In line with the celebration of March as Women’s Month, the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos Region conducted a week-long selling of agricultural products and delicacies dubbed as the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita held at the DA-RFO I Grounds, Sevilla, San Fernando City, La Union.

A collaborative project of the DA-RFO I’s Gender and Development Unit and the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), the retail selling activity involves 20 agri-enterprises from the various municipalities in the region that offers a wide-array of fresh and processed agri-fishery products at an affordable price.

In its Opening Program on March 7, 2022, Director Nestor Domenden, OIC-Regional Executive Director of DA-RFO I recognized the potent role of women in agri-development as they served as a valuable partner of government agencies and institution in carrying out programs and projects with their advocacies on women empowerment and gender equality.

Recognizing the women’s significant role at home, in the community and in nation building as a whole, RED Domenden noted the essential gains and achievement that they are doing, making them as a valuable partner in the society’s economic endeavor.

Meanwhile, to recognize the valuable contributions of women in rural development particularly in Region I, Ms. Leah Astrude Santiago, a farmer and organic practitioner from Mangatarem, Pangasinan was awarded as the Regional Winner of the Search for Outstanding Rural Women during the event.

As the Regional Winner, Ms. Santiago received from DA a plaque of recognition and the Region’s representative in the National Search.

Giving inspiration to her fellow “Juanas,” Ms. Santiago read a poem entitled “Babae Ako” which she has written while on her way to the venue that emphasizes the power of women in raising her voice, her conviction and character as a person, a leader and a community organizer.

Paying tribute to the three women who have inspired her to become the woman she is today, Ms. Santiago thanked her Nanay Vita, her grandmother, her Mom Sofia and godmother Ninang Batis for the continuous guidance in her chosen endeavor.

Other than the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita retail selling, DA through the GAD Unit shall also be sponsoring an Online webinar on Mental Health Challenges with the invited resource persons from the Department of Health and Population Commission to be participated in by the DA employees.

A medical check-up for the employees was also scheduled in collaboration with the Human Resource Management Section in tandem with the Department of Agriculture’s Employees Association.

This year’s Women’s month celebration is focused on the theme: We make change work for Women,” anchored by the sub-theme, Agenda ng Kababaihan, tungo sa Kaunlaran.###

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