Political leaders paid tribute to women and the valuable role they play in Philippine society last week as the provincial government of Catanduanes joined the celebration of 2017 National Women’s Month on the theme “We Make Change Work for Women.”
As part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Month, government officials and employees, the academe, non-government organizations, and private individuals attended a thanksgiving mass at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral and joined solidarity walk against violence committed on women last March 8.
During the kick-off program at the capitol compound, Governor Joseph Cua said that the call for women empowerment continues to resound this year so that the positive changes in the society will not just benefit and affect the men, but the women as well.
Noting that women have finally broken the gender stereotype and became successful as men in different fields, the chief executive expressed his support for giving opportunities to women in the province and called on the public and private sector to continue working for the elimination of violence and discrimination against women.
Vice Governor Shirley Abundo underscored that women can be a catalysts of change in society, as their works are not only confined to the four corners of the house, citing the provisions of the Magna Carta for Women which emphasizes the significant role of women in decision-making.
Earlier, Virac Vice Mayor Arlynn Arcilla remarked that Filipinos are blessed for existing in a society where every woman has interaction and connection in any sector.
However, she noted that with the lack of maternal services in institutions and communities as well as priority lanes for pregnant women and women with disability along with their tight working schedule, it is undeniable that their welfare and rights are not fully considered.
The vice mayor asserted that to express support to the welfare of the women, local leaders should resolve to allocate sufficient budget to realize the programs and services for the sector while frontliners and service providers should prioritize pregnant women and women with disability.
For her part, Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Maria Aurea C. Bo-Bunao pointed out that while there were 75,786 women voters in Catanduanes during the 2016 national and local elections, only 18 women were among the 103 who were elected to public office.
The Commission on Elections held a special, one-day registration for women at the capitol lobby for the SK and Barangay Elections this coming October, encouraging women to be not only voters but also become elective officials or leaders.
As part of the celebration, free service booths such as massage, manicure, pedicure and haircut were made available to women at the capitol lobby courtesy of TESDA Catanduanes.
This March 22, the Vice Governor’s office and the office of PBM Vincent Villaluna will sponsor an Inter-Municipality “Luto ni Nanay” Cookfest, followed by a training on Gender Sensitivity and orientation on relevant laws on women for government employees to be sponsored by the Catanduanes Association of Chiefs of Government Offices (CACGO) on March 24.
A culminating program and the search for Mrs. Catanduanes Universe on March 31 wraps up the month-long celebration, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Delia Bernal disclosed. (Gidoemaly Romero/GO Information Unit)