Press Release
March 9, 2013

Cayetano pushes for protection of women due to suffer
from Sabah Standoff

In the wake of the celebration of International Women's Day, Senator Alan Cayetano urged the government to come up with contingency measures designed to protect the Filipinas who will inevitably suffer due to the ongoing Sabah standoff.

Cayetano particularly cited the situation in the island of Tawi-Tawi where food prices have begun to soar as a result of the ongoing tensions in Sabah between the Malaysian Royal Security Forces and the armed men of the Sultanate of Sulu.

"As the primary caregivers of their families, women are disproportionally affected by issues related to PTK: Presyo, Trabaho, Kita in displaced contexts resulting from conflict, natural calamities, and development aggression," he explained. "Government must do all it can to protect them from these events that put them in a very vulnerable situation."

Amid reports of the possible return to the country of Filipinos fearing for their safety in Sabah, Cayetano called on the government to take into account the special needs of Filipinas who have earlier left the country to work as migrant workers in Malaysia.

"These women have left the country to work in Malaysia with the hope of being able to provide better lives for their families. Now they are in danger of being displaced. The government must see to it that in the event of their return to the country they are provided with ample livelihood opportunities to compensate for the loss of their jobs in Malaysia," he said.

"We cannot allow them to add to the 15 million women in the county who are currently unemployed. They have more than themselves to think about. They have their families to provide for," he added.

Cayetano said that at the very least a transition allowance must be provided for all these Filipinos in order to help them start anew upon their return to the country.

Cayetano expressed his confidence that more than being at the forefront of gender equality, the Philippines will be deemed as one of the countries at the forefront of women empowerment. "If we are successful in achieving this, it will serve as a big factor towards achieving greater economic growth," he said.

The senator based this statement on the stellar performance of the Philippines in both the 2011 and 2012 Global Gender Gap rankings by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The country was consistently ranked 8th among the 135 countries surveyed.

The study commended the Philippines for being the only country in Asia-Pacific region that has closed the educational attainment and health and survival gender gaps. The Philippines was also noted to have performed in the top 10 of the following indicators: legislators, senior officials and managers, literacy rate, enrollment in secondary education and years with female heads of state.

News Latest News Feed