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FEATURED FELLOW

“They say once maging politician ka, sometimes you cannot take it back. Kahit hindi ka na elected official, lahat ng natutunan mo, hindi mo pa ba itutuloy ito? Andyan na ‘yan. So I can still see myself serving and creating projects and programs for the province and for the people.”

Vice Mayor Galang of Floridablanca, Pampanga
Being a public servant is sometimes more than just a calling; it is a task guided by a main purpose. Without your purpose, you would not be able to serve the people up to the most of your capabilities.

 

As a woman, first-termer Ilocos Sur Board Member Mika Mendoza advocates women empowerment in her local government unit. Seeing the need of the province to have a proper and functioning women’s organization, Board Member Mika proposed the “Pinay Power” project. It is a series of activities and seminars that target the women of Ilocos Sur. After assessing the specific needs of the communities, they came up with programs that would address those needs. They divided the 34 municipalities into 12 clusters and conducted one leg of “Pinay Power” in each cluster. They were able to tap some lawyers to discuss about legislation at the barangay level because they found out that most of the officials are underestimating their power to influence the legislators to pass ordinances that would benefit the constituents.

As a result, more ordinances and resolutions were drafted, helping the women become more empowered. A proper organization for women, the Ilocos Sur Women’s Association, was also established which will head the second caravan of “Pinay Power”, now called “Pamilya, Isang Puso” caravan.This will focus on strengthening the internal relations of families.

While Board Member Mika was still on the pre-implementation phase of Pinay Power, there were times when she wants to give up the project because she doubted if it will be effective to address the needs of the women of Ilocos Sur, not to mention that the small budget made it harder for them to implement it smoothly. In times of doubt, she was thankful that YLGG was there for her to lead her back to her purpose for doing this project. In a way, she considers YLGG as an important factor on why she wants to serve the province more in the future.

Recently, the foundation talked to Board Member Mika during IRI’s monitoring and evaluation visit last November 2018. She also partnered with the foundation for the Tsinelas Youth Leadership Forum which was successfully held last January 12, 2019 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. It was participated by 60 student leaders from senior high schools and colleges in Ilocos Sur.

- Board Member Ma. Mikaela Karita "Mika" S. Mendoza

   (Ilocos Sur)

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