by: Flor Jackson
Naval, Biliran (March 18) – Some 2,000 participants attended the three-day 16th Biliran Provincial Women’s Congress which started yesterday, March 17 and ends tomorrow, Friday, March 19 at the provincial capitol grounds in Brgy. Calumpang in Naval town, the capital of the province of Biliran.
The participants represented the different women organizations in the eight municipalities and the 132 barangays of the province.
The activity is aimed at providing the participants with knowledge and awareness on gender equality, empowerment of women and significant laws and republic acts affecting women.
The congress likewise aimed to promote the use of Gender and Development (GAD) budget to finance gender equality and women empowerment programs at the national and local levels specifically in addressing the CEDAW.
Moreover, the holding of the provincial women’s congress in the province helps the participants as mothers and parent substitutes understand and assume major roles in child rearing, growth and development and take parenting roles with high sense of responsibility.
The three-day congress offers a lot of learnings and trade skills to the participants.
On the opening day, March 17, the activity was started with a holy mass at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon with no less than Msgr. Filomeno Bactol, Bishop of Naval as the main celebrant. This was followed by a short opening program.
Part of the opening program was the introduction of participants coming from the eight municipalities of the province namely Almeria, Naval, Biliran, Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan and Maripipi by Flordeliza Trani, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer of Biliran.
The introduction of the keynote speaker was done by Director Leticia Corillo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office No. 8.
In her keynote speech, DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera congratulated the participants for their attendance to the congress. She emphasized the role of women for smoothly running and managing the affairs of the home and properly guiding their children as they grow towards adolescent stage and adulthood.
She added that the role of mothers as light in their homes is not an easy job as it needs a lot of patience and skills to be able to achieve harmony in the family.
For her part, Ms. Corazon del Mundo, Chairperson of Women Involved in Nation Building (WIN) and one of the guests to the provincial women’s congress emphasized in her message the great role of women in nation building saying that there are a lot of women leaders who were part in moving the country towards development.
On the other hand, Commissioner Isabelita Palanca of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) congratulated the participants for their overhelming participation to the congress.
Likewise, she reminded the participants to uphold their role towards their family and the community where they live.
To close the opening program, Governor Rogelio Espina in his message thanked the participants, officers and members of the Provincial Council for Women’s Welfare, Incorporated (PCWWI) and Women for Rural Development (WORD-Kalipi) for their attendance to the congress.
He informed that over the years, the provincial government of Biliran under his leadership since 2001 until now has been very supportive of the women’s sector of the province in all its programs and activities because he recognizes the significant role of women in Biliran play in the socio-economic development of the province.
The opening program was immediately followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Women’s Congress Trade Fair. The formal opening of the skills training program immediately followed.
The opening day of the 16th Biliran Provincial Women’s Congress was likewise graced by Rep. Cynthia A. Villar of the lone district of Las Pinas and former congressman of the lone district of Biliran and former mayor of Naval, Gerardo “Gerryboy” J. Espina, Jr.
The 16h Biliran Provincial Women’s Congress is jointly sponsored by the PCWWI through Dr. Cecil Espina, council president and the provincial government of Biliran through Gov. Rogelio Espina.
The congress is one of the highlights of Biliran’s celebration of Women’s Month in March which is anchored on the theme “Babae, Tagumpay Ka ng Bayan”. (PIA-Biliran)