GREAT Women Project Widens Convergence Initiatives in Camarines Sur

The Philippine Commission on Women-GREAT Women Project spearheaded a Learning Session on WEE and Convergence Planning Workshop for Region 5 last May 10-12, 2012 at the Lohas Hotel, Clark, Pampanga. National and regional government agencies and selected Region 5 local government units participated in the session, where they mapped out NGA programs and services available for start-up and upscaling women microentrepreneurs and began drafting a Regional Convergence Plan for WEE.

GREAT Women Project is trying to widen involvement of national government agency and regional government partners in developing a regional convergence model for women microentrepreneurs in Camarines Sur. The convergence plan contains GAD-WEE-related capacity development activities for NGAs and WMEs. With the plan, NGAs are expected to improve their assistance to women micro-entrepreneurs in upscaling their businesses, while the LGU will be tasked to lead convergence among partners.

Participants developed a convergence plan to sustain gains in women’s economic empowerment achieved under the GREAT Women Project. Participating NGAs were Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (represented by the Forest Management Bureau and Environment Management Bureau) and the Department of Labor-Occupational Safety and Health Center (DOLE-OSHC). Regional offices of DTI, BFAR, DOST, DOLE and DENR were also represented. These participating agencies will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to seal their commitment to the Convergence Plan.

Participants trained further on Gender and Economics, Gender Analysis Concepts, Use of Harmonized GAD Guidelines; and Results-Based Management to develop the Convergence Plan. Resource persons of the learning session were Dr. Linda Miranda, former professor of the University of the Philippines; Ms. Ma. Fe Singson of the Department of Science and Technology; Ms. Dolores Wanasen of the DENR-FMB; and Dr. Philip Penaflor, a freelance monitoring and evaluation specialist. Woman microentrepreneur Fe Carranza also shared on the effectiveness of GREAT Women Project Convergence initiatives that have helped her grow her soya business.