The Philippines is a main player in the international women’s arena and this is anchored on a very vibrant local women’s movement. Numerous organizations and Non-Government Organizations exist for the cause of gender equality and other related women issues. In par with this development of ideal, the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur, in partnership with the 26 municipalities in the province, has pushed for the assurance of such empowerment. The Women Empowerment Movement-Rural Improvement Club (WEM-RIC) of Zamboanga del Sur is definitely one of the most active women’s organization here in the Philippines.
Under the leadership of WEM-RIC Federated President Junaflor “Sweet” Cerilles, WEM-RIC has implemented various programs and projects that enable women of all localities around Zamboanga del Sur province a chance to prove themselves and excel in their field of work.
The WEM-RIC of the Municipality Dimataling headed by Mrs. Maria Dolores A. Baya has done numerous projects and programs geared towards the empowerment of women in the municipality.
As one of the activities lined up for 2015 Women’s Month, WEM-RIC Dimataling promotes container gardening to its members. Container gardening is the practice of growing plants exclusively in containers like plastic bottles and bags instead of planting them on ground. This way, there will be less risk of soil-borne disease and virtually eliminate weed problems. WEM-RIC officers taught all women members to grow chocolate mint, a medicinal plant, in their respective houses. The chocolate mint has two uses: (1) as herbal medicine and (2) source of livelihood for women. Moreover, WEM-RIC Provincial Officers also provided the chocolate mint seedlings to all WEM-RIC Municipal Federated Presidents for them to plant and share to all their members.
Aside from this, WEM-RIC also took part in the Mangrove Tree Planting at Poblacion, Dimataling during the Women’s Month Celebration held last March 2015. All WEM-RIC members of Poblacion, Dimataling and Bacayawan conducted mass planting of Bakhaw seedlings. Plus, the WEM-RIC members also visited the Biological Organic Facility and received a free orientation and overview of the Rice-Duck Farming. They were also encouraged to do the actual harvesting of vermi cast. Also, as part of the Women’s Celebration, the Municipal WEM-RIC Federation released 10 piglets as dispersal to the deserving WEM-RIC organization for their livelihood program.
During the month of April, WEM-RIC Dimataling conducted a project evaluation on the seaweeds production of Codilog and Poblacion which was then funded by PARFUND (Philippine Agrarian Reform Foundation for National Development). The said project is presently the most productive form of livelihood among the coastal communities in the municipality and benefitted the local women of Sitio Codilog and Brgy. Poblacion. Moreover, to celebrate the National Earth Day Celebration, every WEM-RIC member had planted 7 Papaya Seedlings and 7 Malunggay cuttings in their backyard and was evaluated on the month of June.
On top of that, WEM-RIC Dimataling Federation also distributed 1 galloon of paint to Elementary School and 1 galloon to High School of DepEd Dimataling District as part of their program entitled WEM-RIC “Juana Helps”- Brigada Eskwela.
During the Nutrition Month Celebration, through their project “Adopt a Malnourish Child Feeding Program,” WEM-RIC Dimataling Officers together with the Department of Education and Barangay Local Government Unit, assisted in feeding the Day Care Children and Pre-School Pupils.
Just last month, the Livelihood Project of WEM-RIC for the Organic Piggery was funded by the government of the United States of America in the amount of US$1,400 or Php65,856.