Celebrating the 2023 National Women’s Month this March, the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos Region through the Gender and Development (GAD) Unit conducted a two-day Forum on Magna Carta of Women and Gender Programs on March 9-10, 2023 at the DA-RFO I 5th Floor Conference Room, City of San Fernando, La Union.

An activity that aims to empower women by providing them access to opportunities to become women agri-preneurs, the forum has likewise provided an avenue to widen their knowledge on various issues and concerns in relation to the Magna Carta of Women as well as Gender programs and projects of the DA under its 5 major Banner Programs.

On the first day of the forum, Ms. Mariz Daphne Mendoza, Region I GAD Coordinator discussed the RA 9710 known as the Magna Carta of Women which provided insights on the equal rights and opportunities of men and women while Ms. Marites Bernardo, Head Secretariat of the DA-GAD Focal Point System gave an orientation briefing on DA-GAD Agenda.

Recognizing the important role of women in nation building, Ms. Mendoza emphasized the full integration of women’s concerns as well as the important role of the State in enhancing and developing women’s skills and capabilities for them to become productive individuals and provide support in policy formulation, planning, organization, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of all programs, projects and services of the government.

Meanwhile, the DA, through the Focal Persons of its major Banner Programs together with the coordinators for DA’s Special Projects discussed the Gender Programs under DA including the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division’s (AMAD) Kadiwa Project.

Learning about possible agri-based business opportunities, the participants were further empowered on the second day of the forum as Cooperative Development Authority’s representative Mr. Noel Ropuya and Department of Trade and Industry’s Ms. Junica Shiera F. Manicdao, Negosyo Center-Trade and Industry’s Development Analyst discussed the procedures and requirements on Cooperative Registration and business registration procedures and requirements.

To provide the participants information on the requirements on how to avail of programs and projects of the DA-RFO I, Ms. Mildred Rapanut discussed the accreditation procedures under Civil Society Organization, while Ms. Imelda Cornes presented about the DA’s Farmer and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Information System registration through AMAD.

Project focal persons from DA-RFO I likewise discussed topics on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Animal Husbandry Practices certifications, gender program under the 4K and SAAD as well as the Agri-Pinay Loan Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council.