Inter-Agency Committee on Rural Women Honors 2010 Rural Women Awardees

Three model rural women emerged as winners of the 2010 Search for Outstanding Rural Women. They are: Amelia Gresones Luzon and National Winner; Preciosa Maturan, Visayas winner; and Zenaida Mansiliohan, Mindanao winner.

The three outstanding women were awarded certificate of appreciation, plaque of recognition and cash prize on October 15 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, as highlight of the World Rural Women’s Day Celebration in the country.

The World Rural Women’s Day commenced September 1995, at a United Nations Conference for Women in Beijing, China.

In the Philippines, it started in 1997 when then President Fidel V. Ramos proclaimed October 15, 1997 and every year thereafter as “National Rural Women’s Day” to recognize the role and tremendous contributions of rural women to our country’s economic development and food security.

Ms. Gresones inspired women and her community as a model solo parent who contributed significantly in improving rice farming; in strengthening rural-based organizations and in promoting hybrid rice production and organic vegetable farming in Aborlan, Palawan. She received a cash prize of P70,000 and a plaque of recognition. The award makes Ms. Gresones the country’s nominee to the Women’s World Summit Foundation Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life in Geneva, Switzerland.

Maturan has remarkable accomplishment in sugar cane farming, fisheries and social service which helped uplift status of farmers and fisherfolks in Bayawan City while Mansiliohan has promoted the educational and health status of indigenous peoples which led to the advancement of Agusanons in San Luis, Agusan del Sur. Both women received P20,000 in cash and a plaque of recognition.

The other finalists in this year’s search are: Edita A. Dacuycuy ,Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; Beniflor A. Guittap , Centro, Sta. Ana, Cagayan; Gloria L. Gutlay ,San Miguel, Bulacan;Yolanda A. Elbancol Baco, Oriental Mindoro;Amelia N. Gresones, Aborlan, Palawan; Preciosa T. Maturan , Bayawan City; Negros Oriental; Rocaiya L. Kasan , Tupi, South Cotabato; Wenita F. Espartero, Dujali, Davao del Norte; Annie E. Sitjar ,Labangan,Zamboanga del Sur; and Zenaida P. Mansiliohan , San Luis, Agusan del Sur.

The board of judges were: Dr. Gelia Castillo, Consultant. International Rice Research Institute (IRRI): Ms. Adelina Apostol, Director, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Ms. Rosalina Bistoyong, Undersecretary, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); Ms. Ma. Theresa Soriano, Assistant Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Dr. Adeluisa G. Siapno, Director, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); and Ms. Dolores De Quiros-Castillo, former Asec. of National Anti-Poverty Commission

The search is a key project of the IAC-RW chaired by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and co- chaired by the Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kabababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK )with the Department of Agriculture (DA), DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources(BFAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), Pambansang Kalipunan ng mga Manggagawang Informal sa Pilipinas (PATAMABA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and Department of Health (DOH) as members.