The legislative agenda of lady lawmakers in the House of Representatives won’t get left behind in the 19th Congress, House Speaker Martin Romualdez vowed.

Speaker Martin Romualdez (Speaker’s office)

“Rest assured that the leadership of the 19th Congress will support your endeavors to advance the legislative agenda of women,” Romualdez said as he spoke before the 86-strong members of the Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc. (AWLFI) on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Speaker Romualdez’s wife, Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, serves as chairperson of the AWLFI, which held anorganizational meeting.

“Through a consultative and collaborative way, we can see eye to eye, make concessions if necessary, and collectively pass measures with our Senate counterpart that will be approved and signed by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr.,” he added.

Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a former President, attended the event with other women legislators led by Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, AWLFI president; and San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida “Rida” Robes, senior vice president.

In her speech, Rep. Romualdez vowed to work hard in championing the agenda of women.

“We have a long way to go. But through all of our efforts, we can achieve so much as we continue in accomplishing our goal to advance women’s legislative agenda and completely eradicate gender inequalities,” she said.

The AWLFI is an organization composed of all the lady lawmakers in the House of Representatives. It is a permanent bloc in the House that empowers and strengthens the position of women and children from all sectors in the society by unceasingly pushing for the passing of their legislative agenda, the Tingog solon said.

“After more than a decade, we are proud to have accomplished a great many things. We have launched series of dialogues, projects, and passed legislations aimed towards the advancement and inclusion of Filipino women, and the protection and promotion of their rights,” she said.

“Therefore, it is indeed an honor to be a part of this organization composed of 86 strong lady legislators in the House of Representatives, who are continuously and tirelessly working to promote the rights of women and gender equality,” Rep. Romualdez further said.

Speaker Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) party, said that based on House statistics, there are almost 1,400 measures filed by the members of the association. The topics of the measures include e-governance, electronic commerce, telemedicine services, urban development and housing, fiscal policies, food security, education, health, disaster resilience, labor and employment, social services, protection against discrimination and abuse, and urgent amendments to existing laws, just to name a few.

“I am certain that these numbers will drastically increase after your organizational meeting as priority bills will be identified and remedial legislation will be crafted to address urgent needs,” Speaker Romualdez said.

The House Speaker said that the chamber and AWLFI will work together to pass “quality measures designed to provide a solution to poverty, economic crises, health problems, crimes and such other concerns that the Filipino electorate entrusted [lawmakers] to alleviate”.

“Echoing the vision of Tingog Party-list which is to achieve a dignified quality of life through access to education, healthcare, and livelihood opportunities, let’s all work toward change. Let’s leave a mark in this august chamber, we call the House of the People – by passing legislation that will impact the lives of every Filipino,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (