Canadian Ambassador Visits Women's Coop in Pangasinan

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 1 led by Regional Director (RD) Grace Falgui-Baluyan, DTI Pangasinan Provincial Director Natalia Dalaten, together with local government unit (LGU) Mapandan officials and the officers and members of Women’s Unity for Progress Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (WUFP-FMPC) welcomed Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Peter MacArthur as he visited the cooperative’s pickled papaya (atchara) Processing Facility in Brgy. Premicias, Mapandan, Pangasinan on 22 June 2022.

Mr. John Lok, Head of Cooperation Global Affairs Canada and Mr. Matt Navalta, CESO’s Representative in the Philippines also joined the visit.

The cooperative is a recipient of the Accelerated Women Empowerment (AWE) Project of the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), a leading development organization committed to strengthening economic and social well-being in Canada and globally. For almost 50 years, CESO has been building stronger economies and better lives through its volunteers, known as “Volunteer Advisors” (VAs), who share their knowledge and expertise with clients through a collaborative advisory and mentorship model.

Thru the AWE Project, technical assistances on strategic marketing, digital marketing and training on communication development were given to the women’s cooperative. Three other cooperative and groups in the region are also beneficiaries of the AWE Project such as the Cervantes Ilocos Sur for Women Development Center, Inc. and Arangkada Barobor Rural Improvement Club Inc., both from the province of Ilocos Sur and the Bagnos Multipurpose Cooperative in Ilocos Norte.

In his message, Canadian Ambassador MacArthur encouraged the members of the cooperative to continue their laudable efforts in improving their pickled papaya product especially so that it has a big potential in the international market. He congratulated the women members who are worthy of emulation in the community.

Ms. Anabel Meneses, General Manager of WUFP-PMPC, was overwhelmed by the visit. Their cooperative was grateful that despite being a small group located in a far-flung area, they were given such attention by the Canadian Government. “There are many challenges in running a cooperative for women like us who also need to take care of our family and do household chores. But our commitment and passion to succeed drove us to where we are now “she added.

DTI has been providing skills and other trainings to the women’s cooperative members, including the Kapatid Mentor Micro Entrepreneurs (KMME) Program. They are also a recipient of the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Project wherein they received PHP340,000 worth of various equipment for their pickled papaya processing.

RD Grace Falgui-Baluyan thanked the CESO for the continuous support that they have been giving to MSMEs in the Ilocos Region. In her message, she highlighted the importance of collaboration among national government, LGUs and the community towards economic development.

Date of Release: 11 July 2022