The San Juan City government will push for gender equality and recognition of the rights of women through a series of activities during the kick off for National Women's Month on Wednesday, March 8, which was International Women’s Day.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora spearheaded the kick-off event, together with his wife Keri, and Rep. Bel Zamora, who is also the city's first female representative to Congress.
With the theme, “WE for Gender Equality and Inclusive Society,” the celebration started with a cycling parade and Zumba performance led by the women of San Juan City who were treated to free services like haircut, manicure, and pedicure.
The city also provided free social services to empower women such as a mini job fair, service desk for solo parents, San Juan health card, and free legal assistance with Public Attorney's Office (PAO) lawyers.
Keri, who is the founder of Caring Keri Foundation and an advocate of women’s rights and healthcare, expressed her full support to the city government's programs and projects for women.
“Unang-una sa lahat, gusto ko lang sabihin na napakaswerte ng mga kababaihan dito sa Lungsod ng San Juan dahil napaka-supportive ng Mayor sa lahat ng mga proyekto na nakakatulong sa atin at pinahahalagahan niya ang mga pangangailangan natin, sa pamilya, edukasyon, trabaho at marami pang iba, hindi lang tuwing Women’s Month kundi all-year round, may mga proyekto tayo para sa mga kababaihan. Kaya maraming salamat Mayor Francis, to the City Council and Congresswoman Bel (First of all, I just want to say that all the women here in the city of San Juan are very lucky to have a mayor who is very supportive of all projects that help us and gives importance to our family, education, livelihood, and other needs not just during Women's Month, but all year-round. Thank you so much Mayor Francis, to the City Council and Congresswoman Bel )," Keri said.
Rep. Zamora honored the San Juaneño women who have been raising their respective families and have been active in nation-building and instrumental in realizing a Makabagong San Juan.
“I am here to congratulate all the women here for the work that you do for your families, for your communities, for San Juan and for our country. I salute every one of you for helping the Makabagong San Juan achieve its goals,” she said.
She assured that as the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Women and Equality, she will initiate a move in Congress that will support women empowerment and gender inclusivity. She added that next week, Congress will conduct an all-women session where she will be the acting deputy speaker and will push for women empowerment.
Breast cancer awareness MOA
The city government also signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Medical City and AIA Philippines on the SCReen And Prevent (SCRAP) Cancer Program which aims to provide better medical access to the indigent population, including free early detection screening and treatment of women.
“This is a very important MOA because not only are we giving free medical consultation and breast cancer exam to 500 qualified women in San Juan, those who will unfortunately be diagnosed with the disease will be given free treatment by Medical City and AIA Philippines. We know how expensive it is to get treatment so we are very grateful to them for choosing San Juan to be their partner and pilot city in this program,” Mayor Zamora noted.
In 2019, Keri was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer which prompted her to create the Caring Keri Foundation which aims to assist women and their children in their community. The program focuses on women's health, the well-being of teenagers, and the protection of women and children's rights. After dealing with her own cancer, Keri was inspired to give back to women who are also struggling with the disease.
Mayor Zamora also announced that all all the women who attended and registered will receive P3,000 each.