LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The provincial board approved on third and final reading an ordinance institutionalizing the Women Officials for a Day (WOFAD) in the province during the women’s month celebration and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
Under the said ordinance authored by Boardmembers Nestor Fongwan, Jr., Alexander Fianza and Roberto Canuto, the conduct of the WOFAD intends to engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services; create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing gender; development and strengthen the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women and inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change by contributing in promoting gender equality and empowerment of all women.
The WOFAD shall be held on any day of March as part of the women’s month celebration to be determined by the WOFAD selection committee that will be created for this purpose.
The WOFAD selection committee will be composed of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer as Chairperson, the Chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committees on Social Services, Women and Family as Co-Chairpersons and the presidents of the women’s federation of each of the 13 municipalities as members.
The WOFAD Selection Committee shall prepare and promulgate the necessary WOFAD screening and selection guidelines and implement the same upon approval of the Provincial governor; provide the necessary assistance to the WOFAD during their tenure in the province; conduct assessment of the activities conducted and provide necessary corrective measures in the succeeding WOFAD celebration; prepare detailed reports of the activities and submit the same to the offices of the Provincial governor and Sangguniang Panlalawigan for information; coordinate with other organizations in the province for possible expansion of the WOFAD program subject to agreement of both parties and perform other duties as they may be requested by the offices concerned.
The ordinance states that the women’s federation of the different municipalities of the province shall nominate 3 qualified and active members to the WOFAD selection committee which will screen them to determine those who will be assigned in the different offices of the provincial government.
Fongwan claimed that the provincial government recognizes and values the vital role of women as partners in family and community development and in order to provide the opportunity and encourage women’s involvement in decision-making and local governance and ensure the continuity of the said program, there is the need to institutionalize the same.
Ordinance No. 2018-242 otherwise known as the Gender and Development Code of Benguet, recognizes the need to affirm, operationalize and harmonize the local development efforts, especially in promoting, protecting and fulfilling men and women’s human rights towards their empowerment and attainment of gender equality in the province.