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Women’s month celebrations pursued amidst political fever at the countryside

By TWINKLE JAPZON
March 28, 2010

CATBALOGAN CITY  –  Two municipality in the province of Samar successfully marked the Women’s month celebration this year with different activities despite political fever in the countryside.

In Pinabacdao, Mayor Mario Quijano addressed women’s organizations and individuals who were present in a forum conducted last March 23, 2010.  The Mayor was with his Municipal Councilors and other local government officials who graced the women’s forum along side with the different national agencies.

“Dako gud it akon pagpa-id hit mga kababayin-an, salit tikang paglinkod ko komo Mayor permi na kita mayda mga aktibidades para ha iyo.  Gintikangan hin mga trainings basi magkamay-ada kamo skills nga magamit hin pagpakabuhi,” Mayor Quijano said.  The Mayor also cited that he was brought up in a family where his mother has a regular work and contributes to the finances of the family above her household chores.  In the occasion, Mayor Quijano paid tribute to her mother and every mother whom he attributed as the key of success to each family.  He likewise enumerated different programs which he calls interventions of his governance to the different issues of women.  Such are; training center and other facilities that would be used for additional trainings and capability building activities as well as livelihood assistance in way of a soft loan to start up small businesses.

Meanwhile in Daram, approximately 750 individuals and women organizations came together to attend the Women’s Month Celebration.  The island town is a recipient of the “Anti-trafficking of Women Project” which is being implemented by Plan Phils, a non-government organizations whose aim is to uplift the condition of women and children in the Philippines as well as in other countries.

Speaking before the large crowd dominated by women, Mayor Lucia Latorre-Astorga beamed with pride and honor to address this sector that braved rough seas and long travel just to be present.  Daram is an island municipality where barangays can only be reached by boat ride.

In an inspirational message, Daram Mayor Lucia Latorre-Astorga encouraged women sector to come out and claim their rights as it is provided by our constitutional and relevant laws.  She likewise made an emphasis on the crucial role of women towards development especially in her town. She took the opportunity to discuss the objectives of Mobile Kusina or MK Project being undertaken by her administration.  The project she said is a way to strengthen the advocacy on women’s rights as well as programs that are intended for women’s economic empowerment and the initiatives of her administration. Mobile Kusina ni Mayor Lo is one way of strengthening the capacity of Daram women as farmers and fisherfolks.  She said she has a lot of plan of action for women that hopefully will be implemented as soon as possible.  The Mayor has created a MK team specifically for this project.

Mayor Astorga also expressed her gratitude for the interventions of non-government organizations such as PLAN Phils and International Justice Mission in her town.  “An bulig han PLAN Phils ngan han IJM in dugang nga nakaka-agda ha aton ha paniguro para han kaupayan han mga kababayin-an”, the Mayor said.

The celebration in Daram on March 24, was also attended by Engr. Meilou C. Macabare, the Provincial Director of Department of Trade and Industry as the keynote speaker.  She focused her message on the theme: Babae, Tagumpay ka ng Bayan!  She enumerated several programs of DTI that has an impact to the society and being lead by women organizations. Highlight of the event was the signing of Memorandum of Agreement on the campaign against trafficking of persons lead by Plan Phils.

Some women individuals who attended the event in an interview said, that they will go home with added information and inspiration from the speakers especially from their Mayors who took time out of their busy schedules to be with them.

The celebration of the women’s month came in at the time where the local candidates are on the starting line of the campaign period on March 26 and as Catholics prepare also for the Holy Week activities.