Top posts in Vizcaya mountain towns go to women

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BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya: Two mountain towns of the landlocked province of Nueva Vizcaya will officially have their first women mayors by June 30.

Medical doctor mayor-elect Anne Mary Ann Bawayan and a noted philanthropist mayor-elect Liwayway Caramat defeated their incumbent male rivals in last month’s midterm elections in the towns of Alfonso Castañeda and Santa Fe, respectively.

With the reputation of having the gift of healing and as municipal health officer of the far-flung upland municipality, Bawayan trounced her boss in the local government, third-term seeking Mayor Jerry Pasigian, the first mayor from the town’s Bugkalot tribe, who run under the Nacio-nalista Party (NP).

Bawayan, who ran under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), won by only less than 100 votes which made her the first woman to take the remote town’s top most.

Vizcaya’s biggest in land area among the province’s 15 towns, Alfonso Castañeda has the smallest in population with only six municipalities.

This town hosts the multimillion-peso US CalEnergy-owned Casecnan Multi-purpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) but the biggest in land area among the province’s 15 towns, thus making this town as the province’s highest revenue earner

In Santa Fe town, Caramat, who claims to have come from a poverty-stricken family, is now one of Santa Fe’s richest residents as a result of her being an accredited customs broker.

Also known as philanthropist in the Kalanguya-dominated vegetable-rich town, Caramat won over NP’s second term-seeking Mayor Teodorico Padilla, who already served as mayor for three terms before he reclaimed the post in the 2010 elections.

Nueva Vizcaya now has five women mayors with Bawayan and Caramat’s victory in addition to newly reelected Mayors Ronelie Valtoribio of Villaverde town and Norma Miguel of Diadi town and comebacking mayor Lucing Tan of Aritao town.

Another woman, former Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) Commissioner and Governor-elect Ruth Padilla of the Liberal Party (LP) defeated the three-termer Vice Gov. Jose Gambito for the gubernatorial post.

Leander C. Domingo

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