As the country celebrates National Women’s Month this March, PCAF recognizes its first batch of Women of the Week from the National Sectoral Committees (NSCs), Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs), and from its personnel.

In line with the National Women’s Month sub-theme, “Lipunang Patas sa Bagong Pilipinas: Kakayahan ng Kababaihan, Patutunayan!”, the Women of the Week feature is part of PCAF Gender and Development (GAD) Focal System’s series of activities throughout March 2024 to highlight women’s achievements and recognize their contributions to society.


National Sectoral Committee on Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources (CCENR) Chairperson Marita “Mayette” Rodriguez advocates the contributions of women to reduce the negative impact of climate change. As a woman leader, she believes that, “coherent and holistic programs should especially be quickly put in place that recognize our vulnerability to climate change. We need focused and sustained efforts in combating crimes against the oceans and to allow a better playing field for our small fishers and fishing communities.”  She is also the Executive Director of NGOs for Fisheries Reform Inc., a PCAF development partner.


A “Pillar of Agriculture” awardee of the PCAF’s National Volunteers’ Day, NSC on Fruits and Vegetables Chairperson Dr. Mary Ann Sayoc’s leadership inspires others. A former DA Regional Director and Executive Director of the Agricultural Training Institute, she currently leads the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Agriculture Committee and serves as the Public Affairs Lead for the East-West Seed Group. Her ability to navigate diverse roles and consistently champion progress in agriculture demonstrates the transformative power of women in the field.


NSC on Fisheries and Aquaculture Chairperson Dinna Umengan is a champion for a sustainable and equitable fishing industry. Her unwavering dedication and expertise have been instrumental in driving the sector towards responsible practices. Umengan’s work ensures not just the long-term economic viability of the fishing industry, but also promotes sustainable progress and alleviates poverty within its most marginalized communities. 


Nueva Vizcaya MAFC Chairperson Perla Daguay initiated the crafting of a municipal ordinance for the proper disposal of empty pesticide containers and advocated for the adoption of an organic agriculture ordinance to promote sustainable farming practices in their municipality. 

In addition to her involvement in the AFC, Daguay is an active member of various organizations, including the Youth Civic Action Program (YCAP) and the Rural Improvement Club (RIC). Through these organizations, she has initiated outreach programs and financial assistance programs to support the most vulnerable members of their community.


Central Luzon RAFC Organic Agriculture Sectoral Committee Chairperson Jocelyn Reyes concurrently manages the Joyful Garden Farm Organic Farmer Association Inc. in Mataas na Parang, San Ildefonso, Bulacan. The association advocates organic agriculture, training and supporting local farmers as a marketing arm and linking them to prospective consumers and buyers, wholesalers, and retailers.


Bayawan City CAFC Chairperson Engr. Preciosa Maturan is one of the finalists in the 2023 Search for Outstanding CAFC/MAFC Chairpersons and helped Bayawan CAFC win the Outstanding Achiever Award during the 2023 National Volunteers’ Day Celebration. The Chairperson is also active in different councils and committees in the LGU like CDC, CPMEC, PPP, Design and Build Committee, Local Zoning Board, Solid Waste Management Board, Investment and Promotions Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Confederation of Sugar Producers in the Phils., Bayawan Water District Chairman of the Board and Catholic Women’s League Diocesan Board Member.


A champion of peace and economic empowerment, NSC on Coffee and Cacao member Felicitas “Joji” Pantoja is known for her dedication and timeless support for the coffee farmers, especially the indigenous peoples in the upland areas. “Joji” also serves as the President of the Davao Region Coffee Council.

Pantoja further demonstrated her leadership by representing the Committee at the Technical Review Workshop for the Department of Agriculture’s FY2025 Plan and Budget Proposal in Zamboanga City. Her commitment to shaping agricultural policy ensures a stronger future for the coffee industry, particularly for women producers.


Iligan City HUCAFC Chairperson on Urban Agriculture Apipa Cabaro is a passionate 69- year old senior citizen with a vision for a greener future. She conducts orientations on the importance of urban agriculture and recently facilitated the launching of “Basura ni Juan, Tabang sa Kaumahan” Project which aims to convert biodegradable waste into organic fertilizer in close coordination with the City Agriculturist Office. Moreover, through her efforts, the purchase of Public Muslim Cemetery at Barangay Mandulog for her fellow Muslims to have a decent burial ground was considered as a top 5 priority project of the City Mayor for 2024.


Lobo, Batangas MAFC Chairperson Porcia Romasanta played a crucial role in coordinating with the DA CALABARZON regarding the different interventions awarded to LGU of Lobo. She can always be approached to lead the organization and coordination of farmers’ assemblies and the implementation of various agriculture and fishery related activities in the municipality. Her tireless assistance to farmers includes helping the accreditation of local CSOs and serving as resource person for FCAs organization and reorganization. 


Zamboanga Sibugay PAFC Organic Sectoral Committee Chairperson Ana Maria Lao is a renowned organic practitioner. She earned her success in the organic industry by establishing her own organic fertilizer production in the town of Titay in Zamboanga Sibugay. The J5 Lao Organic Fertilizer Producer engages in Vermicomposting, Vermicast Production, and Organic Vegetable growing.


Kalinga PAFC Sectoral Chairperson on Organic Agriculture Rachel Maling is a proud single mother of three children, Rachel Maling established the Mansaja-aw Eco-farm after working at the government for almost 18 years. It focuses on organic agriculture, mushroom processing, papaya production, vermicomposting, etc.  It was also accredited as a Learning Site for Agriculture Level 1, day farm, and farm school. At present, she is a pioneer for organic agriculture in Kalinga. 


Ilocos Region RAFC Sectoral Committee on Fruits and Vegetables Chairperson Florencia Mendoza’s tireless efforts have been instrumental in fostering positive changes, promoting sustainable practices, and enhancing the overall development of the agricultural and fishery sector. Under her guidance, the committee has successfully implemented initiatives aimed at improving production, ensuring food security, and creating opportunities for local farmers. Her ability to bring together diverse stakeholders and facilitate constructive dialogue has been a key factor in achieving consensus and driving positive change.


Irish embodies the qualities of a modern working mom.

She is focused on her tasks and ensures that everything is timely delivered.


Jasmine is seen as very reliable, dedicated, and dependable, and is passionate in helping her co-workers.


Rowena, fondly called by her colleague as Ma’am Weng, is not just a proud mother of academically excellent two children but also of the young professionals in PDD.

She advocates for the welfare of her colleagues, especially her fellow COS, and builds trusting relationships with her AFCs in Central Luzon. Her incredible professional and domestic work serves as a model for all she works with.


Engr. Peachie has built an impressive career for over a decade, showcasing outstanding leadership and extensive expertise in a wide variety of roles.

Currently serving as the Chief of the newly established Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization and Infrastructure Support Section (AFMISS) within PDCD, she plays a pivotal role in overseeing and managing critical initiatives.

These include the implementation of the Constructors’ Performance Evaluation System (CPES) at the Department of Agriculture, the accreditation and classification of National Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery Assemblers, Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, and Dealers (NAMDAC), as well as steering the National Sectoral Committee on Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization (CAFMech).