DA awards outstanding rural women

Author: DA-AFID | 13 December 2016

The Department of Agriculture awarded the country’s top five rural women in a ceremony held at the Land Bank of the Philippines Plaza in Malate, Manila last December 8, 2016.

The Outstanding Rural Women Awards, is an annual search for extraordinary females who have manifested exemplary contributions to food security as well as economy growth towards the improvement of their community.

Under Republic Act 9710 or the magna carta for women, the event recognizes women’s endeavors and their contributions towards the improvement of the agri-fisheries sector.

Jocelyn Moya-Hekrdle a rural woman from Barangay Bandila, Toboso, Negros Occidental bagged the highest honor this year taking home the P100,000 grand prize for her contribution not only to her community but also to the environment.

Hekrdle, who lives near the sea with her husband, transformed what was considered wastes into something useful.

When the Hekrdle couple discovered that the sea humus piling on the shores near their home contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) as well as other nutrients and micronutrients, they thought of processing it into fertilizer and using it for the plants being grown in their farm.

Seeing the potential of the processed humus, she encouraged her neighbors to collect it, which they then buy at P120/sack.

Helping the community while preserving the environment, Hekrdle was able to provide livelihood to the residents of Bandila and clean the shores of the coastal barangay from the eyesore caused by the drying humus.

Aside from these noteworthy efforts, Hekrdle continues to help her community by leading various initiatives aimed at countryside development. In fact, she was instrumental in securing P150.5-million worth of agri-interventions for her community.

Other awardees for the year are: Agapita Colcol (1st place) from Aurora Isabela for her outstanding rice yield of 170 cavans per hectare that scored 14% of total production in Barangay Villanueva; Carina Arellano from Castilla Sorsogon (the 2nd place) for her expertise from the trainings that she got from DA and her efforts that led to the birth of livelihood projects for women in her area as a response to their financial needs. Jennifer Farillon (3rd place) from Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat for leading various social organizations despite playing a dual role in the family; Lea Deala (4th place) from Dingle, Iloilo for being a model of integrated farming; and Paterna Velasquez (5th place) from Mangagoy, Bislig City for her successful venture in fisheries and other agribusinesses.

DA Undersecretary for Administration, Agribusiness and Marketing, and Regional Engagements Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in her speech, said that the big role of women in the agricultural sector often goes unrecognized.

“In behalf of the Department of Agriculture, I thank all of you for all your remarkable efforts towards the attainment of food security and women empowerment,” Puyat, who is also the chairperson of DA Gender and Development, said.

The Outstanding Rural Women were adjudged on the following criteria: exceptional courage and perseverance; creativity in approach; preservation and respect for environment; contribution to food security, productivity and profitability in agriculture; impact to the community, quality of family life and home; and promotion of women empowerment and gender equality.

The winners received plaque of appreciation and cash prizes amounting to P100,000 for the national winner, P75,000 (1st runner up); P50,000 (2nd runner up); P40,000 (3rd runner up); P35,000 (4th runner up); and P25,000 for the 5th runner up.

“The Department of Agriculture shall continue to serve and empower our rural women by formulating policies and implementing programs that will benefit them.” Usec Bernadette Romulo-Puyat added. ### (Carlos Baldosa/ DA-AFID)





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