Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

DA hails outstanding women in agriculture for 2022

Author: DA-AFID | 9 December 2022

As women continue to contribute to nation building through developed rural economies, the Department of Agriculture (DA) once again leads the country in recognizing their important role in agriculture and food sufficiency.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), rural women comprise a quarter of the total world population and represent approximately 43 percent of the agriculture labor force.

In the Philippines, women farmers and fisherfolk can be found in the various segment of the value chain of agribusiness. They produce, process, and prepare food not only for their family, but for others as well, thereby giving them the primary responsibility of securing sustainable food supply.

It is for this reason that the DA has been actively pursuing activities that promote the empowerment of rural women under its Gender and Development (GAD) Program in accordance with Republic Act 9710 otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).

Through the Search for Outstanding Rural Women or Gawad Parangal sa Katangi-tanging Kababaihan sa Pagsasaka sa Kanayunan, an annual activity of the DA Gender and Development Focal Point System (DA GFPS), the DA highlights and recognizes the role of rural women in achieving food security and stabilizing rural economy. They are the food heroes who have shown excellence in their field of endeavor and made significant impacts in the rural areas.

The Search focuses attention to smallholder farmers/fishers in rural areas with high poverty incidence to determine how a rural woman overcomes the challenges not only as a female but as a female worker in the countryside. It also appraises the impact of each woman’s success in the lives of people in her community. Through these engagements, the government finds way to improve the delivery of necessary services and interventions in the poor areas of the country.

This year, the DA gives honor to the six exemplary rural women who serve as inspiration and models of empowerment to other women across the nation.

The nominees were adjudged according to three major criteria: A) Contribution to food security/agricultural and fishery development—productivity, profitability of economic activities, and quality of products/services (30%); B) contribution to sustainable development—efforts to protect the environment, efforts to adapt to climate change/emerging conditions, and innovativeness/creativity (30%); and C) impact to rural women—promotion of women empowerment and gender equality, improvement of family life, excellence in character/ability to hurdle difficulties, and contribution to local economy (40%).

From the 10 regional winners, the national technical committee and the board of judges have chosen the top five candidates as the 2022 Outstanding Rural Women who will receive trophies, plaques, and a total of P388,000 in cash prizes from the DA Central Office. This is on top of the P50,000 they received from the DA Regional Field Offices.

Dolores Rebatado Ceralbo of Barangay Pandanon, D.S. Benedicto, Negros Occidental (Region 6) will receive a cash prize of P120,000 and an additional prize in the form of project or intervention such as production inputs, farm machinery or postharvest facility and others that are available in the DA-RFO programs.

Leizel Ercilla Grajo of Barangay Tigbao, Casiguran, Sorsogon (Region 5) and Ma. Rio Luz Ando Majadas of Barangay Inangatan, Tabango, Leyte (Region 8) will respectively receive P80,000 and P60,000 as first and second runners-up.

Rebecca Brillo Gacayan of Barangay Malegleg, Sen. Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat (Region 12) and Jolenda Fomat-og Lomas-e of Barangay Kaleo, Barlig, Mountain Province (CAR) will also receive P40,000 and P24,000 as third and fourth runners-up, respectively.

Evelyn Gonzales Banan of Barangay San Jose, Caba, La Union (Region 1); Mercy Andres Biala of Barangay Malalinta, San Manuel, Isabela (Region 2); Veronica Iniego Lastima of Barangay San Roque, Sumilao, Bukidnon (Region 10); and Sonia Besas Estrella of Barangay Taruc, Socorro, Surigao Del Norte (Region 13) will each receive consolation prize of P16,000. A Special Citation is given to Vilma Bundalian Joson of Barangay Ilog Baliwag, Quezon, Nueva Ecija (Region 3).

The nationwide search is being implemented since 2003, pursuant to the provision of the Magna Carta of Women for the DA to empower the marginalized sector.

The Board of Judges for this year’s search was composed of Ms. Hazel A. Tanchuling, Executive Director of Rice Watch Action Network, Inc. (Chairperson); Ms. Jasmine Magtibay, FAO Gender Focal; Ms. Mira Leah B. Patio, Land Bank of the Philippines Vice President of Employee Relations Department; Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves, Executive Director of Philippine Commission on Women; and Mr. Sem H. Cordial, Department Manager of the Planning and Management Information Office of Philippine Crops Insurance Company. ### (DA-AFID)




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