Miyerkules, Marso 21, 2012

WWF-Philippines, DOE, and PIA partner to conduct energy conservation activities

As part of the government’s campaign for energy conservation and global warming mitigation, the Department of Energy (DOE) through the Energy Utilization Management Bureau, in cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), will be conducting a “Seminar on Electricity Conservation in Households and Schools” in Valenzuela City on March 22 (Thursday).

This initiative for a nationwide education and information campaign on energy efficiency and conservation is targeting multi-sectoral participation from the local government, students, businesses, NGOs, and various consumers.

The seminar which will be held at the Social Hall of the Valenzuela City Hall will cover various topics related to the environment, climate change, and energy conservation.

The topics include “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” to be discussed by WWF Communications Officer Marlyn P. Santiago; “Household Energy Conservation Tips” (Rosalie Joan R. Sotelo of EECD-DOE); “Know your Electric Bill and How to Read the Electric Meter” (Mamerto H. Mendoza, MERALCO Valenzuela Business Center); and “DOE Energy Efficiency Plans and Programs” (Ronaldo P. Pareño, Jr., EECD-DOE).

The seminar is part of the DOE’s National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program (NEECP) which aims to implement the use of energy efficiency and conservation measures to gain access to affordable, cost-efficient, and environment-friendly energy sources. The program’s ultimate objective is to make intelligent use of energy a way of living for every Filipino.

The activity is also in preparation for the WWF-spearheaded “Earth Hour”—a global campaign against global warming through a simultaneous switching off of lights and other nonessential electric devices set on March 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

With this year’s official campaign “I Will If You Will”, Earth Hour 2012 aims to showcase how everyone has the power to change the world they live in through creative action, aside from the usual turning off of lights, which provides for further opportunity for the communities to be part of actual environmental solutions.

The DOE has partnered with the PIA in the dissemination of adequate information on ways and measures to conserve energy that could help save the planet from environmental destruction. 

Miyerkules, Marso 14, 2012

CSC highlights laws and advocacy campaigns for gender protection and equality

In observance of Women’s Month, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is reinforcing the different gender awareness campaigns by the government for the attainment of gender equality in the workplace.

CSC- Office for Personnel Management and Development Director Doreen Gragasin said during a radio forum that women in the workplace should be aware of the existing programs and laws that promote gender equality.

Gragasin said that the CSC is strengthening the awareness campaign, especially in the regions, for laws such as R.A. 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act where women are usually the victims. 

According to her, the element of moral ascendancy or being in a higher position on the part of the perpetrator is no longer necessary in sexual harassment charges; even co-employees of the same rank can be charged of sexual harassment following the qualifying circumstances attached to said offense.

In such cases, Gragasin is encouraging women to file complaints if they feel they have been sexually harassed. The law is one way of protecting women and is part of the government’s call for mutual respect and equal treatment for both sexes.

Aside from the R.A 7877, Gragasin is also reminding female employees who are victims Republic Act No. 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Law, are entitled to a leave benefit of up to ten (10) days with full pay.

The leave benefit shall cover the days that the woman-victim has to attend to medical and legal concerns. The said leave shall be extended when the need arises, as specified in the protection order issued by the barangay or the court.

She added that in order to be entitled to the leave benefit, the only requirement is for the victim-employee to present to her employer a certification from the barangay chairman (Punong Barangay) or barangay councilor (barangay kagawad) or prosecutor or the Clerk of Court that an action relative VAWC is pending.

Also, female single parents who are  government employees are entitled to an additional seven-day leave to be able to attend to the needs of their children. The only requirement is that the employee has rendered at least one year in government service.

Gender awareness advocacy and campaigns in the workplace are ofshoots of R.A. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women which is a comprehensive women's human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting their rights, especially those in the marginalized sectors. The reintroduction of these campaigns is part of the information campaign of the government as the country celebrates Women’s Month in March.

Martes, Marso 13, 2012

PIA conducts coastal clean-up activity for Women’s Month celeb

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) conducted on March 8 a coastal clean-up and planting activity in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s Month.

With a contingent of around 60 employees, composed mainly of women, the PIA went to the coastal area in Barangay Sucol in Calamba City and initiatied a mass clean-up of the vicinity.

In coordination with the barangay leaders and with the cooperation of the barangay folks, PIA employees were able to dispose of more than ten sacks of trash scattered around the coast of Laguna Lake.

The clean-up activity is one way of rehabilitating the environment including the country’s bodies of water which are a rich source of fish and other seafoods that are a staple food among Filipinos.

The Laguna Lake is also an important source of income for fisherfolks residing within the area.

After the clean-up activity, the PIA contingent went to a nearby farm in Brgy. Sucol, also in Calamba and conducted a planting activity.

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

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.

The celebration, which is led by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), formerly the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, generally aims to help build gender-responsive resilient communities that are responsible and accountable, and prepared for any disaster. 

It specifically hopes to raise awareness of national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), civil society organizations, and communities on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and gender issues; generate LGU commitment for the preparation and implementation of gender-responsive DRR; and encourage women participation in government programs geared to disaster preparedness and building resilient communities using government’s budget. 

Huwebes, Marso 1, 2012

First Quarter Earthquake Drill held in Camp Aguinaldo

As part of the re-examination of the government’s capability in disaster response, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) conducted today the First Quarter Nationwide Earthquake Drill in Metro Manila as well as other parts of the country.

With the recent 6.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Eastern Visayas last month, the simulation aims to test the preparedness in responding to a strong earthquake as well as assess the evacuation and response plan of the various offices and establishments participating in the drill.

In Metro Manila, the ceremonial earthquake drill took place at the Camp Aguinaldo, covering the buildings of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Headquarters. 

Simulating a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that would cause structural damages caused by cracks and fires, chemical spillage, trapped bodies, etc., the drill showcased the manner and procedure to be used by disaster response groups in times of calamity. 

According to AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Delloso, the earthquake drill is a timely activity as the Philippines is beginning to experience earthquakes, with the recent one in Eastern Visayas leaving 50 people dead and 66 missing. 

He said that “the activity is a means to strengthen capability and enhance awareness on how to respond to a relatively strong calamity, particularly earthquake.”

Dr. Renato Solidum, Director of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reinforced the use of the “duck, cover, and hold” position during an earthquake and stressed that preparedness for earthquakes means preparedness for one’s self, buildings, and other people. 

DND Secretary and NDRRMC Chairperson Voltaire Gazmin commended the concerted efforts of the national and local government in promoting the ultimate survival and safety of the nation and the citizenry through the drill. 

He also added that the government and the public must exhibit vigilance and readiness at all times to ensure personal protection and safety in times of calamities. 

The National Earthquake Drill is part of the continuing implementation of the NDRRMC’s Four Point Plan of Action on Disaster Preparedness particularly on public information, education, communication, and preparedness for response. 

The activity which started since 2006 is conducted quarterly.