As provided for in Republic Act 6949 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, March 8 of every year shall be declared as a working holiday to be known as National Women’s Day. To kick off the celebration of Women’s Day, the Regional Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Children or the RIACAT-VAWC organized a foot parade and enjoined all its member agencies, including the Department of the Interior and Local Government as well as National Government Offices and Civil Society Organizations to participate in the activity. A holy mass was celebrated at the Albay Astrodome officiated by Bishop Joel Bailon and was immediately followed by a forum on this year’s theme “Weathering Climate Change: Governance and Accountability, Everyone’s Responsibility”.
The event was graced by the presence of two women leaders in the Province of Albay, Legazpi City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal and the Chairperson on the Committee on Women and Children, Provincial Board Member Glenda Bongao, who gave an inspiring message on the role of women in society and their participation in the development process of the nation. The highlight of the day’s activity was the awarding of chosen women achievers in the career executive service in the Province of Albay.
In line with this year’s theme, Provincial Board Member Arnold Embestro who is the Chairman on the Committee on Environment, talked about how women should cope in times of crisis especially now that we are faced with major natural calamities caused by the global warming. The activity culminated with a talk on the Magna Carta of Women or the Republic Act 9710 which is a relatively new law, delivered by Prosecutor Joyce Guererro of the Department of Justice Region V to acquaint the women of their rights as citizens as provided for in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and to give them a better understanding of these rights especially against discrimination. It also highlighted a discussion of R.A. 9208, the Anti-Trafficking against Persons Act, since the victims are mostly women and children. – (LGOO IV Grace S. Mago)