By Joseph B.A. Marzan
On Tuesday, March 8, the Iloilo provincial government kicked off two important social campaigns – one for the celebration of International Women’s Month and the other for the anticipated bout against dengue.
The provincial government has blended the celebration of the 2022 International Women’s Month with the massive clean-up campaign to prevent the occurrence of Dengue fever outbreak.
Dubbed as “Women-led Provincewide Limpyo Iloilo Kontra Dengue”, the new campaign aims to prepare against the possibility of rising Dengue fever cases by destroying the breeding places of mosquitoes.
During the program, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. extolled the role of women in society, which he also said was essential in the province’s fight against dengue.
“We acknowledge the role of women in the challenges we are facing that is why we make them as our frontliners in our fight against dengue,” Defensor said.
“The women’s fight for equal rights, opportunities and empowerment had been resolved many years ago as we have already many women leaders all over the world. We have a woman vice president, Vice President Leni Robredo, who is running for president this May 9, 2022 election and if she wins she will not be the first woman Philippine president as we already had two women presidents – Cory Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” he added.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) tapped the help of the KALIPI women’s organization to lead in the clean-up campaign while observing physical distancing as part of the health protocol against COVID-19.
The theme of the International Women’s Day (March 8) is “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”.
Roxanne Octaviano from the PSWDO, a member of the provincial government’s Gender and Development Technical Working Group (GAD-TWG), said that men could also participate in activities.
She added that the clean-up activities led by women against dengue were in line with the province’s anti-dengue objectives and the IWD and IWM celebrations.
“We kicked off through the ‘Hataw’ [dance activity], and this was participated by our women representatives from our offices and men as well, to show support for our women empowerment cause,” Octaviano said.
“Governor [Defensor] issued [Executive Orders No. 190 and 191] because our women’s month celebration this year is pushing for sustainable development. We want Iloilo province to be a cleaner, greener, and healthier province,” she added.
Vice Governor Christine Garin, the Capitol’s highest-ranking female official, said she was proud of the push to advance the right of women in the province.
“I’m very proud to say, as a mother of women in this province, to all the women, let us all continue fighting for equality of rights for the women. Somehow we are very lucky here in the province of Iloilo because the situation of the rights of women here is better. While there are still cases of problems of women where they don’t know where to go to seek help, here we are, the PSWDO, continuing to fight for the rights of women,” she said.
Defensor issued Executive Order Nos. 190 and 191 last March 3 to raise an “Alert Level 5” campaign against dengue and mandate the Women-led Provincewide Iloilo Kontra Dengue.