In observance of the Women’s Month 2017, the ERDB has lined up a series of activities for the whole month of March through the ERDB’s Gender and Development Focal Point System (GADFPS) headed by Dr. Marilyn Q. Landicho. The national theme for this year’s celebration is “We Make Change Work for Women” which aims to give due recognition to the contributions of Filipino women in our society.

As an initial activity, the uploading of the Women’s Month 2017 celebration at the ERDB website was undertaken. The ERDB GAD focal point system members also led the flag raising ceremony on March 6, 2017 at the ERDB grounds. Raffle prizes were also given away during the flag ceremony. At exactly 8:45 AM, the ERDB employees danced to the beat of “Isang Milyong Babae ang Babangon” which is this year’s global women’s rights campaign called One Billion Rising (OBR) for Revolution which extended the call against violence and justice, to a need for social change. Some GAD Focal Point System members led by Dr. Marilyn Q. Landicho also attended the DENR Kick-off Program at the DENR.

The ERDB personnel together with representatives from different agencies in Los Baños also joined the advocacy walk around the UPLB College of Forestry campus on March 7. This year’s guest speaker is Mrs. Erlinda A Chipongian, member of the Clean and Green Women’s Club in Magdalena, Laguna which is also the People’s Organization (PO) involved in the “Adopt-a-Community” GAD project of ERDB. She narrated how the ERDB has helped their women’s organization in rehabilitating their river by teaching ERDB’s bamboo technology. A song number titled “Luha” was also performed by Ms. Mary Grace Coronado of ERDB.

After the program, the “Tiyanggehan sa ERDB” which is a bazaar of foodstuff and dry goods was opened at the ERDB garage. An exhibit featuring the contributions of women in society were also displayed at the ERDB lobby.

A learning session about the salient features of the Magna Carta of Women will be held on March 13 at the ERDB Auditorium. Likewise, an “On- the -Spot Painting Contest” will be held among high school students using oil pastel and illustration board.

Other activities will include the blood letting/donation drive to be led by the Phillippine Red Cross, Sta. Cruz, Laguna Chapter, art competition among the 14 barangays of Los Baños, and read along session for the out-of-school youth to be led by Ms. Leren Mae Bautista, 2015 Ms. Tourism Queen of the Year International. A culminating activity will also be held at the ERDB grounds on March 31. Marla V. Cambay, TTD