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Outstanding Rural Women 2015

By Loraine D. Cerillo - Project Development Officer II
June 22, 2015

The 2015 Department of Agriculture Search for Outstanding Rural Women honored the six women awardees from different regions of the country led by Luzviminda T. Oropesa of Baras, Catanduanes to acknowledge their active participation in the field of agriculture and selflessly devoting themselves in the service of the Filipino farmers held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on June 19.

The 58-year-old registered geologist from Baras, Catanduanes dedicated her life after her retirement helping the farmers by organizing livelihood programs through Happy Farmers Producers Integrated and Livelihood Association, Inc. (HAFPILAINC) which has already spawned two million net income. She encouraged the local folks to become farmers-entrepreneurs. As she initiated the construction of a Livelihood Training Center in Nagbarorong, Baras which is both a training venue and the extension arm of the Municipal and Agriculture Office and is now accredited by the Agricultural Training Institute, this has been one of her many outlets to serve our Mother Land.

A single mother to four children has also been an instrument to save our degraded land areas by convincing the farmers to rehabilitate the previously mined lands through organic farming by which she first cultivated her three-hectare farm area using Diversified Integrated Farming System to show off good example of agricultural practices.

Luz might not have had a happy marriage after her husband left her with their young children back then but considering her determination and showing a strong version of her, she managed and survived to raised her children providing them education and the love of both parents she might give them. As a matter of fact, Luz's children are now all professionals and it gives her the best citation of being a great mother and a public servant as well.

The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) has an active part on Luz's achievement. She coordinated with BSWM's Expanded Modified Rapid Composting (EMRC) wherein she assisted the Local Government Unit (LGU) in Baras for sourcing-out funds for the implementation of the project. More than 800 farmers were benefitted and a total of 35 Barangays were imparted with the 200 hectares irrigated and rain fed rice fields. With her strong linkage with the BSWM, she corresponded with the Small Water Impounding Project (SWIP) which benefitted 50 farmers and covered 30 hectares of farm land.

The DA - Gender and Development (DA - GAD) who conducts the annual search, recognizes the women's contribution and participation to nation building. During her acceptance speech, she says: “The amazing hands of a woman shape and rock the cradle of a nation” and “That there is like nothing more beautiful than a woman who goes out of her way to make life beautiful for others.”

Luzviminda “Luz” Teston Oropesa received a cash prize of P100,000 from the Department of Agriculture and will also receive a project grant worth P100 thousand from the DA regional office in Bicol, according to DA Bicol regional executive director, Eng. Abelardo R. Bragas.

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