FROM MY WINDOW
By NENITA FUENTEBELLA-PEŇONES
I’m happy about the appointment of Ex-Mayor Jesse Robredo as DILG Secretary and CHR Chairman Leila de Lima as Justice Secretary. I believe that as Bicolanos, they can help the Bicol region. As members of P-Noy’s official family they can bring to the attention of the Department heads concerned the problems and needs of the region. They are very qualified in those positions.Good luck to both of them.
It’s good that President Aquino was able to convince Vice-Pres. Jejomar Binay to accept the chairmanship of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) which has the rank of a Cabinet position. His experience and expertise can be useful. This was formerly occupied by Vice-Pres. Noli de Castro. As the country’s housing czar at HUDCC, he will head the highest policy-making body for housing and coordinates the activities of the government housing agencies to ensure the implementation of the National Shelter Program.
If President Aquino did not reiterate his offer to the Vice President, I think this would not happen. I believe the close friendship of their families made it happen. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda reportedly said, “He, (Pres. Aquino) had reiterated his offer in view of his desire for a unified administration to serve the people.”
VPBinay also said, “I have always maintained that I am ready to be of assistance to our President, Benigno Aquino III, in attaining his vision for our country and our people.” Well, P-Noy and VP Binay have mandates to serve the people.
The truth is that even if P-Noy puts good and capable men at the top of the government office, if the men below them work like turtles or with no sense of urgency to accomplish their jobs, the administration will not be able to accomplish its promises to the people. To have fast and efficient public service should be a priority of this administration.
The United Nations General Assembly has voted unanimously to create a new entity merging four UN offices focusing on gender equality to accelerate the empowerment of women. This UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women is to be known as UN Women.
The new body merge the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issue, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.
The UN Women is set to be operational next January and it will have an annual budget of at least $500 million – double the current combined resources of the four agencies that formed it. This augurs well for women all over the world but much remains to be done.
Right here in the Philippines, there is gender inequality in a provision of the Family Code but nothing has been done to correct it except by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when she was a Senator. When the became President, it was forgotten. Now that she is a legislator again, I hope and pray she will file the same or similar bill she filed in the Senate to correct the injustice to Filipino women. That would be her best legacy.
Many family problems and conflicts have arisen from it so as can be seen in many cases in the courts of Justice and the women are the victims of this unfair provision. There are many women legislators in Congress and I hope they will find time to act on this inequality to the Filipino women. I recall, the late Senator Rene Cayetano wrote about this injustice in a newspaper. Maybe, his daughter, Sen. Pia Cayetano has not read it.
As the Peñafrancia fiesta approaches, let us be reminded to prepare for this occasion because it will be a historic grand celebration of the 300th year of the Bicolano devotion to our “Ina”, Our Lady of Peñafrancia. Many foreign and local tourists and devotees will come.
Let’s show what kind of people we, Bicolanos, are. Let’s show them our hospitality, our character, culture and tradition – and the environment we live in. Physical preparation is good especially with our surroundings and ourselves but it is equally important if not more to also prepare ourselves spiritually.
There may be people wondering why we love and venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is because she gave birth to Jesus, the Redeemer of mankind. For that, we owe her a debt of gratitude. We go to Jesus through Mary, His Mother.