NEW YORK — Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York, reported that the Philippines co-organized the 7th International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGIS ) Assembly together with the Royal Academy of Science International Trust and 14 other Member States.
The forum, titled “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Water Unites Us,” held on 11 February 2022, focused on the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 and addressing water-related challenges that beset society.
Ambassador Manalo described the theme of the forum as a very timely issue in the context of the pandemic.
“Investing in water is necessary for a healthy and productive population and is a prerequisite for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda,” Ambassador Manalo said while speaking about how Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) are fundamental criterion in achieving the goal of universal health care by 2030.
The Philippines, with Hungary and the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier launched a new Group of Friends (GoF) on 10 December 2021 in support of WASH in healthcare facilities (HCF) to raise awareness and profile of the subject matter in discussions and decisions made in the United Nations. This effort was made in recognition of the critical role of WASH services in healthcare facilities for strong health systems, effective COVID-19 response and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in general.
Representatives of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Dr. Josefina Abilay and Engr. Lorvi Pagorogon, participated as resource speakers in the forum and shared best practices in the Philippines in the areas of science, technology and innovation (STI) implementation and education.
Speaking at the panel on “Women in Science for Water and Society: Bridging Voices to Action,” Regional Director of DOST-MIMAROPA, Dr. Josefina Abilay, emphasized that in order to address the issue of access to safe water, the Philippines works towards ensuring that technologies, such as purification, filtration and desalination systems are optimized. She added that priority is given to remote areas when implementing STI services.
DOST Director and Campus Director of the Philippine Science High School – Bicol Region, Engr. Lorvi Pagorogon, participated in the Cansu Global Media Room Conversation “Moving the Water Conversation Forward” where she highlighted the general momentum in the Philippines towards increasing the number of students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program. As an educator, Engr. Pagorogon stressed the need to intensify the provision of safe spaces for pursuing STEM interests while noting that “emphasis should also be given to early training on gender sensitivity that will empower girls and women to prove herself in male-dominated fields, like engineering and IT.”
The United Nations General Assembly adopted A/RES/70/212 in 2015, declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The 7th IDWGIS Assembly is co-organized by Cyprus, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Rwanda, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Tajikistan.