Led by DSWD Secretary and NCDA Chairperson Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, the NCDA team alongside other agency representatives, made 500 polybags of godon and narra, to help green the devastated Marikina Watershed, in San Juan, Antipolo last March 8, 2012.  One team worked with Sitio Sapinit women while another team worked with women from Barangay Calawis, Antipolo.

Following the seedling potting and catchy beat of the MMDA Band, a series of speakers tackled in a forum, the crucial role of women with this year’s theme, “Women Weathering Climate Change: Governance, Accountability, Everyone’s Responsibility,”

Photos of NCDA staff with DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman during the Women’s Month Celebration in Antipolo, Rizal

Keynote Speaker Secretary Soliman underscored the role of women, who she dubbed as “weavers of relationships and movements”, in their contributions in taking care of water, shade and food.  Women’s involvement is crucial, in making government strategies more effective and sustainable.


She commended the Sapinit Watershed Settlers Association led by its president Grace Tepesa. Founded in 2003, this group of Sitio Sapinit women set up a nursery of narra and mahogany seedlings, in sync with the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation. They tilled the land, prepared the watershed, and planted the seedlings. They are organized and systematic, and considered as a powerful force in their community.


Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Chairperson Remedios Ignacio-Rikken stressed the proper implementation of “Republic Act 10121” which allots funds for Disaster Risk Reduction. Concerned with the lack of risk-reducing initiatives at the local government level, Ms. Rikken urged local officials not to bank on recovery alone, but to “plan to reduce disaster risks”, giving “women and men equal access to information on mitigating and adapting to climate change.”


This was confirmed by Office of Civil Defense Director Edgardo Ollet, who shared that most of Typhoon Sendong’s casualties and the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Negros Oriental last February were women whose roles are “exemplified in family setting.”   Disaster risk reduction planning must be focused on intensifying household preparedness, survival skills and livelihood capability – building for women.