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Villar Sipag celebrates Women’s Month with trainings for women

To celebrate Women’s Month, the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Sipag) conducted three livelihood trainings for women at the Villar Sipag Farm House in Barangay San Nicolas 1, Bacoor, Cavite.

“It has always been our advocacy to empower women and enable them to play a key role not only in caring for their families but also in the larger goal of nation-building,” said Sen. Cynthia Villar, Villar Sipag director.

One of the trainings held was on charcoal making on March 31. The participants were taught by experts from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB)-Department of Natural Resources and Forestry (DNRF) ow to make charcoal briquette from waste materials like twigs, leaves and paper under the “Green” technology program.

The participants were from the Women’s League of Santa Maria, Laguna; Samahan ng Magpaparol ng Las Piñas; Young Women’s Christian Association—Manila; Women’s Group of Parañaque; City Division Schools—Las Piñas; National Council of Women of the Philippines; Women in Agriculture of Bacoor; Mga Kababaihan ng Cavite; 3000 Club of the Philippines; Barangay 195, Pasay City Women’s Group; and Women’s Group from Pasig.

Two other trainings—bamboo propagation, nursery and care, and orchids cultivation and cut flower production—were earlier conducted in the said farm school.

The bamboo training held on March 18, was facilitated by UPLB- DNRF headed by Gregorio Santos and his team.

Among the topics discussed in the bamboo seminar evaluation were the kinds and uses of bamboo, its propagation, nursery and care, plantation establishment and harvesting and planting.

About 80 women participated in this training mainly from organizations, such as Women Involved in Nation Building, Young Women’s Christian Association of the Philippines and 3000 Club of the Philippines, Kababaihan ng Santa Maria, Division of City Schools—Teachers DepEd, Catholic Women’s League (Manila), Kababaihang Lingkod-Bayan ng Laguna, Bukas Palad Foundation, Kababaihang Magpa-parol ng Las Piñas and Zonta.

The Philippine Horticultural Society led by Fernando Aurigue, senior science research specialist, facilitated the training on orchids cultivation on March 19.

About 70 women from organizations, namely, Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina, Tanay ladies and National Federation of Women’s Club, Soroptimist and Las Piñas Garden Club participated in this training.

The three trainings were given for free to women and women’s groups and organizations in consonance with the celebration of the month of March as Women’s Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 224 and 227, and Republic Act 6949.

All the trainings, which were also inclusive of free food and materials for the workshop, were held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Villar Sipag had established the farm school as part of its advocacy to alleviate the country’s
poverty situation.

The farm school serves as a learning hub for capacity-building of communities to survive, adapt and thrive in the demands of agriculture.

Since its establishment last year, it has already catered to more than 800 persons who got free agricultural training for their personal growth and technical know-how.

Villar said the Villar Sipag Farm school was built with the vision of providing continuous training and education to farmers and fisherfolks and their families, as well as residents of agricultural communities in Metro Manila and nearby cities and provinces.

When it opened last September, the farm school partnered with SM Foundation Inc. and Harbest Agribusiness Corp. in providing a 12-week training program to about 200 farming beneficiaries from Las Piñas, Bacoor and Imus.

Since then, it has also established partnerships with Allied Botanical Seeds, Agricultural Training Institute, Bureau of Animal Industry and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for other trainings.

“One of the primary reasons we built this farm school is to be able to bridge the gap that would enable Filipino farmers and agri-related industry players to be more competitive and successful,” Villar said.

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