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AIDA F. SANTOS-MARANAN is a co-founder of WeDpro and KALAYAAN (Katipunan ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan), the first feminist organization established in 1983, from which WeDpro and other feminist organizations sprung. She is a Researcher, Trainer, Educator, Writer, and has served as a consultant to various national and international development agencies (United Nations, International Labor Organization, The Asia Foundation, Novib-Oxfam, Cordaid, among others). She has served as a gender and development consultant to many government agencies on various topics such as VAW; human rights, migration, trafficking, peace issues, and project evaluation. Aida has taught women’s studies at the masteral program of St. Scholastica’s College. She has been awarded for her poetry anthologies by the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine Free Press, among others. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees, ISIS International-Manila, the Board of Trustees, PhilRights, Board of Adviser of BUKLOD Center, Inc. (Olongapo City), and a member of the Women’s Political Collective. Aida has published several books and articles locally and internationally. She received the National Bayi Awards in 2011 as one of the Centennial Awardees for her exemplary work as a feminist and one of the pioneers in the Philippine Women’s Movement. She has published over 100 books, poetry anthologies and articles here and abroad.


ATTY. DAMCELLE TORRES-CORTES, Chairperson of WeDpro’s Board of Trustees, obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Ateneo de Manila University (cum laude) and her Bachelor of Laws, University of the Philippines (Dean’s Lister). She currently teaches at UP Los Banos. Damcelle has a long list of achievement: program officer in The Asia Foundation where she assisted in the management of a large legal reform project that institutionalized court-annexed mediation and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms; Commissioner representing the youth sector in the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (now Philippine Commission on Women; Legislative Officer in the Office of the Senate Majority Leader and worked on key legislative measures such as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, the Automated Election Law, and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act; Chairperson of the Sangguniang Kabataan in Los Baños, Laguna; host of a weekly radio program popularizing laws on women and children; a member of the Gender Justice Network, UP Women Lawyers’ Circle, Advocates’ Philippines, Ayala Young Leaders’ Alumni, and International Visitor Program Philippines Alumni Foundation. Her publications are trailblazing: co-author of two books on gender jurisprudence, “Engendering the Philippine Judiciary” and “The Davide Court and Its Contributions to Gender and Jurisprudence” (UP Center for Women’s Studies, 2006); a contributor in the publication “The Shari’a Courts in the Philippines: Women, Men and Muslim Personal Laws” (Pilipina Legal Resource Center, 2003) and co-author of “Court-Annexed Mediation, Summing Up the Past and Charting the Future” published by the National Judicial Institute in A Sourcebook on Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (2008). At a young age, Damcelle was already actively involved in promoting women’s rights; in high school, she organized teen-agers from public schools to form the Young Women as Voices of Empowerment in Science (YWAVES) that encouraged female students to pursue careers in science and technology. Damcelle is also founding partner of the Javier Santiago Torres & Gorriceta Law Office.


RHODORA MAY (SAM) SUMARAY-RARAS, Secretary of WeDpro’s BoT, has extensive experience in the areas of Knowledge Management, Value Chain Analysis (product-specific and tourism value chains), Gender and Development, Information and Communications Technology and Data Analysis. She has served as as adviser and volunteer for, not just in WeDpro, but also in other international development organizations such as GIZ and the United Nations Volunteer on statistics, data analysis, knowledge management, private sector development and environment and sustainable rural development. She has also served in various government agencies, beginning her civil service stint with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and ending it at the Office of the Vice President, Republic of the Philippines as an Information Systems Analyst. Between work and domestic life she has earned units for her master’s degree in Business Administration at the Graduate School of Business, De La Salle University, after her bachelor’s degree in Public Administration at U.P. Sam has been volunteering for WeDpro since 2005, and has served the organization in different capacities. Sam is a member of the Women in Bliss writer’s group, and dabbles in essays and poetry.

NIVA GONZALES is a marine biologist by training with extensive experience in community based management of natural resources including protected area establishment and management, policy formulation and review, sustainable development work, general NGO management, community organizing, advocacy and networking with government agencies, Local Government Units and donor agencies, project preparation, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Served as the Project Development Specialist for the formulation of the UNDP-GEF project on Strengthening MPAs in Key Marine Biodiversity Areas in 2013. Worked as the JICA Third Country Expert on Fisheries Co-Management in Cambodia in 2003. Supervised and coordinated the Samar Island Biodiversity Project (UNDP-GEF) from 1998 to 2002. Managed the Conservation of Priority Protected Areas Project (CPPAP) of the NGOs for Integrated Protected Areas (NIPA) in close coordination with the DENR in 1997.

LEILANI I. GALVEZ is a certified public accountant and real estate broker by profession but a public servant by heart. She obtained her degree in BS Business Administration and Accountancy from the University of the Philippines. While earning units in Masters in Public Administration also at UP, she served the legislative and executive branches of government, national and local levels- Ministry of Tourism; Office of Political Affairs, Office of the President; House of Representatives (Office of the Deputy Speaker); and the Commission on Appointments (Committees on Foreign Affairs and National Defense). She served in the Local Government of Angeles City (1998-1999; 2004-2007) where she got directly involved in local public finance and community affairs (e.g., Executive Director of the Angeles City AIDS Council (ACAC), member of various local committees which implemented the Angeles City Urban Regeneration Program (ACURP), Local Executive-Legislative Development Council, Revenue and Employment Generation Program). She established her audit firm/public practice at Angeles City in 2006. She is the Vice President for Membership Development of the Philippine Institute Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Angeles City Chapter, Member of the following organizations: Association of CPAs in Public Practice (ACPAPP) Pampanga Chapter, Association of CPAs in Commerce and Industry (ACPACI) Central Luzon Chapter, Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MACCI), American Field Service (AFS) Returnees Foundation Philippines, Inc. and Zambaleña San Narciso Chapter. She was a trainer-consultant and volunteer during the implementation of the European Union-funded project Private and Public Faces of Violence Against Women: Addressing Domestic Violence and Trafficking In the Urban Poor Communities and “Red-light Districts” of Angeles City and Olongapo City” (2009-2111).


DR. LA RAINNE ABAD-SARMIENTO is a social anthropologist with rich experiences working in local government and community development having been an elected Barangay Councilor and later, Barangay Captain; and as head of a city government department in Quezon City. Her office named Sikap Buhay Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development Office, facilitated the access of thousands of women micro and small entrepreneurs access business capital and trainings. She was the Convener of the City Anti-Poverty Integration Task Force while serving as the City Cooperative Development Officer (2006-2010). Her NGO involvements include: as researcher, trainor, administrator of the Center for Women’s Resources (1983-1990); as key organizer and fund raiser for the 6th International Women’s Health Meeting Organizing Committee which the Philippine NGOs organized and prepared for in 1990; and as the first country coordinator of Isis International- Manila (1991-1994) she co-convened Asia-Pacific women’s networks preparatory conferences and activities for the 1995 International Beijing Conference. She was one of the four nominees of the women’s Party List Abanse Pinay during the 2004 national elections. Currently she lectures at the University of the Philippines Anthropology Department on Gender, Sexuality and Ecology courses, and is a training and advocacy specialist of WEDPRO and PARTNERS International. She is the President of environment group TIMPUYOG Zambales, President of Education for Life Foundation, and chairs the Board of Trustees of SIKKAPAMILYA. She received the National Bayi Citation for Exemplary Women for Leadership and Governance in 2009 by the Institute of Politics and Governance and the Excellence in Leadership Award in 2008 by City Mayor Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. She earned informal titles as the city’s “Anti-Poverty Czar” and Malunggay Queen.” In 2007, the song entitled “Pangarap ng Kababaihan” she composed with two colleagues, won the First Prize in the CEDAW Song Writing contest organized by the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW). She finished her Doctor in Public Administration, MA in Anthropology and AB Philippine Studies , major in Anthropology at the University of the Philippines and taught at the St. Scholastica’s College and St. Joseph’s College earlier.
DIEGO S. MARANAN, is an artist, academic, and activist who works in area of human-technology interactions, specifically around information development, digital media, design thinking, embodied cognition, and movement research. He is an instructor at the University of the Philippines Open University, an affiliate faculty with the Centre for International Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and the Emerging Technologies Coordinator for WeDpro. He co-founded Curiosity, the Philippines’ first design research organization, dedicated to designing better futures through a deep and nuanced understanding of people and organizations.