Colorful like a rainbow, these are the words that describe the DSWD-NCR Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as it partakes in the month-long celebration of the Pride Month 2021.
Jam-packed with advocacy activities, the 2021 Regional Pride Month celebration with the theme ‘Stop the Hate, Continue the Aid: The Fight Continues’. Regional Gender and Development Officer, Irene G. Reyno inaugurated the colorful celebration with the airing of the ‘Usapang Malasakit’ on June 04, 2021 which highlighted the discussion on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) to the 4Ps members specifically to all the parent leaders of the Program in the National Capital Region.
Also, in order to raise the awareness of the employees and clients of DSWD-NCR on the advocacies of Pride, the Advocacy team of the Regional Program Management Office (RPMO) had also set up a photobooth at the lobby of the Department and raised thePride Flag at its entrance which lasted for the whole month of June.
The Pride month also showcased the LGBTQIA+ employees who have exemplified in their work and had shown the true meaning of #DSWDMayMalasakit way of serving the public through the stories published on the DSWD-NCR website and official Facebook page.
Mico Pria and Mariane Villanueva, both Municipal Roving Bookkeepers of Cash Grant Unit under 4Ps NCR exhibited their untiring dedication and eagerness to continuously serve the general public. “Being able to identify as a trans man was never a hindrance to achieving what I have right now. With the support of the people who accepted and believed in me, I know I can always choose to be true.
“Being a member of LGBTQIA+ is never a thing to be ashamed of, but to be celebrated.” Said Mico.
Further, to support the health awareness and social participation among the employees of the Department, the Program also invited a Non-Government Organization (NGO), Love Yourself Inc. a community of volunteers that provide free health services to all Filipinos to facilitate and conduct free HIV testing and counseling to the DSWD-NCR personnel.
Moreover, RPMO teamed up with Love Yourself Inc. members and Resource Persons Ms.Sairah Mae Saipudin and held back to back orientation sessions on SOGIESC last June 21, 2021 followed by the discussion of HIV awareness by Mr. Ryan Q. De Torres on the next day intended for all interested and 4Ps staff.
Also, free contraceptives and giveaways were provided to those employees who participated in the said activities. The said organization had also provided a free Virtual HIV awareness orientation to all interested DSWD-NCR employees on June 22, 2021.
“Pride Month is not just a mere celebration. It is a protest that shall encourage all the staff in DSWD to take a stand against discrimination and long-standing human rights abuses and to recognize and promote equal rights for all especially for our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters.” Irene Reyno Said.
The Pride Month 2021 celebration is part of the Advocacy and Gender and Development initiatives of the 4Ps which parades public awareness and engagement through activities highlighting the solidarity of the DSWD-NCR staff in recognizing the rights of the LGBTQIA+ members and gender diverse people.