Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian welcomed key national and international officials during a joint kick-off of the projects, “Implementing the Magna Carta of Women: Enabling and Empowering Women on the Ground to Actively Participate in Politics and Governance”, “Capacity Building to Enable and Empower Women to Participate in Livelihood and Other Economic Activities through Training and Education on the Magna Carta of Women” and launching of R.A. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women Poster and Primer at the Valenzuela City Auditorium.
The Magna Carta, signed into law on August 14, 2009, seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by “recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women.” Seminars about the Magna Carta are facilitated nationwide by The Working for Empowerment and Good Governance Institute, Inc. (WeGovern), a non-government organization, which advocates the advancement of new politics by empowering the people on the grassroots level, stood at the forefront of the event. WeGovern trains community leaders and small groups by mobilizing their strengths and resources for genuine development of their respective communities.
The said launch is a joint project with the City Government of Valenzuela supported by the British Embassy Manila and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda.
WeGovern’s President of the Board, Ms. Liza Maza, emphasized the strategic location of the launch by highlighting Valenzuela City’s geographic setting as the bridge between the National Capital Region and Northern Luzon. “It is also a positive ground for the pilot seminars because Mayor Gatchalian is an ardent supporter of our cause by giving due recognition to the role of women in governance. He is the best example to be followed by other community leaders”, she said in her speech.
Seven out of 14 Valenzuela City Councilors are women, while 30 out of 42 Department Heads of the City Government also comprise of women. Moreover, 30% of Barangay Kagawads are also female.
Mayor Gatchalian assured the observance and proper monitoring of the awareness campaign with the help of the City’s Gender and Development Council and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).
“This launch is very timely because we need to promote the protection of women especially against prostitution and human trafficking. Therefore, I welcome all efforts to protect, promote and empower the equal rights of our citizens.” Mayor Gatchalian said.
Senator Loren Legarda, a known environmentalist and defender of women’s causes, lauded the participation of the City Government in women’s rights activities. Her insight was shared by fellow guest of honor, Mr. Stephen Lillie, Her Majesty’s British Ambassador to the Philippines.
Likewise, Senator Legarda handed over the seed money for organized women livelihood projects to Mayor WIN Gatchalian for Barangays Bignay, Gen. T. De Leon, Marulas and Pulo.
Gracing the occasion are various women’s organizations in the City, as well as officials from DepEd Valenzuela and elected officials led by Congressman REX T. Gatchalian of Valenzuela City’s 1st district, City Coucilors Shalani Soledad, Cora Cortez and Marlon Alejandrino among others.