LEGAZPI CITY, Mar. 9 (PIA) – In line with the theme: “We Make Change Work for Women”, different regional offices of Bicol have combined their efforts in celebration of the 2017 National Women’s Month this March by conducting activities designed to benefit women’s health and social well-being.
To kick off the celebration of this year’s National Women’s Month, a Fun Walk was held yesterday at Legazpi City, participated by local government, regional and provincial offices in the Bicol region.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol region, the office that spearheaded the said event, this is to show that government offices in the region who cater to the many different needs of the Bicolanos are one in the advocacy of protecting the rights and interests of women.
“This celebration is something we do annually on the month of March. Today (March 08), we kicked off the celebration to coincide with the International Women’s Day observance, which is today,” said Myla Cruz of DSWD-Bicol, during a radio discussion with PIA RO V yesterday.
As explained by Cruz during the said interview, there are many legal bases designating the month of March as the dedicated time of the year for women’s welfare.
Under Presidential Proclamation 224 series of 1988, as signed by then President Corazon Aquino, every first week of March has been declared as National Women’s Week, and every eighth day or the said month as National Women’s Rights Day.
The said law was then succeeded by Presidential Proclamation 227 series of 1988, additionally declaring the annual celebration of Women’s Role in History Month every March. This was further reinforced by Republic Act (RA) 6949, as ratified in 1990, formally declaring the month of March as National Women’s Month.
It can also be recalled, added Cruz, that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte himself stated on his first ‘State of the Nation Address’ last July 2016 that all government office, down to the barangay level, are given directives to fully implement the ‘Magna Carta for Women’ (MCW) or Republic Act 9710.
This, as per the president, is part of his ten-point socio-economic agenda, is part of the administration’s strategy for national development by providing equal opportunity to both men and women.
For the celebration of this year’s National Women’s Month in the Bicol region, government offices like the DSWD and the Department of Health (DOH), has formed an inter-agency effort for the sake of raising the status of women’s welfare under the leadership of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).
In terms of women’s health, DOH-Bicol announced that they will be once again intensifying their advocacy on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law, alongside the Commission on Population (POPCOM).
According to Dr. Rita Mae Ang-Bon, head of DOH-Bicol’s Family Health Cluster, the theme of the celebration emphasizes the role of women as driver of positive change in the communities, but this would not be possible if the health needs of women are not addressed.
Through the RPRH law, DOH-Bicol stated that individuals, especially women and couples in the marginalized sector, would be given proper knowledge and informed choices in terms of family planning.
The RPRH law, as per DOH, would comprehensively address the needs of Filipinos regarding reproductive health, thus reducing the dangers of problems like high-risk pregnancy and maternal deaths for women. (MAL/JBE-PIA5)