Month: October 2010

In the Senate Today: Drugs, Crime and Women

At the Senate budget hearing of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), it was reported by PCW  Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa that the P20million budget insertion I made last year to support the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) and the law on Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (AVAWC) was never released.


This is unfortunate because the PCW is sorely lacking in funds. One of the major tasks of the PCW is the oversight and monitoring of the implementation of the MCW and the Gender and Development (GAD) budget. Many government agencies and Local Government units are required to allocate 5% of their budget for GAD.  Government agencies and LGUs are still unaware of the MCW and how to use their GAD Budget. Thus, PCW’s training and technical assistance is much needed.

At the Senate budget hearing of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Director General Santiago of PDEA reported that close to 50% of inmates in our penitentiaries are there for drug-related crimes such as rape and homicide.


PDEA also enlightened us about their programs related to trafficking of women and women being used as “drug mules” or drug carriers. Many Filipinas are languishing in jail after having been arrested for drug trafficking. Despite the small budget  allocated for this program, much has been achieved.

Later in session, I brought this matter up while interpellating Senator Zubiri on his privilege speech on rape. I said that lack of respect for women is at the core of these rape cases.

It should be noted that gender equality is one of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Our President Aquino has committed to work towards the achievements of the MDGs. Thus, our budget should reflect this.

During session today, I took the floor and appealed to my colleagues to support the budget of programs and agencies.


Lessons for DPWH from the Aqueduct of Segovia

Oct  1, Friday.

We are in Segovia, an old city which is an hour away from Madrid.

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It is known for its Aqueduct which was built by the Romans to bring water from the mountains to the City.

It is believed to have originated in the 1st century, during the Flavian dynasty. Despite its antiquity, it is considered one of the best public works in Spain.

Imagine that, centuries old! How many of our public roads  last throughout the rainy season? As a cyclist, I have biked on many roads and have seen and felt the difference between good roads and bad roads.

My daughter Nadine was feeling sleepy. To wake her up, I challenged her to a race up the steps to the aqueduct. She whipped my butt.

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