BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental yesterday honored 10 outstanding Negrense women who excelled in agriculture, and whose exceptional achievements had a positive impact on the community.
The Recognition for Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (REWARD), spearheaded by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and Gender and Development (GAD) Negros Occidental, was held at the Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City, with Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson as the guest of honor and speaker.
Lacson was joined by Board Member Rita Gatuslao, Executive Assistant to the Governor and Action Officer of the Provincial GAD Foal Point System, Marie June Castro, and Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Edmundo Raul Causing in the distribution of awards.
The awardees for Women Engaged in Agriculture and Fishery Category are Gemma Delos Reyes of La Castellana, champion; Maria Gina Banowski of Bago City, 1st runner up; Lucita Diano of Valladolid, 2nd runner up; and Haydee Panhilason of Victorias City and Luisa Manayon of Calatrava, consolation prizes.
Meanwhile, the awardees for the Woman Leader of an Agricultural Organization Category are Herly Tumalaytay of Pulupandan, champion; Myrna Villa of Bago City, 1st runner up; Jona Altea of Moises Padilla, 2nd runner up, and Rosie Alit of Murcia and Leslie Bacay of Victorias City, consolation prizes.
Lacson, who lauded the women awardees, disclosed that women always find alternatives and new ways of ensuring food security for their families, and they also pursue multiple livelihood strategies.
In the Philippines and in most countries, he noted that women are the ones primarily responsible for nutrition and food security in the household and that they always deliver and provide regardless of the circumstances they are in.
“Most of the time, when we explore farmers’ issues, we seldom approach them from a gender point of view. But today’s awarding is proof that even though the narratives of women in agriculture and fisheries get lesser attention, the value of their work proves otherwise,” Lacson added.*