By Chito Chavez
Quezon City Vice-Mayor Joy Belmonte on Friday vowed to strengthen further women’s rights and welfare in the city after signing a covenant with the city’s women leaders under the Quezon City Community Women Leaders’ Federation.
“As a leader, I stand with all the women in our city by promoting programs that support women’s rights and welfare. Maaasahan po ninyo ako na ako ang unang titindig para sa mga programang kailangan ng kababaihan sa ating lungsod (You can count that I will be the first to stand up for the programs needed by the women in the city),” said Belmonte during the Quezon City Women Convention on Friday.
Belmonte also assured that the city government will implement the programs listed in the group’s ten-point agenda.
These includes district hospitals with specialty clinic for women illnesses and mental health, district colleges or technical vocational center with state-of-the-art facilities; and a livelihood, training and showcase center for the women entrepreneurs.
Belmonte also pledged to create shelters and homes for abandoned senior citizens; special discount and privileges for solo parents and persons with disabilities (PWDs); a health and wellness center; free maintenance medicines; scholarship and financial grants; child-minding centers; a 24 hour emergency hotline; and a holistic anti-drug education campaign.
The vice-mayor assured the members of the federation that the 10-point agenda signed are already in her platforms of governance while some are already included in the ordinances passed by the City Council.
“Sa lahat ng kapwa ko kababaihan, keep the faith and keep up the good work. Panatilihin natin ang pagiging kampyon at ikalat pa natin sa ating kapwa ang ating adbokasiya hangga’t mayroong kababaihang inaapi, kababaihang hindi nabibigyan ng serbisyo, at hindi nabibigyan ng tugon ang kanilang suliranin. Karapatan natin lahat ‘yan kaya ipaglaban natin (To all the women like me, keep the faith and keep up the good work. Let us maintain being the champions and spread our advocacies to other women until there are abused women and those deprived of the appropriate services and those whose woe are left unattended),” stressed Belmonte.
The Quezon City local government has lined up programs for the women’s month celebration including a month-long free breast and cervical cancer screening and a dance competition for women with the theme “We Can Make Change for Women.”