The Search is on for the 2022 Outstanding Rural Women!
DA Honors Outstanding Rural Women
PASAY CITY – The Department of Agriculture honors the outstanding women in agriculture who have demonstrated excellence in their agri-based undertakings which uplifted not only their families but the community as well. In a simple but meaningful ceremonies, the top six national finalists selected from the 15 regional winners were conferred trophies, plaques and a total of P355,000 cash prizes. This year’s top three Outstanding Rural Women are, Evelyn Alegado-Grace of barangay Lauis, Candelaria, Zambales ; Evangeline Asistado-Novela of Cadalian, Baguio District , Davao City and Josephine Gandol Artiaga of Bulawan Sr., Lupi Camarines Sur . DA undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit and concurrently the chairperson of the Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System conferred the awards, on December 7, 2018 at the Philippine Convention Center
Evelyn Grace, the grand winner received a cash prize of P150,00 and an additional prize in the form of production inputs, farm machinery and postharvest facility. Evangeline Novela and Josephione Artiaga , 1st and 2nd runner up received P100,000 and P75,000 cash prize respectively. Consolation prize of P10,000 each was given to Evelyn Agtarap Duldulao of poblacion, Luna, Luna, Apayao; Francisca-Somejo-Rimalos of Bgy. Tapel, Gonzaga, Cagayan and Susana Villanca-Arcenal of Tinago, Talisay, Daanbantayan, Cebu.
Grace was cited for being outstanding not only in the field of agriculture, environment conservation and protection but also exemplary in community service and in promoting advocacies such as women empowerment and rural development. She personally oversees the management of the three-hectare farm where they produce rice, mango and vegetables and an agro-forest area where cashew, tamarind and ginger are intercropped with agro-forest trees. Harvested fruits are processed to add value. From all these she earned a gross income of about P3millin with a 49.91% ROI in 2017.
Novela is engaged in dairy production and selling male offspring. Aside from raising cattle, the family was able to attain a gross income of P1.07 million from their coconut, cacao, guyabano, mangosteen, red pepper and ginger acquiring a total ROI of 224%. As a woman leader, she was instrumental in buying the lot where the Farmers Development Cooperative was established and she also facilitated the P1million loan from government, as well as the acquisition of the lot where the milk collection center of Cadalian Dairy Farmers Coop now stands.
Artiaga on the other hand is proof that perseverance, hard work and being open to new things can make a big difference to one’s life. For 20 years she worked overseas as domestic helper to help her family and support the education of her siblings. She was an active crusader of migrants rights. In 2011 she decided to go home to take care of her ailing parents. She then ventured into farming. Using her savings she developed the one hectare hilly land along the highway of Lupi into an integrated diversified organic farm now known as St. Francis St. Rita Nature Farm. It has become the first certified organic farm in the province. Her farm which she personally manage is into commercial production of organically certified swine as well as native pigs, which are sold as breeder or roasted organic lechon. She is an active member of various civic and agri- organizations in her municipality.
Agriculture secretary Pinol in his message read by Usec. Lavina said that the DA is continuously retooling its system and making headway to level the playing field for men and women.
Usec, Lavina for her part underscored that the DA is striving to be inclusive – to cater to all; the producers, the consumers, the traders and other players. She disclosed that the DA- GAD system is working out that the 5% budget allocated for GAD from the various programs of the government but appropriated equitably that is, 2% to be used for GAD focused projects and 3% on attribution.
She commended the winners and thanked the people behind the Annual Search for the Outstanding Rural Women in Agriculture. She made special mention and requested the audience to applaud of the Bicol women team headed by Aloha Gigi Banaria, the DA-GAD regional focal person for working very hard in all their undertakings. Since the conferment of this prestigious National Award, the Bicol region has produced 3 national grand winners which had gained recognition even internationally. Last year the grand prize winner was Rebecca Sanchez Purisima a tribal chieftain from Tigaon, Camarines Sur who also represented the Philippine in APECS’s Women in Agriculture and Fisheries (WiAF) Dialogue in Papua New Guinea. Purisima was also invited during this year’s awarding ceremony who have inspirational message. Yearly Bicol’s regional winner in this search is always in the top three. (Emily B. Bordado- DA-RAFIS 5)
Budding Bicol Rural women entrepreneurs primed on product development
NAGA CITY – To capacitate budding and potential rural women agri- entrepreneurs the Department of Agriculture Bicol in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) once more gathered about 26 women entrepreneurs and engaged in food and non-food small enterprise for entrepreneurial training and product assessment. This is one of the activities under the Gender Responsive Economic Action for Transformation or GREAT Women Project, Phase 2 funded by the Canadian government.
Twenty six individual and rural women’s organization were invited to take part in this year’s activity held in one of the hotels in this city on June 14 and 15. Of the 26 participants, 16 of which are first timers while 10 of them were already part of the first batch which enrolled already with the project and have already business contracts with various partners after being assisted by the GREAT Women project.
The first day was devoted for entrepreneurial training and industry update and the second day was for product assessment. Mary Grace Rodriguez, OIC Chief of the DA Regional Operations Division, who represented Regional Executive Director, Dr. Elena de los Santos underscored the importance of capacitating our agri- entrepreneurs in the light of the ASEAN Integration. She enumerated the five important elements in any business enterprise which are: product quality, quantity, price, reliability and networking. She also stressed the importance of value chain analysis before going into any business to determine the gaps.
Kathleen Aquino, Planning Officer 1V of the PCM discussed the overview and objectives of the activity. Reena Francisco , owner of ECHOSI store in Makati and founder of ECHOSI foundation discussed the current trends and food innovations s in local and global market. She shared that the food trend now is geared towards health and wellness thus, there is a big demand for what is fresh, natural, healthy and environmentally safe products and packaging.
She added that to be competitive an entrepreneurs must not only improve their product but must do them differently. On top of the list of food commodities in big demand in fresh or processed form is mushroom followed by ginger, peanut butter, banana, dried pineapple, cacao, pickled vegetables, cassava, chili garlic, sea weeds, goto kola, dried fish/seafood and fruit wines and spirits
Meanwhile, Zarah Juan , owner of Estudio Juan tackled the topic on “Partnerships among government agencies, private sector partners and women entrepreneurs products.” She also discussed the trends or market demands in non-food commodities the most in demand of which are bamboo, abaca bungkuan, water hyacinth among others.
Chef Jam Melchor of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement conducted a cooking demo on various Filipino dishes like marinated porkchop, mushroom pancit and tofu sisig using the products brought by the participants.
The 2nd day was devoted to individual product assessment done by the market and product experts from Manila. According to Aloha Gigi Bañaria, DA Bicol Regional Gender and Development (GAD) Focal person and Chief of the Planning and Monitoring Division, this activity could result to improved products and may eventually lead to market agreements, product promotion and securing contract just like what happened after the product assessment for the batch of women entrepreneurs in 2016. Bernadette de los Santos of Bidibidi Enterprise based in Baao, Camarines Sur has now 2 shops in Palawan and displays her products at the Avenue Plaza Hotel. Karen Arellano, president of Nasipit Rural Improvement Club in Sorsogon City has signed a contract with Citimalls to supply coco jam and atchara to all their branches. The Labo Progressive Multipurpose cooperative on the other hand had clinched a multi-million peso contract with two state universities in Bicol to supply Salampay fabric for the graduating students. Meanwhile, Adel Magsino of Goa, Camarines Sur has tied up with the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture for the development of her mushroom crunch products. (Emily B. Bordado/DA-RAFISV)
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)
Bicolana chieftain and farmer-entrepreneur won the 2017 National Outstanding Rural Woman award
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)
Bicol women micro-entrepreneurs visit GREAT Women projects in Nueva Ecija
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)