From Marching Activists to organic farming advocates
By: Irma Alindogan-Guhit
PIA-Sorsogon City : February 25 : "The mark of Edsa in 1986 is like some watermark etched in my consiousness. I was there marching as a member of a very strong well-known women organization calling for reforms in government.It was one of my best memories kept, but now shared in a different light." Pat Guevarra Executive Officer of Sorsogon Go Organic Farming Paaralang Para Sa Masa smiled while hosting the Training on Rapid Composting for Organic Fertilizer Production here at the Korean International Cooperation Agency Abuyog Demo Farm yesterday.
'Today I have found my niche to really implement changes in government by first changing my outlook and reinventing myself. 'The Nanay Watch" which I and Mila Ragos have organized are marching mothers in the grassroots communities who are inspired and practicing organic farming here in the province.of Sorsogon. They are now home backyard producers of organic food and organic herbals for alternative medicine."Pat declared.
A total of 102 participants comprising of organic farming practitioners and enthusiasts were in attendance here yesterday during the training on rapid composting for massive organic fertilizer production, a joint effort of the provincial government through governor Raul R. Lee and the Department of Agriculture Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (DA-FPA)
"The price of commercial fetilizers is so expensive aside from being harmful to the soil and to our health.My family are farmers and in Magallanes my father was known to be a farmer during his days and I am too." Atty Gavino I. Barlin Deputy Executive Director, FPA told the attendees in his message.
"Now in my senior year much as I want to live a longer healthy life, as deputy director of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority and being a Sorsoganon I want to share the benefits of advocating organic farming here in the province which governor Raul R. Lee is spearheading and as he always told me that this is one of his projects to combat global warming and as a mitigation and adaptation initiative to climate change and to articulate the implementation of the solid waste management program of the province"
Mila Ragos president of the National Nanay Watch Organization of the Philippines and a former college professor of the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus has been a staunch organizer of women to advocate organic farming as one of Nanay Watch rural development agenda.
"I have 10 active core women members here in Sorsogon. All of them are here now attending this training so that they will be leaders in their communities.I hope they will gain the proper knowledge now being shared to us by Dr. Wilma M. Obcemea on the rapid composting techique using tricodemia so that proper management of household wastes by turning them into compost can be a very handy fertilizer for home backyard gardening" Mila Ragos shared.
"Augmentng their income without leaving home, managing their household wastes by pursuing for a clean environment and seeing them being served by government too by the programs initiated like these are the changes we have had marched for at Edsa."
"Pat and I were together in our Edsa days as marching social activists calling for changes in government.Now, as I have retired from my teaching post I have to channel my energy in another way." Mila quipped with a smile.
"I have reinvented myself too, from initiating radical movements we have reformulated our stategies that of partnering with government implementing development agenda through agriculture. We have also reinvented our outlook but without changing our principles and our desire for change"
"Celebrating Edsa here in Sorsogon through Nanay Watch is our way of celebrating the gains of the Edsa in 1986 were Pat and I marched for and where our governor thinks the same.Some of our friends who know us well often say we are of the same streak"
"I believe in the PNoy administration's style of simplifying ways in governance where every Filipino can access the benefits of Edsa and one of these is his 4Ps program.This activity today spearheaded by the provincial government is one of the ways where local participation can be achieved, where rural development can be implemented and where government can be felt'.
"Pat and I believe that the true march we have had in Edsa is now still a march we are continuing in the province through Nanay Watch.I would like also to say that the former governor Sally Lee linked this march by networking with the Korean government in the realization of this KOICA Demo farm for organic farming here in our province specially for our women." (PIA-Sorsogon)