March 31, 2023

The Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera, together with partners from the public and private sectors, underscored the significance of improved economic empowerment of women micro entrepreneurs (WME) and their workers through the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GWP2) project.
“Be counted as contributors to our regional development in the best way you can as empowered, enlightened, and beautiful women inside and out,” DOST-Cordillera Director Nancy Bantog said in her message during the WME assembly on March 4.
The GWP2, also known as Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Philippines, was developed to improve sustainability, productivity, and competitiveness of women’s micro-enterprises and to continue enhancing the enabling environment for economic empowerment of women.
The project, which covers the coffee and home style and wearables (H&W) sectors in the Cordillera, is spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) in partnership with the DOST, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Agriculture and is funded by the Government of Canada.
There are 32 WMEs from the coffee sector and 41 WMEs in the H&W sector under the project.
Key government officials from said agencies held a series of panel discussions on the status and accomplishments and ways forward of the coffee and H&W industries in the region in light of the Covid-19 pandemic while the Tuba Benguet Coffee Growers Association and Montañosa Weavers Association shared their insights and experiences on their journey as businesses under the GWP2.
The speakers included PCW Chairperson Sandra Montano; PCW Executive Director Kristine Rosary Yuzon-Chavez; ECHOsi Foundation President Pacita Juan; Baguio Arts and Creatives Collections, Inc. President Adelaida Lim; and FreshBuys PH co-owner Angelo Valdez.
Under the project, coffee farmers and weavers of various associations in Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province are assisted to improve their productivity and competitiveness.
The WMEs are also encouraged to pursue environment-friendly practices and adopt digitalization for the sustainability of their businesses. – Christian Robert Sandoval