GREAT Women Project impacts the municipality of General Nakar

“When the Philippine Commission on Women-GREAT Women Project came to General Nakar in Quezon, the local women were invigorated as the project provided capacity-building and values formation for women and impact on local policy-making,” said Edna Nakar-Ruzol on the GREAT Women Project’s effect on local women.

Edna Nakar-Ruzol heads the women’s group Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI) and Kilos na Nagkakaisang Iangat Para Sa Kabuuang Pag-unlad ng Nakar (KINIPAN), a local women’s group producing herbal supplements and natural food. She recounts that through the project, women began to influence local economic development, policies and plans. For instance, the women of General Nakar are now asserting their need for local government support to alternative livelihoods.

“The local government and women of Nakar developed strong ties in developing the municipality. Both deeply understood their governance (and participation) roles from the municipal to the barangay levels,” Edna Ruzol further explained.

Incumbent Mayor “Obeng” Ruzol affirms that women are now actively represented in special bodies for local planning and programming such as comprehensive development planning and forest land-use planning. Women’s groups like KALIPI are now empowered to advocate for the development of GAD Plans and allocation of GAD Budgets. Such resulted to the municipality and its barangays consciously allocating five percent of their budgets to GAD activities. The municipal legislative council then only approves barangay plans that are infused with gender and women’s economic empowerment initiatives.

The Municipality of General Nakar promoted women microenterprises’ products in the local public market. It also provided vending areas for women microentrepreneurs at the Central Terminal, where many local buyers flock to buy goods. Barangay captains also support women microentrepreneurs by patronizing products and supplies of women’s groups instead of buying from neighboring towns.

“When we provide economic opportunities to women, we help women as individuals, their families and most importantly, the LGU. Since the GREAT Women Project started, women started approaching the local government, especially the Mayor’s Office, to ask for assistance,” Mayor Ruzol said.