COTABATO CITY, Dec. 23 (PIA) — Some 46 women in North Cotabato recently underwent a seminar on good manufacturing practices, food safety management system, packaging and labeling, courtesy of the regional office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-12).


The seminar is in line with DOST-12’s advocacy to boost the capacity of women entrepreneurs in the province.


Participants were from the seven municipalities of the PALMA-PB Alliance, including the towns of Pikit, Aleosan, Libungan, Midsayap, Alamada, Pigkawayan and Banisilan.

Dr. Zenaida P. Hadji Raof Laidan, DOST-12 director, said the seminar was in partnership with the PALMA-PB Alliance in line with the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) project.


“In coordination with the various stakeholders, the activity was the first in the series of projects that our office will implement for the benefit of the women sector in the region,” she said.


Laidan also vowed to integrate the Gender and Development (GAD) concepts in the agency’s regional activities to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of women in the area.


GREAT Women is a governance and capacity development project which aims to promote and support a gender-responsive enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment, particularly, those in micro-enterprises.


The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) has partnered with 12 national government agencies, 8 pilot provincial governments and 35 municipalities, to implement the five-year project with technical and financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency.


DOST is among the national partner agencies tapped to implement the project in North Cotabato, one of the eight identified priority provinces of the PCW for piloting of the GREAT Women project.


With women economic empowerment as ultimate goal, the project hopes to raise the level of participation that will enable women to make decisions based on their own views and perspectives.


The expected outcomes of the process of partnering together for women’s empowerment include the following situations: women obtain increased access to economic and/or enterprise-related programs and services, better support services for women’s economic and enterprise endeavors, less constraints on women as a result of gender responsive roles and expectations, and better incomes, expanded capabilities and life opportunities.


GAD and women’s economic empowerment become value-adding perspectives to the way national government agencies and local government units develop and implement policies and plans relative to the MSME development, and deliver programs and services to women in livelihoods and microenterprises.


DOST, as mandated, integrates GAD and women’s economic empowerment perspectives in the provision of technical assistance for the skills and capacity building trainings in the identified priority provinces, including the PALMA-PB in North Cotabato province. (BKTagitican/NPPahm/DOST12/DEDoguiles/PIA 12)