Ochoa praises Filipino women in calamity-hit areas as nation celebrates women’s month
Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Saturday lauded all the women in areas affected by super typhoons and earthquake for their contribution to help the country rise above the challenges brought about by a series of calamities last year.
On the occasion of the National Women’s Month celebration, Ochoa expressed his admiration to these women who serve “as pillars of strength and solidarity in their respective families, communities, and our nation.”
The Executive Secretary said the capacity of Filipino women to endure and prevail under demanding circumstances embodies women empowerment.
“Heroines all, women in affected areas, though victims themselves, have inspired us with their efforts to keep their families together, extending assistance to others as volunteers in rescue and rehabilitation efforts, and ably performing their duties as leaders in their respective communities,” Ochoa said.
The theme for this year’s observance of National Women’s Month is “Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong.”
Ochoa also took the opportunity to announce that the Philippines will begin this month the assessment of the progress of its commitments under the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) of 1995 in preparation for the 20-year global review next year.
The BPfA is an international accord of women’s rights created during the Fourth World Conference on Women of the United Nation in Beijing in 1995, which has the backing of some 189 countries including the Philippines.
The BPfA includes key areas of concern needing action such as women and poverty, violence against women, and access to power and decision-making.
According to Ochoa, the Philippine report will be crafted by stakeholders in the government and non-government sectors and will be tackled during the Women’s Consultative Conference this month.
“The Philippine experience can very well be a major contribution to this review as the world looks at more opportunities for gender equality and empowerment, and for broadening advocacy in the promotion and protection of women’s rights after 2015,” Ochoa said. PND
Aquino attends 28th PSG anniversary, thanks leadership for dedication to service
President Benigno S. Aquino III thanked the leadership of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) during the celebration of its 28th founding anniversary Friday asking the organization to serve the people with utmost dedication in the remaining years of his administration.
In his message, the President expressed his gratitude to the PSG leadership for providing security to the Aquino family since his mother assumed office in 1986.
And last year, when the country was hit with calamities, both man-made and natural, the President said members of the PSG braved everything to perform their duties of providing him security even in risky areas.
“Pinupuntahan natin ang mga liblib na lugar, at tumutungo tayo sa totoong kondisyon ng ating mga kababayan—ke malungkot, ke masaya—kahit pa minsan ‘di ko maiwasang bigyan kayo ng sakit ng ulo, lalo na ang inyong Group Commander,” the President said.
“Sa mga pagkakataong ito, kadamay ko ang PSG sa lahat ng oras na tayo’y naglilingkod sa taumbayan. Wala tayong pinipiling lugar, malayo man o malapit; tahimik man o mapanganib,” he added.
These sacrifices are part of PSG’s commitment to serve their real “bosses”—the Filipino people, the President said. In less than four years in office, the chief executive said he never felt he was alone because of the service and dedication of men and women from the PSG that do their job well.
And with two more years in office, the President said there still are many challenges that lie ahead. But with PSG’s commitment to service, he said he is confident that the PSG will be a part of the nation’s march towards progress.
“Sa bawat sandaling ito, kasama ko pa rin kayo. Hinihimok ko kayong higit pang pag-igihin ang inyong trabaho, habang kapit-bisig nating isinusulong ang permanenteng pagbabago sa bansa,” he said.
“Hanggang sa ika-30 ng Hunyo 2016, sa pagbaba ko sa puwesto bilang Pangulo, buo ang loob ko na nariyan pa rin kayo sa aking tabi—kasama ko kayong titindig at taas-noong lilingon sa bansa at sasabihing: ‘Ibang-iba na nga ang Pilipinas ngayon kaysa ating dinatnan. Nakakamit na natin ang ating mga pangarap, at tinatamasa na ng Pilipino ang inaasam nating malawakang pagbabago,’” the President added. PND (as)
Philippines joins International Women’s Day celebration
The Philippines joins global celebration of the International Women’s Day Saturday (March 8) recognizing the contribution of Filipino women to national progress.
“Ngayong taon, kinikilala natin ang kababaihang Pilipina na naging katalista ng pagbabago at nagpapakita ng kakaibang tapang, katatagan, kalinga at pagmamahal sa kani-kanilang pamilya at pamayanan sa gitna ng unos at trahedya na puminsala sa ating bansa noong nakaraang taon,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a statement on Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
“Sa pagbangon at pagbabagong-tatag ng mga lugar na sinalanta ng mga bagyo at lindol, muli silang mangunguna upang mapanumbalik ang sigla at liwanag sa mga komunidad at kanayunan. Patuloy ang pagtataguyod ng pamahalaan sa isang patas na lipunan at sa pag-angat sa antas ng mga kababaihan.”
Government’s programs for the welfare of Filipino women have started to bear fruits, he said.
Coloma said that according to the World Economic Forum, the Philippines is the fifth country spearheading and recognizing women’s rights and their contribution to society.
In the whole of Asia, the Philippines was the highest in the Global Gender Gap Index last year, he said, outperforming China, Japan, and India.
The WEF also reported that the participation of women in many areas is noteworthy, he said. Filipino women excelled in economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, educational attainment, political participation and economic equality.
In the same study, the Philippines ranked as the highest in the health and survival and educational attainment aspects, outpointing other neighboring countries.
The Philippines also ranked 10th in political empowerment and 16th in economic participation and opportunity, he added.
Data from the National Statistical Coordination Board also shows that Filipino women have higher employment rate at 93.3 percent compared to men with 92.7 percent.
The number of professional women is also increasing with 68.3 percent compared to men with 31.7 percent. Coloma also said that more than half or 52.1 percent of managers and executives in companies in the Philippines are women.
“Sa nalalabing dalawa pang taon sa termino ng Pangulo, batid niya na may mahalagang papel ang mga kababaihan sa patuloy nating pagsulong upang makamit ang malawakan at pangmatagalang kaunlaran para sa ating mga mamamayan,” he noted.
This year’s women’s day celebration has for its theme: “Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong.” PND (as)
Palace says government working with urgency to rebuild typhoon-devastated areas
The administration said it remains determined to carry out rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts in areas affected by Typhoon "Yolanda" and appealed to all sectors to work together.
In a radio interview Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Aquino administration has not lost its sense of urgency and will not waver in its rebuilding initiatives.
“Ibayong determinasyon ang hinaharap natin diyan. At panawagan din sa lahat na pagtulungan natin ito; dapat pagtulungan ito ng pambansa at lokal na pamahalaan,” he said adding that civic organizations and individuals who were not affected by the calamity should also help.
“Napakatindi po ng sense of urgency na ating patuloy na pinaiiral hinggil sa bagay na iyan at nananatili naman pong bukas ang ating pamahalaan kung sino man na mayroong suhestiyon o panukala kung paano pa mapapahusay ang rehabilitation efforts natin.”
With regards to groups calling for a dialogue with Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Coloma said the secretary is ready to meet with thesei groups to discuss relief efforts in affected communities.
He said that since the disaster struck, Secretary Soliman has observed hands-on approach to help the survivors. But he noted that the people should also consider the magnitude of the problem—with Typhoon Yolanda affecting 44 provinces and 171 municipalities and cities. Overall, there are some 17 million people devastated by the typhoon, he said.
“Hindi talaga biro-biro ‘yung mga dapat gawin sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng permanenteng pabahay, paglilipat sa mas ligtas na lugar sa ating mga mamamayan, at ‘yung patuloy pa ring pagbibigay ng relief doon sa mga nasa evacuation at temporary shelters,” he said.
Four months after the disaster, the government remains determined to rebuild affected areas, the Palace official said. He noted however that because of the severity of the problem, there are areas that may not get enough help.
And the government needs public assistance to get information from areas not receiving sufficient government support, he said.
“Maibigay lang po ‘yan sa atensyon ng ating pamahalaan ay sisikapin namang punuan kung anuman ang pagkukulang,” he said. PND (as)
Palace says centralization of gun licensing necessary
The Palace defended the centralization of gun licensing in the country saying the move is intended to clean the firearms registry of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to eventually reduce the proliferation of loose firearms.
It was reported that pro-gun groups have opposed the centralization on the renewal of gun licenses arguing it would only result to more loose firearms.
But in a radio interview Saturday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the move is necessary as he hopes for public cooperation.
“Paninindigan po ng PNP ‘yan at sa tingin po namin ay makatuwiran ang kanilang ginagawa,” he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
“Ito po ay isang mahalagang transitional measure para matiyak ‘yung integrity ng ating firearms registry. At sana ay makiisa din ang mga grupo ng mga mamamayan na sinasabing sila ay responsible gun owners dahil ‘yan din po ang layunin ng kampanyang ito ng ating pambansang kapulisan.”
Coloma said that according to the Philippine National Police (PNP) there is a total 1.7 million firearms in the country.
The PNP studied the records of the Firearms and Explosive Office and the civil security groups and found out that 60 to 70 percent of the records of firearm holders are spurious or fictitious.
The PNP observed that there are mismatches in the names, addresses and photos of licensed firearms owners, prompting the PNP to cleanse its gun licensing registry.
“Ibig sabihin, nagbunsod talaga ito ng duda at alinlangan doon sa integrity ng records. Kung sinuman ang resonableng tao na malaman ‘yan, siyempre, magiging konklusyon na dapat itong linisin, dapat ayusin ang records at dapat ibalik ang integridad ng firearms registry system natin,” Coloma said.
And with regards to issues on high delivery cost of licenses, Coloma said it could be assumed that anyone buying guns also has the money to pay for the delivery of licenses and cost should not be an issue.
“Hindi dapat maging katuwiran na magiging inconvenient ito dahil for anyone na gustong magkaroon ng prebilihiyo na maging may-ari ng firearm, at nakikita naman natin, sigurado namang may kakayahan ito dahil hindi naman biro-biro ang presyo ng isang baril,” he said. PND (as)