Negrense women legislators band together for common goal


Women legislators from various city and municipal councils in Negros Occidental have banded together during the provincial assembly of the Lady Local Legislators League (FOUR-L) in this city recently.

Held in line with the Women’s Month celebration this March, the event highlighted the role of female lawmakers in their respective local Sanggunian (Councils).

Board Member Juvy Pepello, provincial president of the Association of Barangay Captains and ex-officio member of the Provincial Board, said the event is important in making sure that women’s voices are heard and not simply overlooked or ignored, especially on issues involving their rights and welfare.

“It is very meaningful for us, for women’s participation and gender balance in leadership, policy and decision-making, and more importantly the inclusion of women’s concerns. Together, let’s break boundaries, break stereotypes, and make change happen,” said Pepello, who was elected president of FOUR-L Negros Occidental Chapter during the assembly held at the Capitol Social Hall here.

Guest speaker, Iloilo Vice Governor Christine Garin, said the all-women organization pushes for policies and programs the members think can redound to the benefit of the country and its people.

FOUR-L aims to legislate measures for the welfare of women, children, and family; promote women’s rights; support legislative and executive measures for the welfare of women; and assist in government programs and policies that enhance the role of women in society.

It also seeks to engage in activities that support the causes of persons who protect and promote women’s rights; help strengthen or foster national unity through peaceful means; and defend and support the Constitution and the laws promulgated by the duly constituted government and authorities of the Philippines.

In his message, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said no less than the fundamental law of the land recognizes the role of women in nation-building as he pledged to ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.

“You are in a unique position to craft relevant legislation, not just for women and children but for the entire nation. You are also in a capacity to inspire other women to pursue public service,” he added.

Also elected were Candoni Vice Mayor Loriemae Joy Gargar as vice president; Himamaylan City Councilor Anna Bernadette Gatuslao, secretary; Himamaylan City Councilor Janet Villafranca, treasurer; Kabankalan City Councilor Jeorgelyn Largado, auditor; Escalante City Councilor Virgie Pastor, public relations officer; 1st District Board Member Araceli Somosa, Escalante City Councilor Rosario Manguilimotan, Cadiz City Vice Mayor Lilia Decolongon, Victorias City Councilor Teresita Bartolome, Talisay City Councilor Rosalinda Tuvilla, Valladolid Councilor Armela Mailim, Bago City Councilor Marina Javellana-Yao, La Castellana Councilor Leah Rose Lim, Himamaylan City Councilor Julie Ann Vasquez, Sipalay City Councilor Ellaine Pearl Garinganao, and Kabankalan City Councilor Helen Zafra, directors.

(Nanette Guadalquiver ndb via pna)