The MWSS through its Gender and Development Program conducted a month-long activities anchored on the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) multi-year theme, “We Make CHANGE Work for Women”.  The PCW’s sub-theme, “Agenda ng Kababaihan, Tungo sa Kaunlaran”, organization focused activities included:

1.  Clean-up drive at the Balara Filters Park.

The Balara Filters Park is a 60-hectare park within the Balara Filtration Plant.  The picnic grove and the children’s playground was chosen for the clean-up it is the most dirtiest portion of the park.  Nearby residents and students from nearby schools use the place to hang-out but general cleanliness and concern for surroundings have always been a pervasive issue that needs further improvement.

Armed with a broomstick and dustpans, employees headed to the picnic grove and children’s playground for a day long cleaning up activity.  Around 3,000 square meters of park was transformed as loads of household refuse and yard waste was collected by the employees.

The clean-up aimed to create awareness in the community to keep the park clean by practicing “Leave No Trace” or CLAY-Go (Clean as You Go), pack the trash and bring out of the park and discard safely somewhere.  With high hopes, future visitors will safeguard and respect the environment by making an effort on cleaning up their own mess.

2.  Community Lecture on WASH with Dumagat Indigenous Peoples of Norzagaray, Bulacan

Building relationships between the communities and our team is fundamental to ensuring our water infrastructure works for the area and that MWSS sustains education around Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, or WASH.  The promotion of WASH particularly amongst indigenous communities where poor environmental health conditions are one of the underlying factors behind high rates of chronic and infectious diseases was the topic of the community lecture conducted for the Samahan ng Kababaihan Kaunlaran para sa Kinabukasan ng Sitio Sapang Munti (or the Samahan).  The Samahan is composed of women and their families residing within the Ipo watershed.

The activity aimed to positively influence attitudes toward hand washing in order to reduce the occurrence of skin, respiratory, and intestinal infections, which are common in indigenous communities where women play an important role. Key messages conveyed included the impact of poorly maintained housing on health outcomes and the effects of household wastes on the quality of raw water sources.

The activity concluded with a response from participants and the distribution of hygiene kits, as well as a handwashing activity utilizing SATO tap stations, a handwashing solution for local communities that can be used anywhere in the home, even without access to running water.

3.  Purple Tuesdays

All employees wore purple on all of the Tuesdays in March to show solidarity with women across the country in celebration of women’s empowerment and a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

4.  Zumba Fitness

Employees worked up a sweat and danced their hearts out in honor of Women’s Month and to demonstrate their commitment to gender equality as a group.