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The empowered women of Tolosa, Leyte

news reg 2 pix 1 march 30 2017Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, once said, “...that whenever you want things said, give it to a man, and when you want things done, give it to a woman.” The women of Magbinuligon Bayanihan Association – Women in Development Association (MBA-WIDA) formerly the Opong MPC are proof that women can indeed bring change and make things happen.

Formed from the defunct Opong Multi-Purpose Cooperative, the MBA was organized with the help of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in 2009. DAR Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ma. Milagrosa Noveda spearheaded the reorganization effort of what is now the MBA. 

“At present, the cooperative has 379 members, 197 of which are females and 182 are males. It is a federation or network organization, with WIDA as its affiliate member,” said Noveda.

The organization has a one-hectare communal farm planted to high yielding vegetable varieties, in addition to a less than a hectare tilapia fish pond. It is also engaged in rice production.

But the women of MBA-WIDA, have walked the extra mile. They may look comely, shy and pretty; but mind you, some of them are certified welders with NC II certificates from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Some have also received training in carpentry and masonry, and gentlemen, take a bow, these ladies constructed their warehouse from scratch. 

“These women built their warehouse, and it was a sight to see them holding carpentry tools and doing construction work. Welding, carpentry and masonry, are traditionally the men’s turf.  It is not every day that we find women in a rural community break the gender barriers. But the women of MBA-WIDA have proven they could make a difference,” Noveda said.news reg 2 pix 2 march 30 2017

Onslaught of typhoon Yolanda

In a rural community, the traditional occupational roles are very much emphasized between sexes. However, things were to change when super typhoon Yolanda came. It brought change at a rapid pace.

Several international non-government organizations, private agencies and donors, and government agencies poured assistance to calamity-stricken areas, of Leyte, Tolosa, included. 

There was also a serious shortage of skilled labor particularly for carpenters, masons, plumbers, electricians and the like. Soon, government agencies and civic-minded organizations started training those interested in these skilled occupations that were in short supply. These trainings included both men and women, and the members of MBA-WIDA. Together, they were a force in the rehabilitation and development of their community.  After Yolanda, it opened several opportunities for livelihood and entrepreneurship.

International funding

But they did not stop there. The MBA-WIDA were able to access funding worth P2 million from the International Labor Organization (ILO) for the construction of their building with provisions for an office and storage area. It was here that the women used their carpentry, masonry and welding skills to construct the warehouse.

Empowerment through trainings

Yes, there were males who helped them along the way, but this was something new and it signaled a new chapter in the life of empowerment of women in local life.

The MBA-WIDA was a beneficiary of the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP). They have availed of the on-site training provided by the DAR. 

Noveda said under the PAHP, the women of the cooperative underwent training on high value vegetable production and organic farming.

Today, in addition to their vegetable production, they are engaged in vermi-cast production, an organic fertilizer derived from African Night Crawler earthworms with technology provided by the DAR. 

news reg 2 pix 3 march 30 2017“They also produce bell peppers, green charcoal briquettes and organic red rice. The red rice has a high demand for the wellness and health conscious market, particularly the diabetics,” said Noveda.

They have diversified their interests: meat processing, and catering business. In line with this, they underwent trainings in food preparation and food handling, table skirting. They have also produced nuggets from vegetables. 

Their latest venture is the production of organic dishwashing liquid, which they started marketing in their area.

The MBA-WIDA is an epitome of empowerment, breaking traditional stereotypes. They have also learned to think of their future, access and mobilize resources to succeed their plans. They may have to deal with challenges along the way. But after the storm, they have charted their lives in their hands, and blazed new trails. (John Christopher Colasito)

Photos 1 and 2: The women of Magbinuligon Bayanihan Association-Women in Development Association (MBA-WIDA) say “they can also perform tasks associated with men”.

Photo 3: Some of the members of the MBA-WIDA pose with Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Maritess Nacilla (extreme left).

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange #WomenMakeChange


78-year-old farmer finally becomes a landowner

news reg 1 pix 1 march 13 2017SAN MIGUEL, Leyte – A 78-year-old widower was among the 658 farmers from three Leyte towns who received their long awaited certificates of landownership award (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last week at this town’s auditorium.

Angel Cabello from Jaro could only was teary-eyed after receiving the land title to the 2.1-hectare coconut land he is tilling.

DAR Regional Director Sheila Enciso led the distribution of the 344 CLOAs covering a combined area of 689.6 hectares of farmlands situated in 21 barangays within this town and in the municipalities of Jaro and Barugo.

When asked why it took so long for DAR to distribute the CLOAs, Enciso said the process of validation is long and meticulous. “After the release of the titles from the Registry of Deeds, we validated the CLOAs to check whether the information in the said documents are still correct.”

She likewise advised the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) not to sell their CLOAs nor convert their farmlands into another uses to ensure food security.

Before the CLOAs were handed to the recipients, Agrarian Reform Program Officer Wendell Ariza oriented the farmers of their rights as well as their obligations as ARBs.

Meanwhile Leyte Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Renato Badilla acknowledged the partnership that has been established between DAR and the RIGHTS, the non-government organization assisting these farmers, which resulted to the release of these CLOAs that were pending at the ROD since 1994.news reg 1 pix 2 march 13 2017  

Present during the CLOA distribution were Assistant Regional Director Ma. Fe Malinao, Leyte Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Renato Badilla, Head of the Leyte Registry of Deeds (ROD) Atty. Emeterio Villanoza, RIGHTS National Coordinator Danny Caranza, CARITAS Country Coordinator Jess Agustin and Vice Mayor Atilano Oballo. (Jose Alsmith L. Soria)

Photo 1: DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Renato Badilla (2nd from right) congratulates Angel Cabello (3rd from right), a 78-year old farmer from Jaro, Leyte, after receiving his certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) from DAR Regional Director Sheila Enciso (3rd from left). Others in photo from left are: CARITAS country coordinator Jess Agustin, Assistant Regional Director Ma. Fe Malinao and Leyte Registry of Deeds Head Atty. Emeterio Villanoza.

Photo 2: Agrarian reform beneficiaries pose for a souvenir photo with Regional Director Sheila Enciso and other DAR officials, Leyte Registry of Deeds Head Atty. Emeterio Villanoza, Vice Mayor Atilano Oballo, CARITAS country coordinator Jess Agustin and RIGHTS coordinators after the distribution of certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) in San Miguel, Leyte.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

DAR awards farmlands to 658 Leyte farmers

sunstarSAN MIGUEL, Leyte -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has distributed Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to 658 farmers in three towns in Leyte province.

DAR Regional Director Sheila Enciso led the distribution of the 344 CLOAs covering a combined area of 689.6 hectares of farmlands situated in 21 villages in this town and nearby Jaro and Barugo towns.

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Region VIII News

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April 10, 2017 72

'Yolanda' housing developers told to secure clearance…

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has reminded housing developers for super typhoon "Yolanda" survivors to seek land conversion clearance before the March 5, 2018 deadline so they can take advantage of more relaxed rules. Read More..
news reg 2 pix 1 march 30 2017
Mar 30, 2017 81

The empowered women of Tolosa, Leyte

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, once said, “...that whenever you want things said, give it to a man, and when you want things done, give it to a woman.” The women of Magbinuligon Bayanihan Association – Women in Development Association… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 march 13 2017
Mar 13, 2017 165

78-year-old farmer finally becomes a landowner

SAN MIGUEL, Leyte – A 78-year-old widower was among the 658 farmers from three Leyte towns who received their long awaited certificates of landownership award (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last week at this town’s auditorium.Angel… Read More..
sunstar
Mar 09, 2017 102

DAR awards farmlands to 658 Leyte farmers

SAN MIGUEL, Leyte -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has distributed Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to 658 farmers in three towns in Leyte province. DAR Regional Director Sheila Enciso led the distribution of the 344 CLOAs covering a… Read More..

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