Outstanding Rural Women Recognized

Six outstanding rural women were recognized during the awarding ceremonies of the 2012 Search for Outstanding Rural Women Award held at the National Irrigation Administration in Quezon City on October 18, 2012. The award given by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and other member agencies of the Interagency Committee on Rural Women is in recognition of the vital role and valuable contribution of rural women in ensuring food security and economic stability of the rural areas.

  • Tiny “Inday” Rosareal-Tamayo of Antipas, North Cotabato was declared the top winner while Conchita Silor-Masim of Davao Oriental and Susan Pasacay-Aceron of Camarines Norte bagged the second place. Felomina Hernando-Janiva of Palawan, Alejandrina Lazaro-Correa of Cagayan and Desiree Butuhan-Duran of Bulacan placed 3rd, 4th and 5th , respectively.
  • Ms. Domini Torrevillas, Philippine Star columnist and a member of the board of judges, details the achievement of these women in her October 18 Philippine Star column:
  • Tamayo is the first woman-farmer in Antipas to asexually propagate cleft grafting of cacao. She rehabilitated and revived the watershed area in her farm which became the source of drinking water for the community.
  • Masim, one of the second placers, is a CARP recipient who plants organic high value plants and vegetables, processes value-added products like fish and fishery products and indigenous materials and leads women in the production and selling of bags, coconut vinegar and soy, etc.
  • Aceron, the other second placer leads a group of women deputized fish wardens in enforcing strict compliance with law and overseeing any illegal activities in the coastal area of Caringo.
  • Janiva, the 3rd placer, is a practitioner of integrated farming who grows rice and earns from duck-raising and duck by-products, using organic fertilizers and pest management materials from her farm. Farmers around her property have been encouraged to adopt her technology.
  • Correa, the 4th placer is a farmer who promotes organic farming, integrated pest management , and manages solid wastes by segregating and recycling them. She provides seeds and other planting materials to farmers and youth and extends financial and counseling assistance to residents in her barangay.
  • Duran, the 5th place awardee, is the over-all manager of the Duran Farm, which mainly focuses in rice production and production of vegetables, thus contributing to San Ildefonso’s being a the vegetable basket of Bulacan.

PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa, also one of the judges, emphasized that these women are “the main engine of our economic growth so we must give value and credit to their work.” Verzosa added that these women “have shown exceptional courage, innovativeness and ability to balance family and work life.”

DA officials headed by Secretary Proceso J. Alcala together with Undersecretary for Special Concerns Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Undersecretary for Operations Joel Rudinas ,PCW Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa and Ms. Torrevillas led the conferment of the awards.

Secretary Alcala in his keynote message lauded the role of the rural women in economic development. He stressed that being an agricultural country, it is important to recognize the role of women because of their priceless contribution to the farming and fishing industry. Alcala expressed that under the present administration where women empowerment and gender equality is one of the main agenda, DA will continue to respond to gender and development concerns.