By MARY LOU MARIGZA
AMULUNG, Cagayan — Around two hundred women leaders of Cagayan attended the 3rd Congress of Amihan-Cagayan, a peasant women’s organization last August 13-14 here. The women represented organizations in 11 towns of the province.
The theme of the Congress was: Palakasin ang hanay! Paigtingin ang pakikibaka! Kamtin ang karapatan sa lupa, pagkain, kabuhayan at karapatan ng kababaihan at hustisya!
The women leaders discussed the national situation of peasant women with the deputy general secretary of AMIHAN national. They shared their experiences in organizing and campaigns especially to increase farm gate prices and lower agricultural inputs. They hailed their victories and vowed to persevere despite shortcomings from their ranks in the past three years.
The women acknowledged that they face big challenges and hot issues that confront not only the women but their families as well. The threat to food security is always looming with climate change and the destruction of the natural resources of Cagayan. Landgrabbing by multinational agricultural or mining corporations is a continuing threat. Government officials indifference, or worse, neglect is an experience that compels them to engage in dialogues to get necessary services especially in health and nutrition.
A focus group discussion on food security was conducted as part of the congress with emphasis on the right to food availability and accessibility. The discussion was initiated by staff of Katinnulong Daguiti Umili iti Amianan (KADUAMI Inc). The Kaduami staff also conducted cultural workshops to introduce to the women some methods to empower women.
The children who were present in the congress also participated with their mothers. The mayor of the town of Amulung, Mayor Nicanor de Leon welcomed the women leaders on the second day and he narrated his agricultural program for the town with priority on irrigation infrastructure and farm to market roads.
The constitution and bylaws of the AMIHAN chapter was amended and promulgated while their program of action for the next three years prioritized the increase of membership to cover most towns of Cagayan.
Elected officers of AMIHAN-Cagayan for the next three years were: President – Jacqueline Ratin; Vice-President – Emnie Viscaro; Sec Gen – Felisa Terrado; Deputy Secretary – Lina Dagohoy; Treasurer – Julie Marcos; Auditor – 1 . Aida Agunoy; 2 . Kathy Valenciano; PRO – 1. Loren Cabildo; 2.Weddy Palting. # nordis.net