By Charissa Luci-Atienza
In celebration of the National Women’s Day, the public can expect an all women-led plenary session on March 2, Monday.
It will be an all-women show at the Lower Chamber, as women lawmakers will preside over and deliver privilege speeches on issues concerning women and children.
Currently, there are 86 female House members.
“Women power is very much alive in the House of Representatives and we are very much competent to push the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo ‘Rody’ Duterte,” Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, chairperson of the House Committee on the Welfare of Children, said.
Romualdez is one of those women lawmakers who will preside during Monday’s session.
For her part, House Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera said the all women-led plenary session on Monday will show how women rise above challenges and occupy leadership posts in the country.
During the previous 17th Congress, Herrera served as chairperson of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality.
“Having more women in politics have proven great improvements in the areas they serve. This just goes to show that more women empowerment should be prioritized by our government because it can really greatly improve our country. Kapag babae ang inangat, buong pamilya aangat! (If women will be empowered, all families will be empowered, too.),” Herrera said.
Aside from Romualdez, Deputy Speakers Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas (Pangasinan), Vilma Santos-Recto (Batangas) and Evelina Escudero (Sorsogon), and Reps. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla (Zambales), Ann Hofer (Zamboanga Sibugay), Estrellita Suansing (Nueva Ecija), Lorna Silverio
(Bulacan), Mercedes Cagas (Davao del Sur) and Lorna Bautista-Bandigan (Davao Occidental) will also act as presiding officers.
Rep. Rossana Vergara (Nueva Ecija) will be the acting as House Majority Leader while Reps. Sandra Eriguel (LaUnion), Elisa Kho (Masbate) and Ma. Theresa Collantes (Batangas) will serve as acting House Deputy Majority Leaders.
Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (Negros Oriental) will be acting as the Overall Facilitator for the plenary. Joining her as Assistant Floor Facilitators will be Rep. Angelica Amante-Matba (Agusan del Norte) and House Deputy Majority Leader and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar.
House Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin will serve as Minority Floor Leader. While, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo will be acting as Deputy Minority Leader.
Manila Rep. Cristel L. Bagatsing is expected to lead the invocation.
During the Monday’s session, at least eight female House members are set to deliver privilege speeches.
These include Reps. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba (Bukidnon), Geradine Roman (Bataan), Sol Aragones (Laguna), France Castro (ACT-Teachers party-list), Arlene Brosas (Gabriela party-list), Sarah Jane Elago (Kabataan party-list), Irene Gay Saulog (Kalinga party-list), and Ruth Mariano-Hernandez (Laguna).
Their speeches will zero in on the following issues: violence against women and children; sexual exploitation of women in social media; gender equality for teachers; women on the march for decent jobs, wages and rights; child marriage; teenage pregnancy; and women in disaster management and resiliency.