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DOST V celebrates Women’s Month with “Juana” activities

Since 2004, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region V actively implemented the GAD program intended for two (2) levels: organization and client-focused undertakings. It has been incorporating GAD in its various programs and projects not only for compliance but to enhance awareness and promote initiatives that address gender issues especially on equality, needs, control of resources and others. After all, men and women are development partners in society though women empowerment is the major clamor and battle cry in countries dominated by men.

DOST V scheduled a series of Gender and Development (GAD) activities for its personnel during the months of February and March 2014. This is in line with the celebration of the Women’s Month in March pursuant to Proclamation No. 227, Series of 1988 where March 8 of every year is International Women’s Day.

The Orientation on GAD Database was conducted last 24 February 2014 with Hon. Fortunato T. De La Peña, Undersecretary  for S & T Services and DOST-wide GAD Focal Person as the guest of honor. He was introduced by Dir. Tomas B. Briñas, Regional Director, DOST V. Usec De La Peña shared how he was assigned as the GAD Focal Person (mostly GAD Focal Persons nationwide are women with Assistant Secretary Ma. Lourdes P. Orjola as his predecessor). He related his role in presiding the meeting in behalf of the Chair in the United Nations (UN) Commission for S & T Development in 2011 and gave the message for the 55thSession for the Status of Women involving forty-three (43) countries from several continents.

He also related the high regard by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) for DOST with five (5) plaques/awards received in 2013. DOST V was honored with a National Distinction Award for the GAD program implementation including the GREAT Women (Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women) projects in the Province of Camarines Sur. During the Women Micro Entrepreneurs (WME) Forum and Exhibits, the GREAT Women projects were featured (e.g. Crab Paste Processing in Gainza, and other women-led initiatives of member-institutions. A significant testimony cited was for women earning P90 or more a day through the project compared only P5 or none at all before. The enthusiasm and actions of women through their contributions in technology and livelihood development showed women empowerment in the real sense that PCW works for.

Usec. De La Peña who mentioned that GREAT Women is an enabling mechanism for DOST-assisted micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The GREAT women brand similar to that displayed outside Tesoro’s along Pasay Road “We sell products under the GREAT Women Brand” resulting to opening of new markets for products catering to tourists such as food, housewares, textile and others. Usec De La Peña mentioned the Skills Training for Retirees and Would-be Retirees, and also for GAD being conducted by the Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI).

Usec. De La Peña exhorted DOST V of the need to improve data gathering, analysis, interpretation and presentation for planners for appropriate decision making based on facts and figures. A simple disaggregation of data such as determining the number of male and women as participants or having Statistics on Women/Facts on Women is necessary for understanding  the reason behind any alternative course of action. He cited that the S & T scholarship program usually has more men than women. Through the years this has changed with an increasing number of women involved in S & T careers as scientists, engineers and researchers. For the GAD database, Usec De La Peña advised to closely work with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Ms. Fe Singson, a GAD program staff lectured on the GAD Approach to Statistical Concepts, Definitions and Principles. It was also an apportunity for Usec. De La Peña and Ms. Singson to listen to the reports of Dr. Rafaelita O. Lucena, DOST V GAD Focal Person and Provincial S & T Directors(Engr. Jacinto Alexis Elegado, Albay; Mr. Jorge Pedro V. Villanea, Camarines Norte; Ms. Patrocinio N. Felizmenio, Camarines Sur; Mr. Emmanuel G.Gium, Masbate; and Engr. Jerry Asuncion, Sorosogon. (Mr. Jaime V. Cabrera, Catanduanes was attending to the conduct of DOST Science Explorer) for the GAD Plan for 2014 and Accomplishments for 2013. The successful implementation of GAD program is reflective of the strong support from the DOST V top management headed by Dir. Tomas B. Briñas.

Another activity was the Seminar on Financial Wellnes with representatives from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)-Legazpi City (Mesdames Sharon Moyano and Paulette Gay Santiago). It was an informative and comprehensive discussion on financial security, financial freedom and financial independence. With fifty two (2) DOST V personnel who were guided on income, expenditure and savings could be the start/continuity of a sound and productive life.

With the theme Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong, DOST V will conduct a GAD activity on 26 March at DOST V Conference Room to consist of “Juana Talk”, “Juana Dance” and “Juana Contest”.

Topics and resource speakers will include Director Tomas B. Briñas, Regional Director, DOST V (Achieving a Science and Technology Career); Dr. Marissa N. Estrella, Dean, Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry(Balancing Between Career and Family); Ms. Consuelo L. Gillego, Administrative Officer V, DOST V (Experiencing Life as a Senior Citizen) and Ms. Patrocinio N. Felizmenio (On Surviving.. Health and Beyond). (Dr. P.O Lucena, DOST V).