In line with the celebration of the Women’s Month 2016, the ERDB GAD Focal Point System conducted the kick-off program on March 8, 2016 at the ERDB grounds. This year’s theme is “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Adyenda”. Ms. Veronica O. Sinohin, Chief of the Technology Transfer Division led the opening prayer.

ERDB Director Henry A. Adornado gave the opening message. He said, “The Philippines is very privileged because 5% of the budget of government offices is allotted to women.” He welcomed and thanked everyone for participating in the event.

Other participants in the event were the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB), ERDS Region IV-A., Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Laguna, (Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR), Urban, Toxic Substance and Hazardous Wastes Research Center (UTSHWRC). Each representative gave short messages for the occasion.

The Los Baños Road Runners Club (LBRRC) were also present to lead the parade.

For. Rizelle Evangelista of the Coastal Zone and Freshwater Ecosystems Research Division (CZFERD) rendered the special number with the song “Bakit nga ba Mahal Kita” and “Let it Go”.

Ms. Shaira Patricia Cledera, a UPLB University Student Council (USC) councilor delivered the inspirational message. In her speech, she mentioned about the reason for celebrating women’s month. She said, “Women want to be included in the agenda so we can be a part of nation building and good governance”. She encouraged the women by saying, “Sama-sama po nating ipaglaban ang karapatan ng kababaihan upang maging bahagi tayo ng agenda.”

She expressed her optimism that time will come when women will no longer need to celebrate women’s month since men and women will have their equal rights and privileges in the society.

Lastly, she appealed, “Sana po ay hindi lang ngayon ang araw o buwan na ipinaglalaban natin ang karapatan ng kababaihan.”

Dr. Marilyn Q. Landicho, as the ERDB GAD Focal Point also gave a message and said, “If you want something said, ask a man but if you want something done, ask a woman.”

Dr. Antonio M. Daño expressed thanks to everyone who attended the program. “With the theme of the event, I think it is now about time to really include the women in the agenda.” He also noted the importance of women in society. Marla V. Cambay, TTD