MANILA — Two Filipinas who excelled in their respective fields were among The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) awardees this year.
Entrepreneur Georgina Romero and marine biologist Dr. Aletta Yñiguez received the TOWNS award for women empowerment through information and communications technology and for marine science, respectively.
The TOWNS award recognizes women "who have shown outstanding dedication, exceptional talent, and a history of contributing positively to society." The awarding ceremony took place on Oct. 25.
Romero is co-founder of social-impact tech start-up Connected Women, which provides online skills development and remote work opportunities for women.
The start-up was first launched in Singapore in 2013 and then in the Philippines in 2017.
"It was just an advocacy. I just wanted to encourage women and women entrepreneurs to use technology so that they could be location independent. You know, work anywhere, and build skill and businesses even if they work from home," she told ANC's "Headstart" Friday.
Connected Women has so far trained 40,0000 women on entrepreneurship skills for the digital economy, she said. The group is also set to train 1,000 women on skills in the artificial intelligence industry, she added.
Meanwhile, Yñiguez is a faculty member at the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines.
She is leading projects on developing early-warning systems for harmful algal blooms in the country, and modeling the linkages between fisheries and primary production.
"Similar to forecasting storms, we want to have the equipment where we can observe the ocean and forecast what's happening there and apply this information, data, the understanding into ways to have our fisherfolks safer in terms of conditions when they are fishing," Yñiguez also told "Headstart".
Asked if there's an improvement on how Filipinos take care of the ocean, she said, "I think there has been progress. But I think we're still far from that what we should be [in terms of] awareness and care."
The other TOWNS awardees include:
- Adarna House's Ani Rosa Almario (Education and Entrepreneurship)
- Billiards World Champion Rubilen Amit (Sports)
- Dr. Pia Bagamasbad (Molecular Biology)
- Department of Health's Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho (Medicine and Public Health)
- Dr. Erika Fille Legara (Data Science)
- Keisha Alena Mayuga (Transportation)
- Ana Patricia Non (Community Service)
- Environmentalist Anna Oposa Del Rosario (Marine Ecology Conservation)
- Rappler journalist Pia Ranada (Investigative Journalism)