BWEL 2023 Held, Minda Secretary Acosta is Keynote
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In line with the National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC), City of Isabela hosted the 2nd Basilan Women Executives and Legislators (BWEL) Convention on March 14 at the Kasinnahan Hotel and Resort. The BWEL Summit is a gathering of all women government executives, legislators, and leaders from across the 2 cities and 13 municipalities of Basilan Province. It aims to provide a platform for a collective aspiration and its translation to actual advocacies and actions for women participation, welfare and advancement.

Mayor Turabin-Hataman expressed her gratitude and recognized, on behalf of the women of Basilan, MinDA Chairperson Sec. Maria Belen Acosta and thanked the panelists, who included BARMM Parliament Minority Leader and MP Atty. Laisa Alamia, Connected Women co-founder Ruth Yu-Owen, independent curator and cultural scholar Marian Pastor Roces and the former vice governor of North Cotabato Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva, women who –in the words of Mayor Turabin-Hataman –“have made a significant impact, to be inspired not only by their work, but by the very lives they live.”

During her welcome remarks, Mayor Turabin-Hataman recognized the women contingents from the different Local Government Units of Basilan, including the Provincial Government, and partner agencies from CSOs, barangay chairpersons in Isabela City and national government agencies.

“We need to know each other, we need to support each other, build each other and when there’s a need, we to protect each other. Yun ang purpose ng BWEL na sabay-sabay tayong natuto, nabibigyan ng mga oportunidad, sabay-sabay tayong nakikilala ang galing bawat isa. Etong araw nato ay selebrasyon nating mga women executive and legislative ng Basilan,” the local chief executive expounded.

This was followed by Councilor Karel Annjaiza Sakallahul, chair of the SP committees on women, children and family affairs, and gender and development, who introduced the keynote speaker.

In her keynote, Mindanao Development Authority Chairperson Secretary Maria Belen Acosta shared that “if good people come together, something good really comes out of it.” Secretary Acosta then thanked Mayor Turabin-Hataman for organizing the gathering and hope that many more gatherings will happen throughout the years as Basilan as it will have more women leaders. “Grow wherever you are, you glow in whenever corner that you find yourself in.”

“I believe that women leaders play a significant part in lobbying for the needs of the communities and ensuring continuous peace. Women in the family are also empower through access to capital and financing facilities, information technology, innovations and livelihood opportunities,” Sec. Acosta added. (Words by S.J. Asakil/M.Santos, D. Jalani, CIO)