A major women’s group has expressed support for the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, citing his commitment to promote the welfare of women and recognition of their role in promoting Filipino values and improving the economy.
“From the beginning, the advocacy ng Kababaihan ng Maynila was pro-life, pro-family, pro-good government. [We see the Vice President as the most qualified to become President because he believes in the advocacy of the Kababaihan ng Maynila [Women of Manila],” Evelyn Atienza, the group’s executive director, said on Saturday
“Siya ang kailangan naming masuportahan sapagkat magmula noong umpisa, kasama na namin siya sa paglaban sa kalye. Sa pagsulong ng demokrasya, kasama namin si Jojo Binay. Hanggang ngayon sa public service, kasama pa rin naman siya [We support him because, from the start, he was with us in the parliament of the streets. In advancing democracy, he is with us. In rendering public service, he is also with us],” Atienza added.
Kababaihan ng Maynila Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer non-government organization that provides livelihood and skills training programs for women from depressed communities in Manila.
Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, who founded Kababaihan ng Maynila Foundation in 1984, said Binay can expect the support of the organization’s 25,000 active members all over the city.
“Lahat ‘yan ay committed kay VP Binay. Sila ang aasahan ni VP Binay [All of them are committed to the Vice President. He can count on them],” he added.
Meanwhile, Tita Laparan, District 3 coordinator of Kababaihan ng Maynila, reiterated the group’s support for Binay, saying his experience and proven track record set him apart from other candidates for President in next year’s elections.
“Hindi na kami mag-aatubili. Wala na kaming iba pang susuportahan maliban sa kanya. Binay talaga [We don’t have second thoughts. We will support no other candidate but the Vice President. It’s Binay, of course, for us],” Laparan added.
In his speech at the 31st anniversary of the Kababaihan ng Maynila Foundation, Binay cited how women have contributed to the Philippine economy.
“One-third of small and medium enterprises are owned or run by women.
These businesses include small restaurants, stores and tailoring shops. They are little enterprises but they breathe life to the economy,” he said.
Sixty percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, according to Binay, comes from the informal sector, pointing to data from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies that show 90 percent of Filipino businesses are small and medium scale industries.
He said it is imperative that the government strengthen the country’s small and medium enterprises, noting that 60 to 80 percent of the country’s labor force are employed by small businesses.
Binay recalled how his mother brought out the best in him and urged members of the Kababaihan ng Maynila Foundation to remain committed in its advocacy of empowering women.
“My mother was my guide, my first teacher. It was from her that I learned the value of education, perseverance, faith in God and love for others.
The importance of a mother in her child’s life is also the importance of women’s contributions to nurturing a progressive, peaceful and just society,” he said.
The Vice President praised the group for fighting for the welfare of women and fighting as well against poverty.