EMB-CAR CELEBRATES WOMEN’S MONTH
As a fundamental part in adherence to the International Women’s Day (IWD) every March 8, the Environmental Management Bureau – Cordillera Administrative Region (EMB DENR-CAR) employees enthusiastically celebrated the National Women’s Month through a wearing of advocacy jackets on March 9, 2020 bearing a special message of “Men and Women in Equality: Endowed with the Same Dignity.” This reiterated as it raises awareness of the importance of equality of opportunities among women and men.
In celebration of Women’s Month 2020, this Office vows to support and unite with the national and international commitments on gender and development (GAD), promote and advocate women’s rights integrating in this Office’s programs, projects, and activities (PPAs).
For the whole month of March 2020, there were planned activities but were cancelled due to the strict curb on movements caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
EMB-CAR AIDS WOMEN WORKERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19, SEWED FACEMASKS FOR FRONT LINERS
The EMB DENR-CAR under its Gender and Development (GAD) program assisted women workers affected by COVID-19. With the worldwide situation where lifesaving medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) are scarce, it is apparent that the status quo is detrimental to health workers and the public, thus everyone is enjoined including this Office led by the Regional Director Ma. Victoria V. Abrera to share possible ways to aid and contain the spread of the virus.
The women workers of BSU Garments sewed 3000 washable facemasks designed with tissue filter as an alternative to capture smaller virus particles. The first batch of masks was then turned-over officially led by the Cordillera RIATG for Covid-19 Chairperson Albert A. Mogol and DENR-CAR Regional Director Ralph C. Pablo to PROCOR Regional Director BGEN R’win Pagkalinawan for frontliners manning various checkpoints in the region. Following beneficiaries were Pines Doctor’s Hospital, Luis Hora Regional Memorial Hospital in Mountain Province and remaining are set to be distributed to Benguet General Hospital, Birthing Clinic of CCDC, and BLGU Bauko.
EMB-CAR SUPPORTS AFFECTED LOCAL WOMEN WEAVERS DURING COVID-19, WEAVED GO-BAGS DISTRIBUTED TO EMB-CAR EMPLOYEES
This year, the world was shaken by a pandemic which allowed opportunities amidst uncertainties. These opportunities are, but not limited to distribution of food packs and medical supplies. Hence, this Office through the Gender and Development (GAD) program intends to heighten and strengthen its campaign to fight COVID-19 and to safeguard women and men employees from contracting the virus while helping affected women weavers from Cordillera. One of the efforts led by this Office since the announcement of a state of emergency is to provide its employees with necessary gears, sanitation, and medical supplies, thus, on August 2020, 125 Go Bags containing sanitation items were distributed to EMB-CAR women and men employees useful to protect themselves from COVID-19 virus.
EMB-CAR PROVIDES MECHANISMS TO STRENGTHEN WOMEN AND MEN EMPLOYEES EMOTIONALLY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The sudden outbreak of the corona disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be very worrying for most women and men in the country. The fear, the anxiety and draining emotions caused by the disease overwhelm most of us. With this, this Office led by the Regional Director Ma. Victoria V. Abrera through the Gender and Development (GAD) Program aims to heighten alert and to provide mechanisms for its women and men employees to keep an eye on their mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.
On July 14, 2020, a combination of a face-to-face seminar for limited participants and via a Zoom meeting was held at EMB-CAR, DENR, Compound, Baguio City with the following topics: a) Wellness and how to deal with uncertainties amidst a pandemic, b) The mental and emotional challenges and ways to overcome them, c) The mindset towards a crisis, approach and diversion; and d) Obesity and physical wellbeing in the workplace and at home, and d) Gender Roles during pandemic.
On the first session on wellness and how to deal with uncertainties amidst a pandemic, a new normal was tackled and what “new normal” activities are. The speaker, Professor and a Dean at Saint Loui University discussed about maintaining positive wellbeing in the new normal. By which he had the following objectives at the end of his discussion:
- Understanding the New Normal.
- Share and discuss Coping Mechanisms and Strategies during the Covid 19 Pandemic/New Normal.
- Improve One’s Emotional and Mental Health and Crisis Management
- Hopefully, help you get on a positive outlook during this pandemic/new normal.
Among others are self-crisis management and ways to overcome and divert emotions. The last session was about obesity and physical wellbeing in the workplace and at home. The discussion outlines were given as: obesity is not only about weight, what people don’t know about obesity, obesity in the workplace, why employers play a big role, interventions to address obesity in the workplace and the cost-effectiveness of interventions.
AN HOUR OF ENCOURAGEMENT WITH MS. UNIVERSE 4TH RUNNER-UP VENUS RAJ
Since the start of the enhanced community quarantine, things have changed drastically including the lifestyle causing work-related stress in the workplace. With this, through the Gender and Development (GAD) approach, EMB CAR aims to provide mechanisms to curb pressures and anxieties through provisions of constructive and motivational seminars.
On August 13-14,2020 diverse topics have been discussed including RA No. 11058 or the Act Strengthening with Occupational Safety and Health Standards in relation to COVID-19 pandemic. It intends to identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement. It also creates a platform for EMB-CAR of an information associated with work, health risks involved or to which they are exposed to, preventive measures to eliminate or minimize the risks, and steps to be taken in cases of emergency.
Among the topics discussed for the 2-day seminar were Leadership Wellness by the President of HOPE Christian Academy, Mr. Jonathan Mandapat, an hour for encouragement given by the 4th Runner-Up Ms. Universe Ma. Venus B. Raj, the relationship associated with Health and the Environment given by assistant professor of Ateneo University Dr. Geminn Apostol, and lastly, COVID-19 and Gender discussed by Ms. Jemelle Milanes, gender specialist at Philippine Commission of Women.
EMB-CAR ENGAGES THE COMMUNITY TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN (VAWC)
On November 25, 2020, this Office through the Gender and Development (GAD) in partnership with the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office – LGU Kibungan conducted one-day seminar-workshop at Public Market, Kibungan, Benguet participated by 48 women, men and youth. The participants were composed of Barangay Officials, PNP personnel, Women’s Desk Volunteers and SK Officials.
The nationwide 18-day campaign participated by this Office and its partners from November 25 – December 12 is mandated by Proclamation 1172 s. 2006. It is a mechanism to support the Philippines’ goal of protecting human rights of women and girls by upholding its commitment to address all forms of gender-based violence as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
The first lecture was given by Ms. Imelda D. Mendoza on the mandates of RA 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act aiming to raise awareness on the punishable acts on gender-based harassment in public spaces and online. Meanwhile, Atty. Fritzie Abella tackled the mandates of RA 9262 or Violence Against Women Act wherein many issues arose from the topic in relation to the participants’ roles in their respective barangays.
Meanwhile, an environmental lecture specifically on the Clean Water Act of 2004 was given by Mr. Mark Anthony Solano which also seeks to intensify the campaign within the Cordillera to regulate and provide a comprehensive water quality management. This serves as a venue that women and men should be educated as they are active agents in the management and protection of the environment and natural resources.
EMB-CAR JOINS THE NATION IN THE OBSERVANCE OF THE 18-DAY CAMPAIGN TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES
On November 26, 2020, this Office through the Gender and Development (GAD) conducted activities in observance of the 18-Days Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) at EMB Office, DENR Compound, Baguio City.
The 18-day campaign from November 25 – December 12, 2020 was kicked off through series of activities by letting all EMB personnel wear orange shirt tagged as #VAWFreeCommunityStartswithMe. Orange is a color to symbolize a brighter future for girls and women and as an uproar to end violence. This was followed by a webinar on GAD related laws including the RA 11313 or Safe Spaces Act / Bawal Bastos Law wherein Atty. Vanessa B. Tayaban, a professor at University of the Cordilleras was invited to speak.
EMB-CAR LAUNCHES ITS LACTATION STATION
November 26, 2020, this Office led by the Regional Director Ma. Victoria V. Abrera inaugurated EMB-CAR’s lactation room giving rise and support of the RA No. 10028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009”. Accordingly, the State adopts rooming-in as a national policy to encourage, protect, and support the practice of breastfeeding. It shall create an environment where basic physical, emotional, and psychological needs of mothers and infants are fulfilled through the practice of rooming-in and breastfeeding.
EMB-CAR EMPOWERS WOMEN AND MEN THROUGH ESTABLISHMENT OF BARANGAY GARDENS FOR FOOD SECURITY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN TIMES OF PANDEMIC
During a pre-SONA forum on July 22, 2020, the DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, also the chairman of the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR), said that addressing climate emergency remains urgent. He said that the government will increase resilience and adaptive capacity to both coronavirus pandemic and climate change. Having a multiple effect in climate change, he said that the ecosystem becomes unstable and loses its balance, thus, food production will be affected. One of the government programs that maybe helpful is the “Plant, Plant, Plant” that shall be inaugurated to ensure food security, together with the reforestation and watershed management, forest protection and agro-forestry development.
While calamities, accidents and pandemics are inevitable consequences of climate change, food becomes a central need during such existences. With the recent lockdowns and community enhanced quarantines in the country, it is evident that the communities are very reliant on the relief goods and social amelioration program from the government. With this, women are the most vulnerable and troubled in ensuring food availability for their families.
Covid-19 pandemic has become the biggest challenge in the world these days, however, the secretary expressed optimism that the country will be able to come out of this and that the Philippines can convert health crisis into opportunities to accelerate climate action.
To integrate gender perspectives in all EMB-CAR DENR programs, projects, and activities (PPAs), the Gender and Development (GAD) came up with a sustainable project to walk the talk through promotion of composting, reducing food waste, to green the environment and to prepare for climate change impacts and effects. Thus, women in the communities should be proficient and empowered to ensure food security and to lead resiliency to face hostile consequences of calamities and pandemics.
On September 8, 2020, this Office started the coordination with Barangay Chairmen in Benguet and other beneficiaries from CAR and followed by a MOA Signing. There are ten barangay beneficiaries in the Region.
On November 3, 2020, the distribution of garden tools as part of the technical assistance was mobilized. The monitoring scheme will be done by the PEMUs in the concerned provinces to ensure the stringent compliance until the harvest and marketing. As planned, the vegetable produce will be sold for additional income mostly by women beneficiaries. The next as of this writing will be the monitoring and implementation phases which will commence from January 2021 until March 2021 for the proposed “Agri-Fair” to be conducted at EMB DENR-CAR compound as part of the Women’s Month Celebration.