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Celebrating Resilience: Likha ng Bataeño Trade Fair empowers women entrepreneurs

In harmony with the spirit of the 2024 National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC) and its sub-theme, “Lipunang Patas sa Bagong Pilipinas: Kakayahan ng Kababaihan, Patunayan!”, the Likha ng Bataeño Trade Fair radiated the resilience and capability of women entrepreneurs in Bataan.

This sub-theme mirrors the aspirations outlined in Chapter 15 of the Updated Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Plan 2019-2025, which aims to revolutionize gender norms and culture, fostering an environment of equal opportunity and inclusivity.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bataan, in collaboration with WalterMart Balanga, organized the trade fair, which unfolded from March 1-4, 2024.

With the theme “Inspire Inclusion”, the event served as a vibrant platform for 37 women-led enterprises to showcase their diverse range of food and non-food products, embodying the creativity and tenacity of Bataeño women.

About 37 women-led enterprises showcase their creativity and tenacity at the Likha ng Bataeño Trade Fair, organized by the Department of Trade and Industry in celebration of National Women’s Month 2024, under the theme 'Inspire Inclusion'. (Rick P. Quiambao/PIA 3)

DTI Bataan OIC-Provincial Director Eileen Ocampo, DTI Business Development Division Chief Connie Sanico, and WalterMart Balanga Manager Kat Pajares led the ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the official commencement of the trade fair.

Ocampo emphasized the significance of supporting women entrepreneurs, particularly during the NWMC, as a means to challenge traditional gender roles and foster economic empowerment.

Among the exhibitors was Susana Yalong, a testament to the transformative impact of DTI’s support on women-owned businesses.

Susana Yalong, a 58-year-old resident of Pilar town and owner of Susan’s Food Products, expresses gratitude to the Department of Trade and Industry for empowering women through the Likha ng Bataeño Trade Fair, providing them with the opportunity to showcase their products and expand their businesses. (Rick P. Quiambao/PIA 3)

Recalling the assistance received, from training on labeling and packaging to financial aid during the pandemic, Yalong expressed gratitude for the opportunities provided, not only for herself but for fellow women entrepreneurs in Bataan.

Likewise, Mylene Tecena’s participation underscored the importance of initiatives like the Likha ng Bataeño Trade Fair in creating avenues for women to thrive in the business landscape. Her enthusiasm reflected the collective sentiment of women entrepreneurs, bolstered by the unwavering support of the agency.

As the curtains drew on the Likha ng Bataeño Trade Fair, its legacy reverberated beyond the confines of the province. It stood as a beacon of hope and inspiration, aligning with the aspirations of the NWMC and the strategic objectives outlined in the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Plan.

Through collaborative efforts and steadfast commitment, DTI Bataan has catalyzed a paradigm shift, paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive society, where the capabilities of women are celebrated and recognized as integral to the fabric of a progressive Philippines. (CLJD/RPQ-PIA 3)

Mylene Tecena, a 39-year-old resident of Hermosa town and owner of Mekus-Mekus Food Products, expresses overwhelming gratitude for the support and assistance received from the Department of Trade and Industry. Participating for the first time in the Likha ng Bataeño Trade Fair, she emphasizes how the agency's opportunity will help her provide for her family. (Rick P. Quiambao/PIA 3)

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William Beltran

Regional Head

Region 3

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