Duterte challenged to tackle women’s concerns

Feb. 29, 2016

PDP-Laban presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte attends a forum tackling women’s agenda in Davao City on Saturday, February 27. (Medel V. Hernani/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY — A local movement of women from Mindanao was launched over the weekend to back the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Dubbed as the ForwaRD Women (Forum of Women for Action with Rody Duterte), the group is composed of lawyers, educators, non-government organization workers, activists, children and women’s rights advocates—all of whom are women—who believe that Duterte can put forward the women’s agenda under his presidency.

In a gathering held here on Saturday, February 27, around 300 women from several parts of Mindanao converged to discuss and draft a pro-women’s agenda that will be presented to Davao’s tough-talking mayor.

“But first we must be able to collectively discuss our situation and issues for us to develop an agenda, and we shall challenge our (presidential) candidate to act on this,” Gabriela Women’s Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said. “Women are half of the population and could effectively swing the votes.”

Presented to Duterte are some pressing issues that the group wants to be implemented: the women’s limited access to education, unemployment, lack of health services at the barangay level, the review of the (Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the government, among others.

The ForwaRD Women believes that Duterte’s “track record and performance” can translate their proposed agenda through “concrete actions” by way of policy formulation and implementation.

Councilor Leah Librado said that one of her concerns is the long and intricate process of the credit facilities that gives the corrupt officials the chance to pocket the money that must be given to the beneficiaries. She hopes that the process will be change if mayor Rody Duterte will become the president of our country.

“These are all possible if Mayor Duterte wins the presidency,” said Librado.

Money needed to act, says Duterte

While Duterte told the group that these programs are possible, he said funding is needed to pump life into the said agenda.

“I assure you that if given the chance to sit in Malacañang, I will stop corruption, get all the resources needed so that the needs of our women will be addressed,” Duterte said.

On the other hand, former Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, assured the group that her father will certainly prioritize women’s issue once her father will be in Malacanang. Duterte-Carpio is running for Davao City Mayor for this year’s election.

She noted how Davao City home to trailblazing policies and programs such as the Women Development Code and Women’s Health Ordinance that was enacted in 1997 during his father’s administration. (With a report from Maria Patricia C. Borromeo/davaotoday.com)

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