By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
Volunteer worker Gemma Moquete was recently awarded this year’s Ang Ilongga Award, a result of the search for an outstanding female community leader by the Junior Chamber International Iloilo Ilang-Ilang.
“I was really surprised when my name was called,” she said. “I never expected it.”
Moquete currently serves as federation president for the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina, a grassroots women’s organization, and had previously worked as a barangay health worker and a family planning facilitator for a Save the Children project.
According to Dr. Helen Minguez of the Concepcion Municipal Health Station, who submitted the nomination, her volunteer experience with Save the Children opened the opportunity for Moquete to become a Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHI-CIDSS) community empowerment facilitator.
In that position, she assisted in the establishment of a day care center, solar-powered streetlights, post-harvest facilities, and a barangay access road.
“Gemma has indeed made major contributions in the field of women empowerment,” said Minguez. “As a volunteer worker, she doesn’t get compensated for her efforts and services, but I never hear her complain.”
She added, Moquete’s record also allowed for the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) to provide P1 million worth of livelihood assistance, to be distributed to local fisherfolk with small businesses.
Other nominees for the award included Dumangas Town Council Member Jasmin Ocampo, Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Rina Salaya of the Maasin Municipal Police Station Women and Children’s Protection Desk, Dueñas Tourism Officer Susan Pacheo, and retired Iloilo Prosecutor Irene Panigbatan./WDJ