Celso pays tribute to women at CHED Reg’l GAD Summit PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 August 2012 13:49

Mayor Celso Lobregat is convinced that a person’s intelligence is inherent from his mother because women are better students; they work harder, perform better and are less likely to drop out of school, if given the opportunity.

Speaking at the 1st Regional Gender and Development Summit of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) regional office 9 yesterday, Lobregat said the dropout rate among male students is far higher than among female students maybe because there are greater pressures on males to get jobs even before finishing college.

Data from the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) showed that more women finish college than men in the Philippines but, the mayor lamented, this has yet to be reflected in the workforce. Filipino women’s gains in higher education do not necessarily translate to social and economic advancement because the workforce continues to be dominated by men.

This means, he said, that there are more males employed than females even as there are more females who finish college than males. This, according to him, may be attributed to the way girls and boys are brought up in Filipino society where girls are taught to do chores around the house while the boys are allowed more freedom to play.

The NSCB data further revealed that of all the state universities and colleges in the Philippines, only 15% is headed by women presidents.

“However, I would like to take exemption for Zamboanga City because our three leading institutions of higher learning—the Western Mindanao State University, which by the way is now my Alma Mater for conferring upon me the degree of doctor of humanities (honoris causa), the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology, and the Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College—are now headed by women presidents. They are Dr.
Milabel E. Ho of WMSU, Dr. Milavel Nazario of Fisheries and Dr. Nora Ponce of Polytechnic,” the chief executive.

Not only that. Lobregat said women nowadays are slowly but surely getting out of their shelves as many of them are now holding top positions in government and private sectors, from politics to education, women are leading the way, almost equal if not surpassing their male counterparts.

Notwithstanding, the mayor said there is still a wide “gender gap in our system that the women feel less of a person than men do.” This gender gap has prompted the Philippines to sign the international conventions which all aim to preserve, enhance and protect the human rights of women and marginalized sectors of the global society.

On the part of the city government, Lobregat said his administration has long been recognizing the role of women in achieving peace and development as I he has created the Gender and Development Council through an executive order.

“I am happy to inform this assembly that the best practices and community programs of the city’s GAD have gained recognition no less by Vilma Horca, manager of Development Academy of the Philippines when she visited Zamboanga City sometime in February this year.”

Foremost of these best practices and community programs is the fight against breast cancer anchored on the most participated annual walk dubbed a “Pink October Walk”. The city’s GAD is also actively engaged in the conduct of livelihood trainings and skills development programs for women in different barangays.

“We have more programs for the protection of our women and children. By this time next year, I will no longer be the mayor of the city as I am about to end my third term. And as I always tell the people whenever I have the chance to speak is that my wish the next mayor will have the same care and concern for our people, especially the women and children,” Lobregat said.

“It is my fervent hope that the next mayor will stand firmly for the protection of women and children against any and all forms of abuses. That wish will only be realized if you choose the next mayor without being influenced by the 3Gs (goons, guns and gold) in 2013 elections. I hope the women power will prevail over the 3Gs,” he concluded. — Vic Larato