San Fernando City – “We can help make a difference and create a safer community and a Province of La Union.”  

These were stated by Vini Nola A. Ortega chairperson of the La Union Vibrant Women, Inc. (LUVWI) and one of the empowered women leaders in the province during the National Women’s Month (NWM) celebration conducted by the Department of Education Regional Office 1 (DepEd ROI) at the Executive Conference Hall on March 5.  

Ortega shared that her roles include empowering of women and providing them assistance as she has witnessed the challenges they encountered.  

Citing the La Union Police Provincial Office statistics for the past five years, she said that an average of 105 cases of violence against women and 127 cases of violence against children every year has been reported.  

One of their projects at present, in partnership with the provincial government, is the construction of the ‘Sanctuary of Hope,’ a temporary shelter for the abused and neglected women and children in the province.  

“We will be building a home, a sanctuary, and a hope, a refuge for those who do not have a place to call a home,” Ortega said in her message.  

The LUVWI chairperson also champions the advocacy on the promotion of Abel de Iloko fabric to help boost the market of local weavers in the province.  

Meanwhile, Officer-In-Charge, Office of the Assistant Regional Director Ronald B. Castillo, in his message, said DepEd continues to provide access and quality education. 

“We will continue to empower our young girls in schools and uphold child protection programs for these young learners,” he said. 

With almost 80 percent of DepEd regional office personnel are women, he said several  interventions for this new normal situation are being undertaken for working mothers who are also working at home.  

Prior to the program, DepEd RO 1 personnel also participated in a Zumba, a health and wellness activity as part of the NWM 2021 celebration.  

“Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world,” is the theme for this year’s celebration.

By Joan Diaz-Sabado