Female cops are recognized in Eastern Visayas during the Women's Month celebration. (Photo credits: dumagueteinfo.com)
Female cops are recognized in Eastern Visayas during the Women’s Month celebration. (Photo credits: dumagueteinfo.com)

PALO, Leyte — Eastern Visayas top police official Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria assured the female members of the Philippine National Police in the region that Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) under his leadership is at the forefront of eliminating discrimination in the workplace through recognition, protection, fulfillment and promotion of women’s rights within its ranks.

“We deeply acknowledge the importance of strengthening the policewomen’s role and participation in the performance of our duties as law enforcers. We assure you that we will be partners in building upon the gains achieved under existing mechanisms and institutions that support policewomen and female Non-Uniformed Personnel in gender-responsive governance, promoting your rights and in addressing gender-sensitive issues,” Soria told the 120 policewomen-participants of the Women’s Month Forum and GAD Planning and Budgeting Workshop held at the PRO8 Matapat Hall on Monday.

The Regional Director added that the forum and discussion on Gender and Development (GAD) issues and concerns is just one of the steps his office is taking to ensure that policewomen, especially those assigned in police stations, are given preferential attention.

“This serves as a venue for synergizing efforts to address gender issues and develop strategies and programs to accelerate women’s participation in governance and your (policewomen) participation in whatever plans and programs this PRO8 will venture into in the succeeding days,” SORIA said.

The PRO8 fully-supported the celebration of the National Women’s Month pursuant to Presidential Proclamation Numbers 224 and 227 series of 1988 and Republic Act 6949 series of 1990 with this year’s theme, “Kababaihan: Gabay sa Pagtahak sa Tuwid na Daan” in consonance with President Benigno Aquino’s pursuit and vision of straight path or “tuwid na daan” and underscores women’s leadership role and participation to enhance gender perspective in upholding good governance.

The theme also highlighted the importance of strengthening the mechanisms and institutions that support women and to widen the arena for their participation and is aligned with Section 11 (Participation and Representation) and Section 29 (Peace and Development) of the Magna Carta of Women or Republic Act 9710.

The forum gathered policewomen assigned in different line units of PRO8 and invited women leaders from different government agencies who imparted their knowledge on women and GAD issues. The resource speakers include Leyte Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Ma. Arlene Cordoves; Ms. Yvonne Abonales from the DSWD; NEDA Assistant Regional Director Emma Sanopo; PSupt. Rea Villavicencio of the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office and PInsp. Yasmin Vilches of the Regional Women and Children Protection Desk.

“As former British Prime Minister Benjamin Desraile said ‘You can tell the strength of a nation by the women behind its men’, this sums up the policewomen’s importance in governance, nation building and in our journey together through the “daang matuwid”, he added.

There are 696 policewomen and 96 female Non-uniformed personnel assigned at the regional headquarters and in different police line units throughout the region. (PR)