Vol. 1, Issue 4, April 2016, page 8
It was not just for the sake of celebrating.
“We want them to be more aware,” thus said Mrs. Eufracia Pascua, who heads the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) that organized the town’s celebration of the 2016 National Women’s month at the Efren U. De San Jose Sports Complex.
The International women’s day falls on March 8 but Flora held the celebration last April 8 due to other pressing issues that needed more attention.
Lack of financial assistance and livelihood programs are just two of the various issues that have to be addressed in support of the local women.
But Pascua said that even Flora’s women are confronted with the challenge of human trafficking as well as violence against their ranks.
This year’s national women’s month theme “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda,” resonates the call for gender-balance in leadership and decision making positions both in public and private sector; inclusion of women’s concerns in leadership platforms and the government’s development agenda; and capacitating and preparing women and girls to reach their ambitions.
According to the National Council for Women, this year’s celebration aims: 1. to create an avenue for women advocates to celebrate the gains of the current administration with regards to closing gender gap, as well as to call on the next administration to continue supporting the advocacy and prioritize women’s issues in various agenda; 2. prepare the achievements of the Aquino administration in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment through the Report on the State of the Filipino Women; 3. gather public perception on what women’s issues should be prioritized by the next administration through crowd sourcing of “agenda ni Juana and;
- strengthen public advocacy on National Women’s Month, with emphasis on women’s issues that still need to be addressed.
Pascua said that they constantly receive complaints of domestic violence but the problem is that the complainants want instant solutions.
Clerk of Court II Ligaya Taberna said that there are cases of verbal and physical abuse and maltreatment being presented to them but as far as the Municipal Trial Court is concern, they can only mediate and give temporary protection that is good for one month.
She explained that the Regional Trial Court based in Luna has the authority to handle such cases.
There are about 820 active members of organized women’s groups in Flora but such groups have not yet tackling issues on the level of fighting for economic and political rights.
In fact, LGU Flora has still to realize a big issue on maternity in which it must provide a breastfeeding corner within the municipal building.
LGU women employees of Flora is just slightly over 50 percent higher than men. Total latest LGU regular employees is 98 including elected officials.
In his message, Mayor Rodolfo Juan said that there should be a love within us though he said that women will not be happy enough without men in their lives.
He wants also a celebration for men like this affair to also assert that there should be unity between men and women in society because this can lead to progress in Flora.
He said that as men recognized the hard work and care that women give as queens of every house in this Municipality, men should always respect women so that each family will live happily and in prosperity.
In this way, he said that children can see good parents and emulate them..
Mayor Juan said that both are partners of development and because of this he said he will request the Sangguniang Bayan to help in organizing the men that would support the cause of women.
The Mayor’s wife Lily T. Juan, a native of Tabuk City, Kalinga who started in the rank and file with her long service in government before she retired as the province general service officer, was this year’s guest of honor.
In her short message, she recognized the gradual inclusion of more women on top of government service as well as in development policies.
She also talked of domestic violence against women being slowly getting rid off because women are coming out and have their voices heard.
She said that women continue to seek for better opportunities and prove that they are not merely for housekeeping chores.
Empowerment of women is needed she said.
The day’s activities started with a walk for a cause from the assembly point at Bagutong COMPAC to its main venue.
Parade participants include (in order) LGU officials, local provincial and national employees, women’s groups and barangay officials from Upper Atok, Mallig, Balasi, Atok, Malayugan, Balluyan, Sta. Maria, Allig, Anninipan, San Jose, Malubibit Sur and Norte, Tamalunog, Bagutong, Poblacion East and West.
Federation president Digna A. Ortega delivered the opening remarks.
One of the highlights was the Musical Interpretation Portraying Women’s Role, in which 13 of the 16 barangays sent representatives in the contest featuring internationally acclaimed song Let It Go.
V.I. Carlos of Malayugan was adjudged winner while Ms. Marcos from Sta. Maria was second and Leah Risa Tomas of Anninipan was third.
A disaster preparedness forum and training by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and disaster skills training and orientation by the Bureau of Fire Protection is held later in the afternoon.