To mark this year’s Women’s Month Celebration, with the recurring theme until 2028 WE for gender equality and inclusive society, the Senate Electoral Tribunal travelled to the picturesque Pandin Lake in the Province of Laguna on March 9, 2023 to learn more about its oarswomen or female bamboo raft paddlers. Known for their resilience and determination, this group of extraordinary women are considered “an important element that adds spice to the lake’s experience.”  Their inspiring story about their humble beginnings impressed upon everyone the value of tenacity and will power in overcoming life’s countless challenges, regardless of one’s gender.

After this eye-opening experience in Pandin Lake, the employees stayed at Villa Escudero where they enjoyed its “rustic Philippine setting”, while they continued with the workshop on their learnings. The impressive display of creativity and talent in the different presentations certainly elevated everyone’s expectations for the next SET activity.

On the second day of the activity, after relishing the refreshing sight in the Waterfall Restaurant and savoring its delectable traditional Filipino dishes, the group had the opportunity to watch the Philippine Experience Show, which “showcased the country’s rich culture that has been preserved by traditional dances and music.”

Meanwhile, an informative Seminar on Gender-related Health Issues and Concerns of Male and Female Employees was held on March 15, 2023 at the SRA Social Hall, featuring three subject matter experts, all medical doctors, who explained thoroughly and clearly, the different illnesses commonly affecting men or women.  Dr. Japhet S. De Jesus, the Tribunal’s medical consultant, discussed the prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes in the Philippines, and advised the participants on how to prevent these illnesses.  On the other hand, Dr. Arturo P. Castro, Jr., a urologist, gave a presentation on common reproductive disorders in men and shared effective strategies to address the same.  The last speaker, Dr. Mario Philip R. Festin, an obstetrician gynecologist, tackled common gynecological disorders and gave insights on how to combat or manage these health conditions. Pointing out the importance of prevention, which is always better than cure, all medical experts reminded the participants to regularly consult their doctors and maintain a healthy lifestyle as much as possible.

Apart from these activities, all SET employees were enjoined to wear purple on all Wednesdays of March to signify the agency’s support to gender equality and women empowerment.