Celebration of Women’s Month in the Province of Aurora

DIR.  GEMMA B. GABUYAMessage of MS. GEMMA B. GABUYA, Regional Director, DSWD Field Office III, in the Celebration of Women’s Month in the Province of Aurora on March 25, 2015

Honorable Governor Gerardo A. Noveras, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members, PSWDO Aida H. Rutaquio, to all women who are here today,  other guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to join you today in the commemoration of women’s strength and resilience.

Una, binabati ko ang lahat ng kababaihan na nandito at lahat ng kalalakihan na gumaganap ng gawain ng mga kababaihan ng happy Women’s Month… this is also your time to celebrate. The year 2015 is a milestone in the development arena.

Bakit natin ipinagdiriwang ang Buwan ng mga Kababaihan? Ipinagdiriwang natin ito upang manawagan tayo sa ating mga kababayan na magbigay ng kaukulang respeto at pagkilala sa mga kontribusyon sa kasaysayan ng mga Filipina ng bawat uri, relihiyon, at ethnic background na nagkapag-ambag sa paglago at pagpapalakas sa ating bansa.

Ito ay sinusuportahan ng Proclamation No. 227 na nilagdaan nuong taong 1988 (27 taon na ang nakalipas) na ideneklara ang buwan ng Marso bilang “Women’s Role in History Month.” Likewise, Proclamation No. 224 declared the first week of March as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day. On the other hand, Republic Act No. 6949 declared March 8 as National women’s Day.

Ang tema ng ating pagdiriwang sa taong ito na “Juana, Desisyon Mo ay Mahalaga sa Kinabukasan ng Bawa’t Isa, Ikaw Na!” ay naglalayong magbigay pagkilala sa lahat ng women leaders na marubdob na nanguna at patuloy na nagsusulong sa mga karapatan ng mga kababaihan. Their key roles and accomplishments in positions of leadership, power, and decision-making are being highlighted in order to influence and break the conservative mindset and belief that politics and leadership are not for women.

The celebration is also a perfect time to drum up the call for “Juanas” to run for public office since the last quarter of 2015 is the period for filing of candidacy for the 2016 elections. Women become more visible in politics.

Sa isang survey sa mga kawani ng gobyerno, napag-alamang maraming kababaihan ang nagtatrabaho sa gobyerno kesa sa kalalakihan. Career personnel comprised almost 90% of the total work force with 61.2% are women. Non-career personnel, on the other hand have 62% men. Mayroong 75.6% sa career personnel na na survey ang nasa second level positions (technical o supervisory) at 7.5% lang ang nasa third level positions. Ayon din sa datos, mayroon lamang 45% na kababaihan sa third level positions na mababa pa rin sa itinakdang 50-50 na distribution ng Magna Carta of Women o Republic Act 9710 Section II. Kaya ganon na lamang ang pagsusulong sa mga kababaihan na manguna sa pamumuno at pagdedesisyon, hindi lamang sa gobyerno kundi pati na rin sa ating mga komunidad.

Pagdating naman sa pulitika, masasabi natin na ito ay dinodominahan ng mga kalalakihan. Mayroon lamang anim (6) o 25% ang kababaihan na nakaluklok sa Senado sa kasalukuyan. Sa Kongreso naman, sa 289 na representante, 79 na kababaihan o 27% ang nahalal noong 2013 election. Out of 79 women representatives, 15 slots are being occupied by the Party-List.

For the local chief executive positions, there is a very small but steady increase in the number of elected women in the said position.

The strong and resilient “Juanas” have brought inspiring changes here in the country and across the globe. They remain strong in spite of the many challenges brought about by the different calamities that affected our country in recent years.

Noong 2014, sa kabila ng mga kalamidad ay isinulong ang karapatan ng mga kababaihan sa pagtatatag ng Women Friendly Spaces, kasama ng mga Child Friendly Spaces. Naprotektahan at naibigay ang mga pangangailangan ng mga kababaihan sad ala sa hamon ng pamumuhay sa kalamidad. Ito ay patuloy na isinusulong ng DSWD na maitaguyod at mainstitutionalize sa buong bansa. Ito naman ay tugon sa Section 10 ng Magna Carta of Women.

Isa rin sa natugunan ng Magna Carta of Women ay ang karapatan ng mga kababaihan sa comprehensive health services and health information and education. In 2012, the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law was passed. Aside from maternity leaves, there are also special benefits for women where women are entitled to two (2) months with full pay from the employer based on her gross monthly income following surgery caused by gynecological disorders, provided she has rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least six (6) months for the last 12 months.

The year 2015 gives hope for healing, recovery and reconciliation which make this year’s celebration to recognize women’s resiliency, strength and contribution to progress.

Sa ating pagdiriwang ng National Women’s Month ngayong Marso, ang Kagawaran ng Kagalingang Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad, bilang pangunahing ahensya sa social protection, ay patuloy na nagpapatupad  ng rehabilitative at protective programs para sa mga kababaihang nasa mahirap na kalagayan o women in especially difficult circumstances (WEDCs) upang matulungan sila na kumilos tungo sa pagbabago.

Sa taong 2014, may natulungang 4,394 kaso ng WEDC sa ating rehiyon at ang mga ito ay naging biktima ng karahasan, pang-aabuso, exploitation, illegal recruitment, human trafficking, at armed conflict.

Ang DSWD kasama ang mga lokal na pamahalaan ay nagbigay ng ayuda o serbisyo sa kanila tulad ng women with gender-responsive case management,  temporary shelter, psychosocial support and healing sessions, medical services, self-enhancement sessions, livelihood skills development sessions, counseling services, legal assistance and witness preparation, escorting of clients during court hearings, and referral to concerned agencies for other appropriate interventions.

In addition, the DSWD manages three residential care facilities for disadvantaged women and girls. These are Haven for Women located in Magalang, Pampanga and Home for Girls located in Tarlac City and Palayan City.

Likewise, After Care Services and community-based support services are also given to these women by the Local Social Welfare Development Offices (LSWDOs) once they are discharged from the centers and are re-integrated with their families and communities.

Aside from protective and rehabilitative services, the DSWD also implements poverty reduction programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program. Women play a major role as partner-beneficiaries in the planning and implementation of these programs.

In relation to women’s right to non-discrimination in employment, the passage of RA 10151 or An Act Allowing the Employment of Night workers and RA 10362 or Batas Kasambahay support the women economic empowerment in the country. Mayroon ring Balik Pinay! Balik-Hanap-buhay! Ang Department of Labor and Employment o DOLE para sa ating mga OFW na kababaihan kung saan ilang women beneficiaries ay nabibigyan ng access sa training on production skills with entrepreneurship and business management.

For the first quarter of 2015, the DSWD Field Office III has provided capital assistance to some 126 women entrepreneur in different towns of Aurora. These women, who are engaged in various income generating projects are now contributing to the income of their respective families.

And I would like to congratulate the members of the Kaunlaran ng Kababaihan Para sa Kinabukasan (KKK) SKA of San Luis Aurora, who are mostly women, for being one of the finalists in the 2014 Bangon sa Kabuhayan Awards by the Sustainable Livelihood Program at the national level. Since its organization in 1996, the group has continued to develop not only their livelihood project but also their strategies to generate and mobilize their savings.   The group was also the entry of the DSWD Field Office III in the 2014 Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontibusyon sa Bayan o PaNATA Awards at the DSWD national office.

In addition, for 2014, there were 64 women in this province who were provided legal counseling and financial assistance under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation.

Sa ating pagdiriwang, patuloy nating alamin at isulong ang mga karapatan ng mga Kababaihan na nakapaloob sa Magna Carta of Women o Republic Act 9710. Ang Magna Carta of Women ay isang komprehensibong women’s human rights law na naglalayong alisin ang discrimination against women sa pamamagitan ng pagkilala, pagprotekta, pagsakatuparan at pagsulong sa mga karapatan ng mga Filipina, lalo na yong nasa marginalized sector.

Karapatan ng lahat ng mga kababihan ang magkaroon ng “Maayos na Edukasyon; Na Makakuha ng Pautang at Iba Pang Uri gg Pagpapautang; Na Makatanggap ng                                                                                                          ng Komprehensibong Serbisyong Pangkalusugan; Na Magkaroon ng Libangan at Makabahagi sa Palakasan at Sining; Na Magdesisyon sa Bilang ng Magiging Anak at Tamang Pagitan ng Pagbubuntis; Na Maging Katuwang ang Iyong Asawa sa Pag-aaruga ng Iyong mga Anak;

Pantay na Trato sa Trabaho, Benepisyo at Segurong Panlipunan; Na Maging Ligtas sa Anumang Uri ng Pang-aabuso: Pisikal, Sekswal, Emosyonal, Mental at Ekonomiko; Na Maging Ligtas sa Anumang sa Anumang Anyo ng Pang-aalipin at Prostitusyon;  Na Bumoto o Tumakbo sa Eleksyon at Humawak ng Posisyon sa Gobyerno; Na Makakuha,                                                                      Magbago o Magpanatili ng Pagkamamamayan; at Maging Kinatawan sa Pang-daigdigang Pagtitipon”.

 Development and empowerment of women is everybody’s concern. The strength of a nation is contingent to both men and women. Everybody should paint a a vivid picture of communities that values respect, solidarity, and empowerment among its members. Everyone is helping each other and themselves in in reaching their full potential.

Government efforts are geared towards reducing poverty and unemployment, which are given priority in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan. The Plan ensures that women who engage in small, medium and micro-enterprises are given access to credit, trainings and micro-finance programs.

Panahon na para sabay-sabay tayong kumilos upang makamit at patuloy na kamtan ang mga karapatan ng mga kababaihan at masasabi natin na mayroong tunay na women empowerment dahil may kalakasan at kapangyarihan na tayo bilang mga babae. I urge everyone of you to assert and claim your rights and your benefits, as stated in the law.

 The government cannot do it alone. Magtulong-tulong po tayo para ang lahat ng mga ‘Juana’ sa ating bansa ay magkaroon ng kakayahan at kapangyarihan na paunlarin ang sarili at maging malaya sa kahirapan at sa pagsasamantala at kayang isigaw ang “Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago! MABUHAY ANG LAHAT NG MGA KABABAIHAN!

 Maraming salamat at magandang umaga sa inyong lahat.

 

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