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PIA Press Release

Great Women project launched in armed conflict PALMA-P

ICC General Santos City (14 October) -- The PALMA Alliance in the Province of Cotabato (North) was recently selected as one of the areas for implementation of a three-year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

This was after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) signed last month an agreement to jointly implement the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women or the GREAT Women Project.

PALMA is an acronym which stands for the name of adjoining municipalities in the first district of Cotabato (North), namely Pigcawayan, Alamada, Libungan, Midsayap and Aleosan. The alliance was recently recognized for the successful pooling of resources as an effective way of developing their communities.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza said that the agreement will give emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises while at the same time bringing about activities that protect and preserve the country's environment and natural resources.

"The Great Women Project will create viable and sustainable micro-enterprises, some of which are expected to be up-scaled into small and medium enterprises," Atienza said.

The DENR Chief said that the operation of the enterprises will transform the women into decision - makers with globally competitive skills, apart from generating a new source of income for their families.

Project GREAT Women has four components which will be carried out by three of DENR's bureaus: capability building on environmental management system and pollution prevention, to be undertaken by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB); community livelihood assistance program by the Forest Management Bureau (FMB); documentation and replication of successful ecotourism project highlighting the role of men and women by Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB); and monitoring and sustainability assessment of the DENR sub-projects by the DENR central office.

The project primarily intends to increase awareness on environmental laws and regulations for the prevention of pollution and protection of the environment as well as produce popular materials on environmental management systems and pollution prevention, for distribution to local government units and micro and medium entrepreneurs.

The project is also expected to increase women's access to economic and enterprise - related programs and services, thus lessen constraints on gender and reproductive roles.

Other selected areas for implementation of GREAT Women Project are Metro Naga in Region 5; Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); Quezon in Region 4-A; Iloilo in Region 6; Bohol in Region 7; Leyte in Region 8 and Davao del Sur in Region 11.

Project GREAT has been allotted more than P8.9 million for its implementation starting this year with the following partners: local government units, private sector, academe, non-government organizations, women's groups, and international organizations, among others. (PIA SarGen) [top]

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