Some 20 women micro- entrepreneurs  from parts of Bicol gathered at a hotel here for a  year end assessment and workshop on January 16, 2018. Said activity was  conducted by the Department of Agriculture  Bicol  under the GREAT  Women  Project 2 to  determine the progress of the project and discuss its physical and financial performance.

A joint project with partner agencies particularly the Philippine Commission on Women, GREAT stands for Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women which focused on creating an enabling environment for Women’s economic empowerment at national and local level . Eventually, after series of trainings and  travel exposures, these women micro entrepreneurs  are expected to improve their product design and marketing strategies.

During the workshop, the participants  were requested to share what they feel before and after joining the project as indicated in the smileys provided to them. The Women related that their worries were relieved when their income started to grow and were able to strengthen their market linkages. “ It’s a matter of attitude, I’m still kicking and everybody seems to be great” said 68 old Lorna Daud of Yulaik Food Product.

Aloha Gigi Banaria , Chief, Planning and Monitoring Division and Gender and Development focal person encouraged the women to submit viable  project proposals as she is working with different  banner programs. “ I  just need to know what should be lobbied and hopefully such requests will be granted” she said. She cited an example Marilyn Haya for a simple request of a vacuum sealer that resulted to a budding enterprise on fish processing. “ You will now  serve as speakers during women’s month celebration and other related events to inspire other rural women and see what you are doing” she added.

Meanwhile, Emily Bordado, chief of the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section and member of DA-Regional Project Management Team (RPMT),  lauded the women members for supporting each other. “Nakikita ko sainyo na wala kayong crab mentality kaya kayo  naging  matagumpay. Sana ipagpatuloy ninyo ang  inyong  magandang samahan .” she said. (B. Nunez)