LADY solons temporarily took full control of the plenary session yesterday in observance of the National Women’s Month.
An all-women session at the Plenary was led by Pangasinan 3rd District Representative Deputy Speaker Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas, acting as the Speaker.
Arenas is the president of the 86-strong Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc. (AWLFI) of the 18th Congress -- a non-profit, non-partisan organization composed of all female solons at the House of Representatives.
Deputy Speaker Arenas shared the speakership position with Deputy Speakers Evelina Escudero and Vilma Santos-Recto.
The other presiding officers in the all-women session were Reps. Marlyn Alonte, Cheryl Deloso-Montalla, Ann Hofer, Lucille Nava, Josephine Ramirez-Sato, Kristine Singson-Meehan, Estrellita Suansing ,Lorna Silverio, Yedda Marie Romualdez, Lorna Bautista-Bandigan and Mercedes Cagas.
Rep. Rosanna Vergara acted as the majority floor leader with Reps. Sandra Eriguel, Elisa Kho and Ma. Theresa Collantes acting as Deputy Majority Floor Leaders.
Reps. Janette Garin and Stella Luz Quimbo served as minority leader and deputy minority leader, respectively.
Rep. Cristal Bagatsing led the opening prayer. Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong was the over-all facilitator for the day with Reps. Ma. Angelica Amante-Matba and Camille Villar as assistant floor facilitators.
One of the measures discussed on the floor was the establishment of resource development and crisis assistance centers for women and children throughout the country to uplift their condition, particularly those who are victims of abuse.
Reps. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba, Geraldine Roman, Sol Aragones, France Castro, Arlene Brosas, Sarah Jane Elago, Irene Gay Saulog and Ruth Mariano-Hernandez delivered privilege speeches on various issues and concerns relating to women.
“Anchored on this year’s theme ‘We Make Change Work for Women’, the celebration of Women’s Month highlights the empowerment of women from various generations and sectors as active contributors to our country’s development,” said Deputy Speaker Arenas.
She added that the celebration “reminds us all to support and join the call to advance the rights of women and gender equality and end all forms of discrimination against women.”
The annual all-women session is jointly organized by the AWLFI and the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, chaired by Rep. Acosta-Alba.