June 4, 2012
Senate pays tribute to Helena Benitez
The Senate adopted a resolution recognizing former Senator Helena Z. Benitez for her contributions in the environment, education, culture and arts and civic leadership.
Senate Resolution no. 786, which was sponsored by Committee on Climate Change and Cultural Communities chair Sen. Loren Legarda, was unanimously adopted during today's session. Legarda said that the resolution aims to honor the former lawmaker, who authored significant pieces of legislation on the environment and sustainable development long before these became subjects of national concern.
" As a senator from 1968-1972, Dr. Benitez authored bills on environment and sustainable development such as Republic Act (RA) 6541 or the National Building Code, RA 6147 or the Philippine Eagle Protection Act, and RA 5752 or the Municipal Forests and Watershed Act, to name a few," Legarda explained.
Aside from her dedication to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, Legarda mentioned that the measure also commends Benitez's roles in advancing women's rights and participation in government affairs.
"She was the first Filipina and the first woman president of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme in 1975. Moreover, the former senator is also the first Filipina chair of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, who was instrumental in the ratification of the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, adopted by the General Assembly in 1967," Legarda said.
Legarda also noted the groundbreaking roles held by Benitez and the numerous local and foreign commendations she received for her works and achievements.
"She received numerous awards recognizing her outstanding efforts, such as the Presidential Award for the Order of Sikatuna, with the rank of Datu, where she was the first Filipina to receive the prestigious award given by former President Fidel V. Ramos in 1998," according to Legarda. (Olive Caunan, PRIB)
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