Lady solons take over House today

THE 86-strong lady legislators will take over the House of Representatives today for an all-women session in celebration of National Women’s Day.

“Women power is very much alive in the House of Representatives and we are very much competent to push the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo ‘Rody’ Duterte,” said Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, one of the lady lawmakers who will preside over Monday’s session.

Romualdez, chairperson of the House Committee on the Welfare of Children, also called on law enforcement agencies to ensure that operators of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) dens are put behind bars and their financiers from abroad are identified and prosecuted as well.

House Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera, former chairperson of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, said today’s session will symbolically show how far women have come in terms of occupying leadership positions in the country.

“Having more women in politics have proven great improvements in the areas they serve. This just goes to show that more women empowerment should be prioritized by our government because it can really greatly improve our country. Kapag babae ang inangat, buong pamilya aangat!” Herrera said.

Herrera also pushed for the passage of a bill prohibiting child marriage, which, she said, perpetrates abuse, violence and gender inequality in the country.

“Child, early, and forced marriages pose risks and have serious impacts on the health and development of women and girls. Child marriage is a grave form of violence against women and girls, and we must put an end to this vile practice,” said Herrera.

Other lady legislators who are expected to join Romualdez as presiding officers include Deputy Speakers Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas (Pangasinan), Vilma Santos-Recto (Batangas) and Evelina Escudero (Sorsogon), and Reps. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla (Zambales), Ann Hofer  Zamboanga Sibugay), Estrellita Suansing (Nueva Ecija), Lorna Silverio (Bulacan), Mercedes Cagas (Davao del Sur) and Lorna Bautista-Bandigan (Davao Occidental).

The members of the plenary team are Rossana Vergara (Nueva Ecija) who will be the acting House Majority Leader while Sandra Eriguel (La Union), Elisa Kho (Masbate) and Ma. Theresa Collantes (Batangas) are the acting House Deputy Majority Leaders.

The Overall Facilitator for the plenary is Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (Negros Oriental) while Assistant Floor Facilitators are Rep. Angelica Amante-Matba (Agusan del Norte) and House Deputy Majority Leader and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar.

House senior Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin will be the acting Minority Floor Leader and Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo is the acting Deputy Minority Leader.