Celso, Beng and Erbie lead tribute to women PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 March 2012 13:23

Mayor Celso Lobregat together with House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar of District 1 and Rep. Erbie Fabian of District 2 yesterday joined the Gender and Development (GAD) and the Local Council of Women (LCW) in paying tribute to the women sector in observance of the International Women’s Day.

Lobregat in his message during a program at JFE Memorial Sports Complex in Baliwasan that was preceded by the traditional “Marcha de las Mujeres” hinted that the time is long gone when the women would stay home to take care of the children as the men go out for work.

“Nowadays, the roles of men and the roles of women in society are very much interchangeable in many, many aspects,” he said, citing a woman who, in one of the interviews for job applicants, had said that she works during the day while her husband stays home and takes care of their four children. “This is how far the women have gone through the years.”

He also cited his mother, the late Mayor Maria Clara L. Lobregat, as a Zamboangueña and one of the women responsible for the empowerment of women not only in Zamboanga but throughout the country as well.

“Ever since we were young, we were already taught how to respect women, she being a woman of substance with a big heart, and I am very proud that I am the son of that woman,” the mayor said.

For her part, Congresswoman Climaco vividly remembered that in 1998, when Ma’am Caling was the mayor, she would declare a day off for women after the Marcha de las Mujeres.

Climaco also advanced the information that there is now a bill on third reading in congress, declaring March 8 of every year as a non-working holiday throughout the country in observance of the International Women’s Day.

She also announced that her office and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have tied up for the conduct of livelihood trainings for women on a first-come first-serve basis. Her office has made available P2 million for the purpose.

Congressman Fabian also pledged all out support for all the projects and endeavors of the women in Zamboanga City.

“Let us be very, very united in trying to empower, especially the women sector,” he declared. He gave a donation of P5,000 to the GAD and LCW with Lobregat donating more than P20,000, while Climaco funded the P11 million Cobalt Center at the Zamboanga City Medical Center, which was inaugurated recently.

Meanwhile, Regional Director Sixto Tolentino Jr. of the Environmental Management Bureau of DENR, who was the guest speaker, underscored the critical role of women and the men as well in weathering climate change.

“Men and women today are living in co-existence; everybody is equal. There is no male chauvinism or feminism. Egual, egual land kita, hombre y mujere,” he said, even as he warned everybody that “the biological earth is sick.”

Citing scientists, Tolentino said as early as 17th century the earth’s temperature had increased by 0.70 degrees Celsius.

“Climate change is caused by global warming or heating of the earth’s temperature due to nitrogen oxide, methane, ozone and water vapor,” he added. “When the earth is heated, the water rises.”

According to him, a 1-degree centigrade increased in temperature is equivalent to 15% decrease in agricultural yield, and the Philippines being an agricultural country is greatly affected by global warming.  

“When water level increases, all countries that will be first affected are those facing the Pacific Rim and the Philippines is one of those,” Tolentino said, adding that in a simulation presented by former US Vice President Al Gore, most of Metro Manila cities will be wiped out from the map.

“This is the reality. I cannot paint a beautiful picture because I will be committing intellectual dishonesty,” he said. “We have to make adaptation to cope with climate change,” he challenged the women. — Vic Larato