Under the USAID Oceans-funded project, “Raising Awareness on Gender Equity and Women Empowerment in Fisheries Management in General Santos and Sarangani Bay Area (GR003), the National Network on Women in Fisheries in the Philippines, Inc. (WINFISH) implemented four gender interventions namely; 1) leading, linkaging and partnership, 2) training and capability building, 3) development of gender-sensitive knowledge products; and 4) gender responsive governance. These interventions aimed to address observed inequalities that impede the maximum participation of women in the fisheries value chain, specifically in combating illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing and in promoting Ecosystem Approach in Fisheries Management (EAFM) in the area.
To sustain the gender interventions, WINFISH aggressively campaigned for the establishment of a gender network; and this resulted to the establishment of a WINFISH SOCCSKSARGEN Chapter – the first chapter to be established in Mindanao. There are 96 members (as of 15 January 2020) coming from the public and private sectors, and from non-government organizations. The network envisions to contribute to giving visibility to the critical and diverse work of women in fisheries and to strengthening women empowerment and helping drive transformative change for human well-being and sustainable development of the fisheries sector in General Santos and Sarangani Bay Area.
The chapter’s elected officers took their oath of office on February 7 during the Padayon Kita kick-off activity for the enhanced partnership of the gender network’s stakeholders. The new chapter’s President is Dr. Precy M. Regalado of MSU-General Santos. The rest of the officers are as follows:
Vice President: Ms. Judith C. Janiola (City Population Management Office LGU-General
Secretary: Mr. Elmer N. Suriaga (BFAR 12)
Treasurer: Ms. Faith Batatin (Office of the City Agriculture- General Santos City)
Local Government Unit: Mr. Alvin Antonio V. Catolico
Provincial LGU: Ms. Annabelle J. Tagaza
Academe: Prof. Berlita Y. Disca
National Govt. Agency: Ms. Gemma Chyrel Moreno
The new chapter aims to follow-through the conduct projects and activities that promote gender equity and women empowerment among the fisher folk in their locality.