GAD News Feed for January 9 - 15, 2016


January 9 - 15, 2016

Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)

local news



News article brief

PDI/January 15, 2016/ Opinion/ Rina Jimenez-David

‘AlDub’ and the DOH budget cut

But miracles do happen. Women’s groups and reproductive health advocates, as well as those concerned with issues like HIV/AIDS, are bent on making the recent P1-billion cut from the budget of the Department of Health, the amount earmarked for the purchase of contraceptives, an election issue. And the “issue” is centered on Sotto, who maneuvered, with the cooperation of Senate budget committee chair Sen. Loren Legarda, to excise the amount meant to buy contraceptives for the use of poor women and men who otherwise could not afford the means to plan their families, from the DOH budget.

MB/January 15, 2016/ National/ Genalyn Kabiling

President Aquino willing to ask Japan for assistance to WWII ‘comfort women’


Although he thinks the reparation issue has long been settled, President Aquino is willing to ask Japan to provide for additional assistance to the so-called Filipina comfort women during World War II. “Wala namang mawawala na pwede nating imungkahi na tulungan din tayo sa pagpapasaayos dagdag doon sa mga ginawa na natin para sa ating mga comfort women,” the President said in a press conference in Bulacan.

MB/January 14, 2016/ World/ AFP

Japan lawmaker says ‘comfort women’ were ‘prostitutes’


A Japanese lawmaker said on Thursday, January 14, that wartime sex slaves forced to work for Japan’s Imperial Army were “professional prostitutes”, before he was forced to retract the remarks and issue an apology, local media reported.

MB/January 13, 2016/ News/ AFP

S. Korean president defends landmark deal with Japan


South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Wednesday defended a landmark deal with Japan over wartime sex slaves, saying her government had tackled a “difficult problem” dodged by her predecessors. Park acknowledged criticism of the deal, which has divided public opinion, but argued that her administration had secured the best possible outcome.

MB/January 13, 2016/ News/ Ed Ciby

Robredo calls for more anti-poverty measures, better infrastructures, and rural development


Maria Leonor “Leni” Gerona Robredo is the ruling Liberal Party’s 2016 vice-presidential bet and she explained her socio-economic reform advocacies recently at the “Pandesal Forum” with mediamen at the 77-year-old Kamuning Bakery Cafe in Quezon City … In the same forum, Quezon City vice-mayor Hon. Joy Belmonte expressed support for Robredo as president of the “Lakas ng Kababaihan Para kay Leni Movement.” She hopes to mobilize the “women’s vote” nationwide because, Belmonte said, Leni Robredo is a defender of disadvantaged women and children.

TS/January 12, 2016/ Headlines/ Rio N. Araja and John Paolo Bencito

COA raises stink over toilet plan

TRANSPORT Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Monday he will stay on the job despite mounting calls that he be fired, and a new audit report that showed his department failed to build comfort rooms in train stations, ports and airports under its P351-million “Kayo Ang Boss Ko” toilet improvement project despite the availability of funds … Because of this failure, women shared the same facilities with men in several train stations and Land Transportation Office branches, and persons with disabilities were left with no option but to use regular restrooms, the CoA said.

PDI/January 12, 2016/ Opinion/ Rina Jimenez-David

The ‘castrated’ RH budget

AS IS all too common with government programs, it’s the poor—particularly poor women—who have little voice, small presence and even a lot less power, who become the biggest losers when money is scarce and there are competing claims for it.

MB/January 12, 2016/ National/ Samuel Medenilla

‘Restore P1-B fund,’ reproductive health supporters urge


Supporters of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law will launch a campaign today to call for the restoration of the P1-billion funds for the implementation of the legislation’s family planning component. The fund was slashed from the Department of Health’s (DOH) budget this year.

BW/January 12, 2016/ Nation/ K. M. P. Tubadeza

Palace clarifies family planning budget

“Under the 2016 National Expenditure Program, the proposed amount for the family planning program was P3,137,872,000, which is lodged under the women and men’s health development component of the DoH (Department of Health) Family Health and Responsible Parenting,” Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr. said in a press briefing on Tuesday, quoting Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad. Mr. Coloma said that in the 2016 General Appropriations Act, the amount was reduced to P2,275,078,000. “The decrease amounting to P862,794,000 pertains to the procurement of the Implanon implant, which is a contraceptive,” he added.

PS/January 12, 2016/ Opinion/ Domini M. Torrevillas

Robredo for women empowerment/ Who is Rowena Guanzon?

Economic empowerment through the creation of livelihood opportunities is the key to eliminating or at least curtailing abuse and violence against women. This was the formula that Camarines Sur Congresswoman Leni Robredo said, was used with great success in addressing the many cases of domestic cruelty inflicted against women in Naga City. Robredo is the Liberal Party candidate for vice president in next year’s election. She was guest speaker in the recent Women’s Convention on Peace and Development in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur. The event drew an attendance of some 1,250 participants from all over the country.

MB/January 11, 2016/ Opinions and Editorials/ The Wall Street Journal

Saudi women move into work force but face limits


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (From the Wall Street Journal) — Women in Saudi Arabia still aren’t allowed to drive. But inside a local potato-chip factory here, Khuloud Majrashi runs a forklift. Every morning, she uses the heavy-duty vehicle with jutting steel prongs to feed crates of potatoes into a peeling machine at the start of an assembly line. The line is fully operated by women, who make up the daytime shifts while male employees run the line by night.

TS/January 10, 2016/ Main stories/ Maricel Cruz

Lagman blasts Sotto over P1-b RH budget cut

The principal author of the Reproductive Health Law has chided Senator Vicente Sotto III over the latter’s move to delete  from the 2016 national budget the P1-billion allocation for family planning commodities aimed at providing artificial contraceptives to poor Filipino couples. Former Albay congressman Edcel Lagman, the principal author of Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law or Republic Act 10354, said Sotto, after failing to block the passage of the RH Law, is now deliberately stalling the law’s implementation.

PDI/January 10, 2016/ News/ Julie S. Alipala

Liberating Badjao women after war

The most visible effect of the war between government forces and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members in the city in 2013 is the misery it brought to thousands of residents who had been displaced from their homes. But one effect of the war is barely seen—the empowerment of female members of the Badjao tribe.

MT/January 10, 2016/ Nation/ PIA

PH climbs 2 notches to #7 in global gender equality

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz expressed elation over the 2015 Global Gender Gap Index Report showing that the Philippines has climbed two notches in gender equality, given the country’s improvement in terms of economic participation and opportunity … Under the economic participation and opportunity pillar, the Philippines ranked first among countries with more professional and technical workers, with 63 females to 37 males ratio.

TS/January 9, 2016/ Opinion/ Elizabeth Angsioco

The bicam’s blunder on contraceptives

Reproductive health is in the news again. This time, it is because of the deletion of budget for contraceptives from the General Appropriations Act of 2016, interestingly, by the Bicameral Conference Committee composed of representatives from the House of Representatives, and Senate, convened solely for this year’s national budget.

international news

Online news source/Date/Writer


News article brief/URL access January 13, 2016/ Neven Mimica

EU Gender Action Plan: The case for smart development

Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in development cooperation is my priority; a key objective where I want to be at the forefront — be it through diplomacy, political dialogue, project implementation in different sectors or cooperation with the civil society and the private sector.

IPS News/ January 12, 2016/ Thalif Deen

2016 Potential Landmark Year for Women Leaders in US and UN

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations is hoping 2016 will be a landmark year for gender empowerment – not only for the world body but also for the United States. “The empowerment of women is real,“ says UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson of Sweden. “It is a remarkable moment where key candidates for the next President of the United States (POTUS) and for the next Secretary-General of the United Nations (SGUN) are women.” January 11, 2016/ Rahma Diaa

Egypt: Women's Groups Put Forward 5 Draft Laws for New Parliament's Agenda

Cairo — Women's rights groups have put forward a number of draft laws they want discussed in the newly-elected parliament, which was inaugurated Sunday. Proposed legislation on women includes a personal status bill as well as bills on domestic violence, human trafficking and municipal elections, in addition to proposed amendments to existing women-related laws.