Paniqui, Tarlac – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte remains committed to advancing the lives of Filipino women in the country and throughout the world, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. assured on Friday, March 2.
In line with the celebration of this year’s Women’s Month, the Palace official defended President Duterte against criticisms over his remarks on women, stressing that there is a distinction between the Chief Executive’s language and his policies.
“Let me state again, let us not take the words of the President literally. But of course, we should take the President’s word seriously,” Roque said in a press briefing held in the Eduardo Cojuangco Vocational High School here in Paniqui.
The Spokesperson stressed that the President’s pro-women policies prove that he does not promote violence against women. For one, he said Filipinas now feel much safer under the Duterte administration, owing to its strong campaign against crimes and illegal drugs.
Citing figures from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Roque said rape incidents in the country decreased by 13.53 percent last year. Rape cases recorded have gone down to 8,114 in 2017, compared to 9,384 incidents in 2016.
Roque further cited the President’s efforts to promote Filipino women’s health and welfare through the signing of Executive Order No. 12, which seeks to attain and sustain “zero unmet need for modern family planning” through the strict implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act.
He added that the President even banned the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait in order to protect Filipina migrant workers from abuse and exploitation.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson stressed that despite criticisms against his treatment of women, President Duterte has done so much for Davaoeñas during his term as mayor of Davao City.
“Palabiro po ang bibig ng ating Presidente. Pero kinakailangan po husgahan siya kung ano talaga ang ginawa niya bilang mayor ng Davao City,” Roque said.
He noted that under Duterte’s leadership, Davao City was able to implement a local version of the Republic Health Law even before it was legislated nationally. His administration then established the Republic Health and Wellness Center, which provides accessible alternatives for family planning to Davaoeños.
The Davao City Council also passed into ordinance the Women’s Code in 1997, which the President supported. This paved the way for the massive campaign against gender bias in government offices.
The city is also known for having different councils and centers that are dedicated to monitor, report, and act on cases of domestic violence against women and children.
“Ang Davao City po is a trailblazer in upholding the rights of women,” Roque stressed. “Pagdating po sa polisiya niya bilang mayor, recognized po ang Davao as one of the friendliest cities to women,” he added.
More Negosyo Centers open in Central Luzon
During the same press briefing, Malacañang announced the opening of more Negosyo Centers in Central Luzon, in line with the government’s goal to promote the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Secretary Roque announced that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched its 11th Negosyo Center in Tarlac last February 28. The facility, located in the municipality of Pura, is the 66th Negosyo Center in Central Luzon and 799th nationwide.
It will provide services such as general business advisory, capability development, and business information and advocacy. Roque said the Negosyo Center aims to empower and support MSMEs in the province, as well as to contribute to the country’s overall economic growth. ### PCO-Content