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LGUs to highlight women’s role in disaster risk reduction and management during Women’s Month celebration

By MYLES JOSEPH E. COLASITO
March 7, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The key role of women in disaster risk reduction and management shall be among the highlights of the activities that will be conducted by local governments nationwide as they celebrate Women’s Month this March, according to Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

“It is high time that we accentuate women’s involvement in disaster preparedness, risk reduction, recovery and rehabilitation,” said Robredo, adding that "they (women) too play an equally important role in these efforts."

The theme for this year’s celebration, “Women Weathering Climate Change: Governance and Accountability, Everyone’s Responsibility,” underscores the role of women as powerful agents of change in disaster risk reduction.

In his directive to provincial governors, city and municipal mayors and punong barangays, the DILG Secretary also urged them to undertake activities that will help contribute to the building of gender-responsive, resilient and accountable communities that are prepared for any disaster that may come their way.

Such activities include the following: kick-off parade and tree-planting activity; local school board policy formulation prescribing each student to plant and nurture a tree; community information caravan on the Magna Carta of Women, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction; convocation on the role of women in disaster preparedness, risk reduction, recovery, rehabilitation and climate change adaptation; and recognition of women or women organizations or associations and their significant contributions during disasters and typhoons.

Meanwhile, DILG-8 Director Pedro A. Noval who was invited to open the conference of the regional federation of women legislators in Tacloban City, stressed on the need for government to provide the equalizing environment through good governance and accountability so that women and their children would be less vulnerable to calamitous situations.

“Money lost to corruption is money that could have been well-spent, through needed infrastructure or social welfare projects including those benefitting women and their children”, said Dir. Noval. He revealed that his office would be redoubling its efforts to promote transparency in all LGUs.

Secretary Robredo said local governments should ensure that local disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation strategies and plans are gender-responsive.

He also encouraged them to focus their activities on sustaining the national and local advocacy on the implementation of RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women and the Millennium Development Goals focusing on MDG7 which is ensuring environmental sustainability.

For greater community awareness and participation, LGUs may display streamers in public places and post their program of activities in conspicuous places, their websites, local newspapers and broadcast in radio stations.

The annual celebration of Women’s Month is provided for under Presidential Proclamation Nos. 224 and 227 which declared March of every year as Women’s Month, and the first week of March as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day, respectively. Likewise, Republic Act 6949 has declared March 8 as National Women’s Day and the whole month of March as Women’s Role in History Month.