The roles of gov’t agencies in promoting women’s rights

Reynaldo Santos Jr

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The roles of gov’t agencies in promoting women’s rights
The government has assigned specific roles to national agencies to help improve the lives of women in the country

MANILA, Philippines – In 1988, then President Corazon Aquino signed Proclamation 227, which designated March as Women’s Role in History Month.

The proclamation seeks to highlight on this month “the historical contributions which Filipino women of every class, religion, and ethnic background have made to the growth and strength of the nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways.”

The proclamation assigned the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW, but renamed the Philippine Commission on Women) as the official coordinating body for this nationwide observance.

Apart from Proclamation 227, the government also passed various laws and initiatives that promote women’s right and highlight their role in society, assigning certain roles to existing government offices in this regard.

Here’s a list of what some government agencies are tasked to do:

Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)
PCW is the primary policy-making and coordinating body for women and gender equality concerns under the Office of the President. Formerly the NCRFW, the agency was established in 1975 through Presidential Decree 633. In 2009, it was renamed PCW and was made the overall monitoring body and oversight for the implementation of the Magna Carta for Women.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
Republic Act 7192, or the Women in Development and Nation Building Act, mandates NEDA as responsible for ensuring the participation of women as recipients of foreign aid, grants, and loans. It shall determine and recommend the amount to be allocated for development activities that benefit women.

Department of Health (DOH)
The health department serves as the lead agency for the implementation of Republic Act 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, which promotes the right to health of women. The DOH is instructed to implement programs for women on reproductive health care, services, products and programs; and to prioritize full access of poor and marginalized women to health care.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
One of TESDA’s specialized training centers is the TESDA Women’s Center (TWC), which seeks to advance the economic status of women through training, entrepreneurship development, gender sensitive policies, programs and projects and research and advocacy. It was established through a grant from the Japanese government.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
Republic Act 9710 refers to special leave benefits for women. In 2011, the labor department released Department Order 112, which orders the Labor Inspectorate of DOLE local offices to enforce and monitor the implementation of this directive.

Department of Agriculture (DA)
Based on Republic Act 8435, or the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act, the agriculture department shall highly consider specific sectors – including women – in formulating the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan. The department is also tasked to plan and implement special training projects for women in rural industrialization programs.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Republic Act 7882 provides assistance to women engaging in micro- and cottage businesses. The law mandates the department’s Bureau of Small and Medium Business Development to execute the law.

Philippine Information Agency (PIA)
Republic Act 10398 mandates the agency to allocate at least an hour of airtime to programs exclusively raising public awareness on the problem of violence against women and children.

Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Their Children
Republic Act 9262, the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, mandates the creation of an inter-agency council that will formulate programs and projects to eliminate violence against women and their children. The following are the member agencies of this council:

  • PCW
  • DOLE
  • DOH
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD)
  • Civil Service Commission (CSC)
  • Commission on Human rights (CHR)
  • Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
  • Philippine National Police (PNP)
  • Department of Education (DepEd)
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

The responsibilities assigned to each of these member agencies are listed in Sections 50 and 61 of the implementing rules of regulations of RA 9262.

National Statistical Office (NSO)
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
Republic 10398 mandates these organizations (along with the PNP, DSWD, and DOLE) in getting data on all forms of violence against women and children, including Filipino women and children abroad. These agencies shall consolidate their findings and come up with a public report on the statistics and status of violence against women and children every November 25 of each year. –

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