In time for the Women’s Month celebration, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez was hailed “Woman of Courage” by the country’s alliance of Filipino women –GABRIELA.

At the same time, the group, which advocates for women’s issues, also expressed their strong support for the confirmation of Lopez as environment chief by the bicameral Commission of Appointments.

Gabriela officers and members gave Lopez a surprise visit in her residence on Friday, March 10, to confer her the recognition.

In its press statement, GABRIELA has named her “Woman of Courage” for her “demonstrated daring to stand up for the general welfare of women, indigenous peoples (IPs) and the Filipino nation vis-à-vis the encroaching interests of commercial despoilers of the environment.”

GABRIELA also said it has bestowed Lopez the recognition for defending the remaining natural resources and putting first the welfare of succeeding generations “before the short-term gains of wealthy business monopolies”.

The women’s group also cited the DENR chief for keeping her position “without fear of personal loss, keeping in mind the correctness of declaring our mineral and timber wealth for the sole benefit of Filipinos” and for defending the rights of indigenous peoples.

For her part, Lopez expressed gratitude to Gabriela and underscored the “priceless role of women in the environment and the society as a whole.” ###