Angara, Inang Mahal Party-list join forces to champion Filipino moms
MANILA, Philippines — Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara and Inang Mahal Party-list are joining forces to advance the interests and welfare of all Filipino mothers in Congress.
Angara is currently seeking another full six-year term in the Senate, while Inang Mahal Party-list is vying for seats in the House of Representatives in the May 13 midterm elections. The group’s first nominee is former Pangasinan Rep. Gina De Venecia.
If they both win, Angara and De Venecia would jointly pursue legislation focused on ensuring the protection of mothers, especially those working abroad to support their families in the Philippines.
De Venecia said the Inang Mahal Party-list plans to bring “meaningful reforms in the lives of Filipino mothers” through the legislative measures they would push if elected.
To do this, she said the party-list group would need an ally in the Senate to ensure the passage of pro-women and pro-mother bills they would espouse.
“Senator Sonny Angara, who is a known champion of women’s rights and the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), is our ideal partner in the Senate,” De Venecia said.
For his part, Angara said he would be willing to sponsor and facilitate the passage in the Senate of all meaningful bills to be filed by De Venecia’s party-list group.
De Venecia said Inang Mahal would focus on the well-being of OFW mothers, who belong to more than 50 percent of the 2.5 million OFWs worldwide.
Once elected, De Venecia said her group would push for a Magna Carta for Mothers, an expansive law that will look after the interests of mothers.
These would include the establishment of a Communication and Guidance Center in all municipal and city offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, where OFW mothers can communicate with their family, through phone or Internet, to discuss their problems, in the presence of a guidance counselor.
De Venecia said they would also push for the establishment of women centers nationwide, to be funded by local government units, for abused mothers.
During the 15 years he has been a lawmaker—nine years as representative of the lone district of Aurora province and six years as senator—Angara pushed for a number of legislation aimed at improving the lives of Filipinas, which is the reason why Davao City’s District III Women Federation Inc. described him as a “true ally and defender of Filipino women.”
Angara is one of the authors of Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, a comprehensive women’s rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through recognition, protection, fulfilment and promotion of rights of women.
He also co-authored and sponsor of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RA 10354), and the recently enacted Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act (RA 11148) and the Expanded Maternity Leave Act (RA 11210).
Angara is also an advocate for OFWs having co-authored and sponsored a three-year-old law that institutionalized and strengthened the Overseas Workers Welfare Act (OWWA), in his capacity as then chair of the Senate Committee on Labor.
RA 10801 or the OWWA Act of 2016 provides a wide range of services and benefits to OFWs funded by their $25 membership fee collected from them every two years.
Under the law, OWWA is mandated to provide benefits and services to its members, which include gender-responsive reintegration programs, repatriation assistance, loan and credit assistance, on-site worker assistance, death and disability benefits, health care benefits, education and skills training, social services, and family welfare assistance.
Other pro-OFW legislation that Angara co-authored are RA 10928 which extended the validity of passports from 5 years to 10 years, RA 10863 which raised to P150,000 from P10,000 the tax-exempt value of “balikbayan” boxes sent by Filipinos overseas, and RA 10706 or the Seafarers Protection Act that guards seafarers against ambulance chasing and excessive fees. /cbb
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