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Aldersgate College Women’s Center turned over

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AURORA, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, June 9 – The newly constructed Aldersgate College Women’s Center in this barangay was officially turned over by Hiroyuki “Hiro” Enoki, First Secretary and labour Attache, Economic Section of the Japanese Embassy in Metro Manila to Aldersgate College represented by former President now Philippine Christian University Dr. Junifen F. Gauuan and Dr. Prescilla Esperanza A. Soriano, President here today.

Welcoming the group was Dr. Soriano who thanked the Japanese Embassy particularly Hiroyuki for donating the Women’s Center worth more or less 4 Million Pesos which strengthens the bond between Japan and the Philippines. Through Japan’s fund assistance, it is hoped that Aldersgate College will be able to pursue its goals to empower rural women and families; to confront the multiple dimensions of poverty; and to attain economic self-sufficiency anchored on their own needs, capabilities, and priorities.

Acting Governor Epifanio LD. Galima Jr., vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of Aldersgate College, delivered the first message thanking the government of Japan represented by Hiroyuki. He apologized for the absence of Governor Ruth R. Padilla who was supposed to grace the occasion because she wen on an extended leave.

The AC Women’s Center is built on a 13-hectare lot of Aldersgate College which was bought in 1998 and it was worth P260,000 according to Dr. Gauuan who was then the President of AC.

Next to deliver a message was Quezon Mayor Aurelio S. Salunat who extended his gratitude to Hiro and AC for this training center for women as well as men. As president of the Nueva Vizcaya PUblic School Teachers’ Association (NVPSTA) for more than 30 years now, he thanked Dr. Romeo Yarcia, Vizcaya Advocate editor-in-chief and NVPSTA officer for supporting him. He is also the president of the Municipal Mayor’s League of Nueva Vizcaya. He apologized for the absence the invited vice mayor and all municipal councilors of Quezon. He said he was elected mayor in 2007 and continued as elected mayor up to the present for almost nine years. With the presence of the FCF Mining Corp. in Runruno, Quezon, he said that hopefully, in God’s time, Quezon will become a city.

Speaking of his accomplishments in Quezon, Salunat said that the provincial and national roads in Quezon are now cemented. A gymnasium in front of the Municipal Hall in Quezon is being constructed with 7.5 million from the funds of Cong. Carlos M. Padilla and P2.5 from Governor Ruth R. Padilla’s funds. Other projects include bridges, and other infrastructure projects.

A final message was given by Hiro who first congratulated Aldersgate College officers for the successful completion of the project. He also expressed his sincere gratitude and respect to all, including Aldersgate College, the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya, and the Local Government Unit of Quezon, who have committed their time and effort for the realization of this project.

Hiro said, “As you know, Nueva Vizcaya is one of the poorest provinces in the country. As an agricultural province, we are aware that the people of Nueva Vizcaya are heavily dependent on seasonal and traditional agriculture work and we know that it is very difficult to earn a decent income from these small farm activities. Sadly, this situation only worsens the rural poverty incidence in Nueva Vizcaya. To combat the effects of poverty, it is a must that all members of the society, including the women are able to actively contribute to the economic growth of their community. In Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strongly implements the initiatives regarding women’s empowerment and gender equality because women empowerment is essential for a vibrant and growing society to create an environment where women can demonstrate their power to the fullest extent. ”

He added, “This project involves the construction of women’s training center and procurement of training equipment. The center will be a venue to conduct livelihood training for women not only in organic farming but also in food processing, marketing and organizational development.”

He hoped that this women’s training center will be used for the best interest and welfare of the beneficiaries and will help improve the living condition of the people of Municipality of Quezon, He also wished that this project will serve as a symbol of friendship and strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan.

He concluded that “last week, President Aquino paid a state visit to Japan on the invitation of the Government of Japan. During his visit, the further strengthening of the partnership between two countries has been committed. In this context, I would like t o assure you that the Government of Japan, as the top donor for the Philippines, will continue to remain strongly committed in providing development assistance to the Philippines in any way possible.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was then, held and led by Hiroyuki, Galima, Salunat, Gauuan, and Soriano. A tour of the women’s center was done by Hiroyuki, Glennie Tolentino, Japan Embassy representative, Galima, Salunat, Soriano, Dr. Romeo Bicad, Dr. Divina Gracia Apolonio, Engr. Josephine Jasmin, and EXECOM Committee.

The affair was also attended by Arthur Castriciones, acting head of Provincial Cooperative Affairs Office; Venerando A. Ildefonso, Senior Program Specialist, PCAO; Jennilyn Ballestra, Manager, Quezon United Peoples Credit Cooperative; Elza Malinar, Chairman, QUPCC; Marlyn Salazar, Manager, Calaocan Credit Coop; George Nahhog, Maasin Responsible Parents Credit Coop, Aldersgate College Deans, Directors, and Academic Support.

The program was emceed by Alexis Dumelod from the AC Office of student Affairs. #rjyarcia_Vizcaya_Advocate_VolumeXLIX_No.23