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LMB celebrates Women Empowerment and Gender Equality in 2022

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The Land Management Bureau (LMB) through the LMB-Gender and Development Focal Point System (LMB-GADFPS), officially welcomed the National Women’s Month honoring the ever-changing roles of women in the society. This year’s theme is “We Make Change Work For Women.”
The highlight of this year’s celebration is the GADakilaan ng Kawani Awards, in recognition of the efforts made by LMB employees who chose to extend help during the pandemic while dealing with their own personal struggles.

KICK-OFF ACTIVITY

On March 7, 2022, the month-long celebration was officially set in motion by the introduction of LMB’s GAD-FPS and LGU Partner, Barangay Lower Bicutan, under Chairperson Roel Pacayra.

To raise awareness on the significance of communication that is gender-sensitive, a lecture on Gender Fair Communication was conducted by Atty. Cecilio Duka, touching on topics pertaining to women’s rights. He encouraged the use of gender-neutral words, and provided a historical account that contributed to the designation of social norms placed upon women.

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BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE

A lecture was conducted on March 11, 2022 to build self-confidence. Rose Carmen “RC” Sustiguer engaged the participants by asking purposeful questions for reflection, such as: what is the value of yourself, what are the limiting beliefs that hinder you to get what you really want and how do you see yourself moving forward all geared towards knowing one’s value and self-worth, which are the very foundation for building self-confidence. 

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OUTREACH PROGRAM IN THE HOME FOR THE GOLDEN GAYS

The LMB visited the Home for the Golden Gays in Pasay City on March 18, 2022.  Its Head, Ramon Busa, shared that during the pandemic, many of them have lost their livelihood. To sustain their daily needs, they started selling snacks.  He also said that they were grateful for the people who helped them out during the pandemic.  The LMB-GADFPS provided community giveaways such as groceries, supplements, and other necessities that they needed.

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WAY FORWARD FOR GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT

The GAD Strategic Plan for 2023 to 2025 was also presented by Ms. Gina Pascua, the Chairperson of the LMB-GADFPS during the Strategic Planning Workshop on March 24-25, 2022 in Batangas. This was participated by the LMB-GADFPS and Brgy. Lower Bicutan. Activities for the upcoming years were identified, including proposed policy issuances, procurement services, and welfare programs.

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These days were not just dedicated to planning, though. Ann Sanchez was invited to conduct a lecture on self-love and mental health. Participants were asked to identify their own love languages, and use them to determine goals to accomplish within two weeks.

 

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Atty. Marlou Alutaya, Chief Legal Division, also explained rights against sexual harassment in physical and online spaces under Republic Act No. 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act.  She further emphasized that the Act covers all forms of gender-based sexual harassment and the penalties therefore. 

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A wellness session was organized with LMB employee Ronald Balibalos through a Taekwondo session. They were taught basic skills for self-defense in times of distress.

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CULMINATING ACTIVITY

Marking the end of the National Women’s Month, the culminating activity was conducted on April 6, 2022.  In his opening message, LMB Assistant Director Romeo Verzosa emphasized that the LMB has always been a partner towards gender responsive governance. Through the efforts of the GAD Focal Point System, LMB is one in giving bigger hopes and greater passion to fulfill women empowerment and gender equality. 

 

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In her keynote message, the Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change, and Chairperson of the National Gender and Development Focal Point System, Atty. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh said that, while women are vulnerable, they have critical roles reproductively, productively and in community work.  She said that the gender issue of multiple burdens is often faced by women.  Also, Atty. Teh stated that the climate crisis is not gender-neutral, and shared the key principles to guide climate change strategy and interventions in land management such as: (a) secure women’s rights to land and natural resources; (b) ensure women’s meaningful participation in decision-making and dispute resolution related to access, use, control, and management of land and natural resource; and (c) enhance organization performance.  In the end, Atty. Teh encouraged women to lead like a girl, lead like a woman and to roar more than ever.

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Following this, Ms. Pascua presented the GAD accomplishments for CY 2021and the GAD activities for 2022. She also introduced everyone to the LMB GADakilaan ng Kawani Award, the highlight of the Culminating Activity. LMB commends employees who embody the LMB core values, not only in the performance of their work but also in their contributions to society despite personal struggles during the height of the pandemic.  Each division has the following nominees: (1) Ederlin Reyes of the Records and Knowledge Management Division; (2) Emilyn Castillo of the Land Management Division; (3) Juvie Ocfemia of the Administrative Support Staff; (4) Lei Krixia Quini-Quini of the Land Policy and Planning Division; (5) Nico Benedick Balilo of the Legal Division; and (6) Nilda Francia of the Geodetic Surveys Division.

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While they gave an impressive and inspiring account of their stories, only one emerged as a winner: Mr. Balilo of the Legal Division. His story is simple and ordinary, yet it was honest and relatable.  The realization of how the pandemic affected everyone made him sad and scared, but not scared enough to hold back and withhold help.  Truly embodying his tagline Selfless Service in Times of Adversity, Nico showed everyone that providing a touchstone for other people in times of stress is one of the best ways to be of service.

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The LMB also recognized employees who submitted a hashtag under this year’s theme. The winning entry, #GADversitiesJuanaCanJuanaWill by Dianne Villapando, affirmed a woman’s strength and resilience in the face of the pandemic.  Other hashtag entries celebrating women empowerment include #KAYAniJUANA by Ronnie Cortez, #WomenMakeItHappen by Lei Krixia Quini-Quini, #SheCan by Maritoni Jane Cawaling, #FightFairForWomen by Janice Jimenez, #BabaengBagongHenerasyonInspirasyon by Ma. Nieves Amor Cardenas, #IpagmalakiKaGADahanNgBawatIsa by Jennifer Marie Borbon, #BabaeAkoKayaKo           by Ms. Ma. Angeliza Nierras, #JuanaMasPinatibayNgPandemya by Ms. Loribelle P. Lluz and #JuanaKakaibaKa by Ms. Ma. Jennel Tacazon. 

The winners were recognized during the activity.

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In her closing message, Director Emelyne V. Talabis expressed LMB’s commitment to thrive and make innovative policies to promote gender equality in the new normal, and to continue to make change work for women. She commits that LMB is dedicated to promote gender-responsive changes.

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By Kristine F. Macandog


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