Below are the partners who stood out in providing assistance to the Women Go project.
- The local government units (LGUs) of the municipalities of Real, Infanta, and General Nakar
The REINA LGUs organized the women groups and offered financial support to the different training and activities of the women organizations. During the regular quarterly meetings with the units, the Women Group team presents updates, challenges, and improvements that need their support, while the women present their accomplishments as People’s Organization (PO) groups. The LGUs then identify which activities fit their budget allocation for needs such as training and transportation during meetings.
HARIBON complements the LGUs’ needs to support the women organizations, initially organized by DSWD, and strengthened by the Women Go project. A good working relationship with the local government allows for a more sustainable outcome as we are able to look forward to the continuity of the initiatives started by the project.
HARIBON is an accredited organization by the LGUs of Real, Infanta, and General Nakar, as well as a member of the Infanta People’s Council, which registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2021. The Infanta People’s Council is an organized group composed of Civil Society Organizations accredited by the Municipality of Infanta. The local governments are very supportive of HARIBON’s project activities, providing counterpart use of their facilities, funds, in-kind support for several activities, and lending the expertise of identified focal persons.
- Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of PP 1636
The PAMB, as the decision-making body in the protected area, approves projects within the PA of PP 1636. They are informed of all activities implemented by the Women Go project. The women groups are encouraged to establish and nurture a good working relationship with the board and eventually become a member so that women’s issues are represented and heard.
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Community Environment & Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) and DENR Region IV-A (CALABARZON)
They have been crucial in the approval of the Biodiversity Friendly Enterprises (BDFE). The regional government agency has supported the Women Go project in the same way as the PAMB of PP 1636 and DENR-CENRO. The agency co-approves the BDFE projects within the PAs.
- Gender and Development (GAD) of the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB)
The BMB has a GAD focal team dedicated to reviewing gender-related plans and providing recommendations for improving these strategies. The project partnered with them in assessing the gender responsiveness of the Protected Area Management Plan (PAMP) of the PP 1636 PAMB.
Through the Women Go project, GAD BMB initiated the assessment on June 13-14, 2023 together with the technical working group of the PAMB as participants. The first session looked at the plan, which revealed that no gender-related issues or data was considered. The second session then addressed this with BMB GAD and HARIBON’s GAD consultant providing recommendations on which issues and activities can be included. The PAMB’s technical working group then drafted a revised plan incorporating the recommendations and missing data. The new gender responsive PAMP was presented and subsequently approved during the PAMB regular meeting on September 13, 2023..
- Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Though no formal partnership exists between HARIBON and the DTI, the government agency expressed its commitment to aiding the Women Go project through support for the establishment and operationalization of the BDFEs. These include, but are not limited to, trainings, product enhancement, and business-related capacity building activities.
- Northern Quezon Community College, Inc. (NQCI)
An outcome from the Partnerships Building Forum in October 2022 included a strategic partnerships with external partners. One partner with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with HARIBON is local private college NQCI, which supported the Women Go project by deploying a team of its faculty members to deliver capacity building activities.
They have committed to the following technical trainings lined up for implementation in 2024:
Modules for the trainings have the same goals as the project and are a perfect fit for the women beneficiaries. HARIBON currently remain the main facilitators of trainings for the women organizations, but long after the Women Go project is completed, and as part of the project’s sustainability mechanism, NQCI, through its community extension program, will continue teaching and equipping the women with skills they need to grow.
- Financial Management Training
- Marketing and Inventory Training and Product Costing Training
- Product labeling and packaging
- Basic Computer Skills Training
- Leadership training for second liner
- Simple Documentation and Report Writing Training
- Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG)
A non-profit organization focusing on sustainable agriculture and farming, MASIPAG’s initiatives complement the Women Go project’s initiatives. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was forged with them, and Women Go hopes to tap the organization’s expertise and long-term experience in organic and climate resilient farming, which the women organizations need in their BDFE projects.
The NGO promised to adopt the three women groups who have now become their members, namely:
Members are able to gain fund privileges from MASIPAG. To date, the organization already sponsors different needs such as transportation expenses and food for its members.
- KALIPI Gumian
- KALIPI Tanauan
- KALIPI Magsaysay
On June 1-3, 2023, the organization trained the POs on sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT). By July 7, the women groups were able to create a project proposal applying the technologies and techniques they learned from MASIPAG, which HARIBON is set to review for partial funding in January 2024. This would provide them additional livelihood and raw materials for their BDFEs. One such example is KALIPI Magsaysay’s Cassava chips farm, where they will apply organic farming technology and SALT so that they can plant without harming the land and its ecosystem. MASIPAG also conducted an Organic Farm Orientation on August 1-2, 2023 with the members of KALIPI Tanauan as participants.
For sustainability, the Women Go project looks into forming a strategic partnership with the project beneficiaries and MASIPAG to ensure continued skills-building and establishing a strong natural farming network.
Note: All women organizations and beneficiaries of the Women Go project are recognized and accredited by their respective LGUs and are initiated/supported by HARIBON, and lobbied mainly by the women groups themselves. A portion of each LGU’s GAD (Gender and Development) plans and Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) budget includes funding for KALIPI. Part of their sustainability plan is the REINA Alliance, a women's federation from the three (3) municipalities of Real, Infanta and General Nakar whereby the KALIPI and KUMARE organizations are continuously supported by their LGUs, as well as other government bodies (MSWD, GAD, DENR etc.)
LGU Real, Infanta, and General Nakar
LGU Cablao (a sitio (locale) within LGU General Nakar)
LGU Cawayan (within LGU Real)
LGU General Nakar
Quezon II Electric Cooperative Inc.
ICDeC, IQWD, Spirit FM
It’s a heartening result for the Women Go project team to see that gender and development initiatives started by the project will continue through agencies that are dedicated to embracing the women organizations. It is a much-needed outcome and support, especially for the BDFE initiative, which the women, who are commonly mothers and housewives, were not initially knowledgeable in when it comes to promoting the products. Through the collaboration of the different agencies and organizations with the Women Go, these women can now continue to consolidate their organizations themselves and sustain forest-friendly livelihoods.
While there’s still a lot to be done, four years was enough time to help the women of PP 1636 realize their potential and give them self-fulfillment, and in so doing uplift their lives, their families, communities, and ecosystems.
The Women Go project is funded by the European Union in the Philippines.