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The Makati symposium on the role of women as invisible instruments of resilience

Source(s):  City Government of Makati

Session Hall, New Makati City Hall Building
Makati City, Philippines

The City Government of Makati, under the leadership of Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay, declared by UNISDR as Champion of Disaster Risk Reduction, together with its partners Txtfire, Makati Fire Safety Foundation, Construction Safety Foundation, Barangay San Lorenzo and Faber Castell, celebrated the United Nations International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) 2012 by conducting of a symposium on the “Role of Women and Girls: the [In]visible Force of Resilience.” The whole day event brought together community officials; youth leaders; elementary, high school, and university students and faculty; and members of the private sector.

The symposium aimed to raise the awareness of participants on the vulnerabilities and rights of women and girls during disasters, and provide practical lessons for women and girls on disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. It also highlighted their vital roles in strengthening multi-sectoral participation and gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) that would enhance disaster resiliency of Makati.

Led by City Councilor Ma. Concepcion M. Yabut, the participants read the Declaration of Commitment which affirmed the ideals of the IDDR 2012 by recognizing the vital roles that women and girls play in DRRM that include informing, organizing, capacitating and mobilizing themselves and their families, colleagues, friends and neighbors. Such activities facilitate the strengthening of disaster prevention, preparedness, response and relief, and recovery efforts of the city government.

An overview of Women and Disasters was given by Prof. La Rainne Abad-Sarmiento, a gender advocate and senior lecturer of the Anthropology Department of the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Atty. Violeta Seva, Senior Adviser to the Mayor, discussed women participation in DRRM planning through the City’s initiatives of establishing gender-sensitive Community-based Disaster Reduction and Management (CBDRM) Plans. This was followed by West Rembo Barangay (village) Secretary Rosalyn Flores’ presentation of her community’s programs and action plans incorporated in the barangay’s gender-sensitive CBDRM Plan.

For disaster preparedness and response, Fire Inspector Alma Cassandra Gardose of the Bureau of Fire Protection – Makati gave guidelines on fire preparedness and safety. Txtfire Public Safety Group Director Jones Lim elaborated on Txtfire SMS system which serve as an effective early warning tool for fire incidents.

An interactive demonstration and lecture by Edwin Aguilar and Myrna Tubeo showed the participants how to make emergency plans for homes, schools and offices, as well as the 72-hour emergency kits for adults and children.

Kriszy Villegas from the Philippine Red Cross, Rizal Chapter, Makati Branch discussed the roles of women and girls in disaster response and capacity building. She highlighted their participation in the community-based volunteer emergency first responder program – the Makati Red Cross 143.

Joel Pangililnan, Department of Social Welfare and Development, presented the experience-based participation of women and girls in disaster relief and recovery, with particular focus on their roles in camp management and organizing community recovery efforts in the aftermath of disasters.

A poster making contest and DRRM quiz games for public elementary students between Grades 4 to 6 ensued. The poster contest carried the theme “The role of women and girls in our community before, during and after disasters.” Prizes for winners and non-winners for the poster contest and quiz include first aid kits, emergency whistles, hardhats and flashlights, among others.
The IDDR 2012 is the third activity this year that the city government initiated, and joined by OXFAM and the Center for Disaster Preparedness, that would empower the women and girls in Makati, and become ambassadors and primary actors in DRRM at home, school, workplace and community.

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  • Publication date 11 Oct 2012

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