Press Release
November 25, 2009

Nov. 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Pia: Provide funding for the implementation of Magna Carta of Women

Senator Pia Cayetano today called on her colleagues in the Upper and Lower chambers of Congress to allocate funds for the implementation of the recently-enacted Republic Act 9711 or the Magna Carta of Women.

Cayetano made this call today as November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The lady senator, chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development wrote a letter to the Senate Finance Committee proposing an additional P10 million to the budget of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).

"The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) (now the PCW), the main agency tasked to implement the Magna Carta of Women, has been allotted P43 million in the budget approved by the House. However, I have proposed an additional P10 million for the Commission intended to fund the implementation of RA 9711 given that the PCW has other existing laws and programs to likewise fund and implement. I will also push for an additional P10 million once the budget is being deliberated on the floor to fund programs for the protection of women and children from violence, as provided for in Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act (AVAWC). I am hoping that my colleagues will support this initiative and make similar amendments to increase the budget of the PCW."

"Through sufficient funding, the PCW is expected to effectively implement laws such as RA 9711 and RA 9262 intended to empower and protect women from any form of violence," she stated.

She likewise calls on local government units (LGUs) to ensure that the budget allocated for gender and development (GAD) will be properly utilized and implemented to further protect women's rights and promote gender equality in their localities.

Under the GAD Law, LGUs are mandated to allocate at least five percent of the total agency budget allocation for projects and programs that will uphold gender equality.

The IPU, which is the United Nations of Parliamentarians, has also embarked on a campaign entitled "Parliaments Take Action on Violence Against Women." In fulfillment of this international commitment, Cayetano, President of the Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the IPU, filed Senate Bill No. 1407 seeking to declare November 25 of every year as the "National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women."

"Laws are now in place to protect women from discrimination, but it is the proper implementation of these laws that will make a significant change in the quality of women's lives."

"I urge all Filipinos, especially the women, to speak up, blog or tweet in cyberspace, say prayers and light up a candle in your home and office today, as we celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to express outrage and sympathy with the women victims of the Maguindanao massacre," she concluded.

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