Women’s role in governance, nation building cited
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - March 5, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) lauded yesterday the important role of women in governance and nation building as part of the observance of Women’s Month this March.

This year’s theme, “Juana, Desisyon Mo ay Mahalaga sa Kinabukasan ng Bawat Isa, Ikaw Na!” aims to emphasize women’s role in leadership, power and decision-making.

Statistics show that women make up the majority of the bureaucracy and as such, they play a significant part in the implementation of government programs.

The CSC said it is only fitting to ensure the welfare and raise the morale of female workers so they can continue to be productive members of the bureaucracy.

In the 2010 Inventory of Government Personnel, there were 827,157 female government employees, representing 58.7 percent of the total workforce.

According to the Philippine Commission on Women, women’s participation in decision-making can still be improved as men continue to outnumber women in top leadership posts in government.

The CSC called on government agencies to observe gender and development laws and policies, especially those that advance women’s welfare.

Pursuant to Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, the CSC issued Memorandum Circular No. 25 in 2010 providing special leave benefits for women who have undergone surgery caused by gynecological disorders.

The policy says that female government workers, regardless of age and civil status, are entitled to up to two months special leave with full pay following surgery caused by gynecological disorders.

The employee should have rendered six months of continuous aggregate service for the last 12 months prior to surgery.

In 2005, the CSC issued Resolution No. 05-1206 or the guidelines on the availment of the 10-day leave under Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004.

The policy entitles any female employee in the government service who is a victim of violence or whose child is a victim of violence, to a paid leave not exceeding 10 days.

‘First Embrace’ replicated

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) is replicating in other countries in Western Pacific the essential newborn care programs pioneered by the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Howard Lawrence Sobel, WHO-Western Pacific regional coordinator on reproductive, maternity, newborn, child and adolescent health, said Fabella has been trailblazing the concept of “Unang Yakap” (First Embrace), which was proven effective in saving newborns from deaths and illnesses. The program was launched in 2009.

“It was here when it all began and I am proud to be part of it. It is country-driven, it is not WHO that is telling it what to do but we work together and we identified the simple things that could be done and what came out of that is the concept of ‘First Embrace’,” he said on the sidelines of a media tour at Fabella yesterday.

WHO is implementing the program in Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, China Solomon Island and Vietnam. These countries have the highest number of newborn morbidity and mortality.

Sobel noted that WHO also brought people from these countries to Fabella to study the concept and helped them apply it back home through a localized national plan.

The program was launched in Cambodia and Laos in 2014. It started in Mongolia in 2013.

Fabella medical director Ruben Flores said the concept involves “essential newborn care protocol for new life,” including the promotion of breastfeeding, rooming in and establishment of human milk bank.

Flores said these programs made Fabella the country’s pioneer baby-friendly hospital where 50 to 60 babies are delivered every day.

The hospital had institutionalized the kangaroo mother care or KMC, now a standard method of care for preterm babies.

KMC has been recognized as an alternative to incubator. It involves having the newborn carried by the mother on her chest with skin-to-skin contact. – With Sheila Crisostomo

ANTI-VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN ACT BAWAT ISA CAMBODIA AND LAOS CHINA SOLOMON ISLAND AND VIETNAM CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION DESISYON MO FIRST EMBRACE REPUBLIC ACT WESTERN PACIFIC WOMEN
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