The Philippine Commission on Women – North Mindanao Field Office, Local Government Unit of Cagayan De Oro City, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development celebrate National Women’s Month by holding the 2023 Women’s Summit: Pagkigduyog

The Philippine Commission on Women – North Mindanao Field Office, in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Cagayan de Oro City and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, in coordination with the various government agencies within the locality, conducted the 2023 Women’s Summit: Pagkigduyog on March 27, 2023, at the University of Science and Technology of the Southern Philippines Gymnasium. Solo parents, KALIPI (Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina), TISAKA (Tingog sa Kasanag), indigenous people, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, city scholar mothers, the Barangay Women Development Council, micro-, small-, and medium-sized entrepreneurs, victim-survivors of trafficking/prostitution, and drug women surrenderees were among the 1000 beneficiaries.

Pakigduyog, derived from the Cebuano word “duyog,” which means “to accompany,” is a call to action for women and everyone to work together to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. As part of the celebration of National Women’s Month, this summit, like its meaning, intends to raise awareness on women’s rights, encourage women’s empowerment as vital members of society, and assist vulnerable women and girls in their socio-economic activities as part of the government’s poverty alleviation program.

Resonating this in her welcome message, PCW Executive Director Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves underscored the importance of observing National Women’s Month by sharing its herstory and reminding everyone to remember that each of us has a role to play in the pursuit of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“To all women and girls, this celebration is all about you. This month and beyond, revel in your strength, magnificence, brilliance, resilience, and power. Remember, you can be pioneers, leaders, changemakers, and movers. In every family, every community, every island of the nation, you can make a difference; you can be an inspiration,” she added.

CDO Councilor Imee Moreno, Committee Chair of Women and Family Relations; Dr. Maria Teresa Fajardo, Director of the Extension & Community Relations Division & GAD Focal Person of the USTP; and Atty. Melanie Cabanlas, Staff of the City Mayor’s Office, grace the summit by also providing their Solidarity Message to the beneficiaries.

To seal their support to the advocacy, representatives from partner agencies (the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, the Bureau of Treasury, DSWD-10, IBP Misamis Oriental, the City Health Office, PhilFIDA, and others) signed a pledge of commitment, vowing to continue pushing for gender equality and inclusive society and agreeing to maintain the convergence and joint effort in making vital government services more available and accessible to the community’s most vulnerable people, particularly women and girls.

The second part of the summit was the provision of services, assistance, and lectures conducted by different partners, including government and non-governmental organizations, to show appreciation to its beneficiaries in this special month of celebration.

The following are the services and assistance offered during the 2023 Women’s Summit: Pagkigduyog, held March 27, 2023, at the University of Science and Technology of the Southern Philippines Gymnasium, Cagayan de Oro City.

  • The Department of Social Welfare and Development, with the assistance of DSWD-X, provided PHP 3,000 in cash assistance to beneficiaries;
  • The Department of Science and Technology Region-X distributed 1,000 ready-to-eat food packs;
  • The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office-X also handed out 500 vegetable seedlings;
  • The National Dairy Authority-X gave 800 bottles of milk;
  • The J. R. Borja General Hospital–CdO Health Office offered free medical consultation;
  • The IBP/FIDA/CHR/BALAOD Mindanaw/CBAA provided free legal consultation;
  • The National Telecommunications Commission-X provided assistance with SIM registration.

Along with the abovementioned services, the summit also imparted learning and enhanced the skills of its beneficiaries by having lectures on different topics:

  • The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office-X discussed Urban Gardening and Beekeeping;
  • The J.R. Borja General Hospital/City Health Office provides lectures on breast cancer and cervical cancer awareness; 
  • The Bureau of Treasure taught financial literacy;
  • The Bureau of Fire Protection discussed fire safety;
  • The Department of Information and Communications Technology-X talked about digital parenting and Anti-OSAEC;
  • The Northern Mindanao Medical Center – Women and Children Protection Unit provided lectures on Adolescent Development; 
  • The Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority-X went over the abaca industry; and 
  • The Department of Trade and Industry-X discussed Entrepreneurial Mind-Setting

Aside from raising awareness, the Philippine Commission on Women hopes that this women’s summit will result in a more proactive relationship in Northern Mindanao, not only with the city government of Cagayan de Oro but also with regional line agencies in providing quality services for women and girls and making gender equality a possibility.

All photo credits to Rod Constantino from the Cagayan de Oro City Information Office.