As part of the observance of the and International Women’s Day and National Women’s Month Celebration as legal bases for the annual national activity: Proclamation No. 224 s. 1988 declaring the first week of March each year as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day, Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988 providing for the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month and Republic Act (RA) 6949 s. 1990 declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day, ASCOT also celebrated the 2020 Women’s Month through the initiative of Ms. Malou C. Angara, Director, ASCOT Gender and Development and the GAD Technical Working Group.

The year’s theme for the Women’s Month Celebration is “We Make Change Work for Women.” It was based on the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Board Members and Inter-Agency Technical Working Group which shall be used from 2017-2022. It highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development. This pursuit of development is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change.

Ms. Malou C. Angara, Director, ASCOT Gender and Development and the GAD Technical Working Group (TWG) lined-up a month long activities for all ASCOT Employees and students. One of its highlight is the JUANA BE PAMPERED held on March 10, 2020 and facilitated by Mr. Romel Ladiero, Member, GAD TWG. It is a whole-day free services such as manicure, pedicure, massage and haircut for all ASCOT employees. It was anchored in the activity suggested by the PCW entitled #SerbisyoParaKayJuana, it is an activity that encourages agencies and organizations that offer direct services, transactions, and products to the public to give privileges like freebies and discounts to women on International Women’s Day (March 8) and/or other dates in March. This aims to bring the celebration to every Juana and make them feel appreciated, supported, and empowered.

The other activities are; (1) the ZumBABAE held on March 5, 2020, 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon at ASCOT Gymnasium wherein all ASCOT employees where enjoined to take part in the Zumba as fitness exercise and to relieve their stress. The Zumba Instructor was Mr. Joshua Dela Cruz, Mr. James Matthew Viernes and Mr. John Claufer Malapitan, SHS Faculties; (2) GADfitti (Road Painting Competition) held on March 10, 2020 at the ASCOT General Education Ground wherein students coming from different departments showcase their talent in road painting. It was facilitated by Ms. Ma. Patricia Nicole Chavez and Ms. Raiza Kate Ico, Members, GAD TWG; (3) Spoken Word Poetry held on March 11, 2020 at the General Education Building, Lower Lobby was facilitated by Ms. Melissa Grace Nacino, Member, GAD TWG. It was also participated by different departments. The winner for the Spoken Word Poetry was Mr. King Harold A. Flores, student from Department of Agriculture and Aquatic Resources. However, other activities such as the Self-Defense Training for all ASCOT employees and GADtalent were cancelled due to Corona Virus Disease-2019 threat.

– Rona Jane Cacanindin