Akbayan’s pro-women laws lauded for women’s month

Mar 2, 2019

by PR

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Mindanao civil society groups are raising public support for the urgent passage of five pro-women measures pushed by Akbayan Partylist in the 17th Congress in time for Women’s Month this March.

The Junior Chamber International (JCI), the Women’s Action for Gender Equality (WAGE), Balaod Mindanao, Citizens Watch for Good Governance (CWGG), and the Philippine Muslim Women Council, Inc. each expressed support for the Universal Healthcare Bill, the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill, the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Bill, the 4Ps Institutionalization Bill, and the Marawi Compensation Bill.

ALL TEAMED AND GEARED UP. Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin pose with Jett Yaranon (Junior Chamber International – Cagayan de Oro, Inc.), Dr. Padoman Paporo (Philippine Muslim Women Council, Inc.), Jean Gabatan (Women’s Advocacy for Gender Equality), and Jonathan Mongcal (Citizens’ Watch for Good Governance).


Young professionals lauded the Universal Healthcare Law that was just enacted by the President last February 20.

“Healthcare is one of the most basic needs that should be met. Families, especially mothers, will no longer need to worry as much because this law guarantees their right to quality health services,” said Jett Yaranon of the JCI, a group of young professionals.

Women laborers group WAGE urged the President not to give in to employers’ pressure to block the Expanded Maternity Leave Law.

 “The Expanded Maternity Leave Law is approaching its due date. We hope that it will not be aborted because of employers who still refuse the rights of women workers,” said Jean Gabatan of WAGE.

Balaod Mindanao, a network of policy experts and practitioners, called on local government units to start localizing the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Bill through ordinances, as successfully undertaken by some cities in Luzon and Visayas.

 “No means no. Whoever and wherever they are, sexual harassers on streets, public spaces, and online should not dictate the new normal. If we cannot protect our mothers, daughters, and sisters from dangers on the streets, how can we protect them from bigger threats?” asked Ritz Lee of Balaod Mindanao.

Jonathan Mongcal of the CWGG, that has pushed for the 4Ps Institutionalization Bill since 2015, said that it seeks to give poor Filipino mothers “peace and ease of mind” as the fate of the 4Ps will no longer rest on the hands of politicians who abuse the program for their interests.


Dr. Padoman Paporo, chairperson of the Philippine Muslim Women Council, Inc., stressed that the Marawi Compensation Bill will help Maranao mothers push their families to stand on their feet after the traumatic siege that leveled the city to the ground.

“We have to rebuild not only the city, but also the dreams of each Maranao family who fell victim to the violence and terror of the siege,” she added.

For his part, Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin, author of the subject legislations, assured Mindanao groups that “they are always remembered and relevant.”

 “The President owes the women of Mindanao. Mindanao has always received less attention, much less the women. If the government is keen on truly making a difference, it should start with passing these laws that given women the basic respect they deserve. If the President can’t say it in his words, he should just sign them into law,” he added.


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