A day after the International Day of Rural Women, the Department of Agriculture (DA) paid homage to the seven national finalists of this year’s Search for Outstanding Rural Women (SORW) during the World Food Day 2023 celebration at the Quezon Memorial Circle, October 16.
Aligned with the Magna Carta of Women (MCW), the Search is an annual event of the DA-Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS) with the goal of honoring women in rural areas who have shown exemplary performance in agriculture and/or fisheries and have contributed positively to women empowerment, rural development, and food security.
The SORW 2023 finalists include: Josephine Lay-os (Cordillera Administrative Region), Thelma Alabon (Region II), Agrifina Gabres (Region III), Vilma Coronel (Region V), Mylin Tayapad (Region X), Marivic Dubria (Region XI), and Gina Deypuyart (Region XII).
“These rural women are farmers and fisherfolk who are community leaders and agripreneurs that exhibited outstanding commitment in developing the agriculture and fisheries sector and, most importantly, made an impact, moved and uplifted the lives of their fellow rural women and their community. These seven empowered rural women have demonstrated that women play a key and effective role in developing the agriculture and fisheries sector,” shared DA Undersecretary for Finance Agnes Catherine Miranda, who concurrently serves as Chairperson of the DA-GFPS as well as the SORW 2023 National Technical Committee-Steering Committee and Board of Judges (BOJ).
Prior to the WFD afternoon program, the finalists also proudly shared their stories of humble beginning, drawbacks, determination, and success as women farmer-leaders in the rural areas during their final interview with the BOJ at the PCAF Apacible Conference Room A, DA Central Office, Quezon City.
This year’s BOJ consists of DA Usec. Miranda, DA Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Department Legislative Liaison Officer Genevieve Velicaria-Guevarra, DA Assistant Secretary for Inspectorate and Enforcement James Layug, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Executive Director Atty. Kristine Rosary Yuzon-Chaves, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) Gender Focal Jasmine Magtibay, Land Bank of the Philippines Vice President for Employee Relations Department Mira Leah Patio, Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK) Secretary General Amparo Miciano, and East-West Seed Company Public Affairs Lead Dr. Mary Ann Pelagio-Sayoc as per DA Special Order No. 1272 series of 2023.
The announcement of winners will be held during the SORW 2023 Awarding Ceremony in December this year. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)