019 at Sonrisa Farm in Barangay Carangcang of this municipality.

Aloha Gigi I. Bañaria, Chief of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division and  DA 5  GAD focal person said that this year’s,  theme “We make change work for women” which is being used from 2017-2022, the celebration shall focus on strengthening efforts to improve and  track the progress of implementation of the Magna Carta of Women and other laws promoting women empowerment.

Globally, March 8 is also celebrated as International Women’s Day. This year’s international theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.” According to the UN Women, a global champion for women and girls, achieving a gender-equal world requires social innovations and should start with ensuring that women’s needs and experiences are integrated in our technologies and innovations.

Competent resource speakers where invited to share their knowledge and experiences. Fe R. Buela, Supervising Tourism Officer of Department of Tourism region office discussed Farm Tourism: Its Opportunities for Rural Women and Farm Families; Vivien Carable, Assistant Center Director of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) shared the ATI’s Programs and Services for Rural Women; Michael Jordan Roquid, Project Assistant II and focal person of Agricultural Credit and Policy Council for Bicol presented ACPC’s financial programs for rural women and farm families. Meanwhile, Atty. Armin Gomez from the Naga City Legal Office discussed RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.

Women who were recipients of national awards also shared their inspiring experiences. They are Angelita Cerillo, 2018 Gawad Saka national outstanding Corn Farmer; Josephine Artiaga, national outstanding Rural Woman 2018 (2nd runner up); and Yolanda De Leon, president of Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of Bacacay, Gubat, Sorsogon – 2016 national Gawad Saka Outstanding RIC.

Several issuances mandated the celebration such as: Republic Act 6949 series of 1990 declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day; Proclamation No. 224 series of 1988 declaring the first week of March as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day; and Proclamation No. 227 series of 1988 providing for the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month.  (Lovella P. Guarin) }