A delegation of lady lawmakers―Deputy Speaker and Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Villarica, Nueva Ecija Rep. Mikaela Violago, and MATA Party-List Rep. Tricia Velasco-Catera―recently attended the first-ever Women’s Forum Singapore.
With the theme “Bridging Worlds for Inclusive Innovation,” the forum was well-attended by various political, business and institutional women leaders from different countries.
As one of the guest speakers, Villarica proudly shared that the Philippines has been consistently among top 10 countries in the Global Gender Gap, which shows how gender-equal the country is.
In her discussion, she explained that in the Philippine legislative setting, there has been a steady rise of women representatives every term.
“Currently, the women legislators in the House of Representatives number 86 out of a total of 299 representatives, while in the Senate, 6 out of the 24 senators are women,” Villarica said.
She also proudly noted that the current Speaker of the House of Representatives―former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo―is the first woman to hold the post.
With the active participation of women legislators in the legislative arena, many bills that give women more rights and protections have been passed,” said Villarica.
“Women here in Asia are now more aware, more liberal and contributes a lot or sometimes greater than some men,” added Velasco-Catera, a co-author of House Bill No. 580 or the “100-day Maternity Leave” Bill, which lengthens the maternity leave of female workers in the government and private sectors to 100 days.
Velasco-Catera is proof of women’s power, as she is known for helping a lot of senior citizens and persons with disabilities by distributing wheelchairs and FDA-approved medicines in every medical mission.