Women's Month celebration in DENR
By: Romina Pe Benito

With the theme, Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda, the DENR held a program on the celebration of Women’s Month during the flag-raising ceremony at the central office in Quezon City in the morning of 07 March 2016. It was attended by key officials led by DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje and employees.
In his message, Secretary Paje greeted the women of DENR “happy women’s month” and greeted the men “happy women’s day” explaining that for the men, everyday is women’s day.  He said that women have long been included in the agenda,  with the women in the department making up more than half of its workforce.  He described as so beautiful (napakaganda) his experience of working in DENR.  He expressed confidence that the increase in  the number of the women in male-dominated fields and levels of leadership particularly in his department will not change.  He emphasized too the importance of equality and lack of discrimination with regard to women, men, indigenous peoples, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and the physically challenged.  He clarified, however, that in employment and promotion, the aforementioned conditions should not be used to the advantage of the person because competency and capability are also important.  
In her message, Asec. Corazon C. Davis, Vice-Chairperson of the DENR-National Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System (FPS) spoke of the transition in the leadership in the department, from being male-dominated to having more women occupying leadership roles especially during the term of Secretary Paje.  She thanked the Secretary for the turnaround in the trend and encouraged the present batch of “Juanas” in the department to pursue managerial positions in the department.  She said, kasama talaga tayo sa agenda noon pa and may pag-asa din kayo sa departamento na ito.
The awarding of the transfer certificate of title and deed of absolute sale was also held during the flag ceremony for beneficiaries under the housing program dubbed Project HOPE of the department.  This was emceed by Ms. Jane G. Bautista, DENR chairperson of the technical working group and secretariat of Project HOPE.  The program ended with a raffle of prizes that was conducted by the DENR GAD secretariat.  The prizes were donated by the attached bureaus and agencies of the department.  
Mr.Thomas Kabigting of the Forest Management Bureau was the overall emcee. The other participants and their respective parts in the flag ceremony are as follows: the GAD FPS of the Land Management Bureau, the invocation; the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Chorale, the national anthem; Ms. Ellen Basug of the Environmental Management Bureau, the pledge of allegiance to the Philippine flag; the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau Choir, the DENR Hymn; and the DENR daycare students, a special number. NAMRIA was represented by Deputy Administrator Jose C. Cabanayan Jr. and the members of the agency’s Gender and Development Focal Point System led by co-chairperson Ms. Ofelia T. Castro.


DENR Secretary Paje gives his message

DENR Assistant Secretary Davis gives her message as DENR-National GAD FPS vice chairperson

From NAMRIA (from left to right): Assistant Director Castro, Ms. Paulina S. Bernabe, Deputy Administrator Cabanayan, Ms. Xenia R. Andres, Ms. Jeanevie T. Habitan, and the author

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