Duterte to appoint more women in top government posts

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 May) – The selection committee of presumptive President Rodrigo R. Duterte enlisted outgoing Sen. Pia Cayetano for help in the selection of women leaders who will comprise at least 30 percent of the cabinet of the incoming president to ensure a gender-balanced government.

This was bared by Peter T. Laviña, spokesperson of Duterte, in a press conference at the Duterte national headquarters Thursday, who said that Sen. Cayetano, the older sibling of PDP-Laban’s vice presidential bet Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, will be a key adviser who will help identify, vet, and select more women in the government,

“One of the key policies is gender development. We want more women in the government, business, and other spheres of society to be active. Maybe, not all in the cabinet, but in offices where they can play vital role. In our experiences, the mayor appointed many women department heads in the city hall,” he said.

The older Cayetano vowed to recommend qualified women candidates who will complete Duterte’s cabinet secretaries and hold key positions in other adjunct agencies of the government.

“I’m very excited to working with the president. I look forward to the transition and selection of qualified women to help in the administration. We will do everything that the best women are selected,” she said.

The Duterte administration wants to ensure that women will land not only be in social service-related agencies but also ensure that the voice of women would be heard even in other offices in the economic and infrastructure clusters, Cayetano said.

“Women are traditionally perceived being active in social concerns but many women are qualified for any positions. The door is open to all the positions. Whether male of female, our objective is that gender sensitive officials will run the department, which is conducive for the growth of the women. Collectively, we will have a gender sensitive administration,” she said.

She cited Davao City, being the only local government unit said to have an advanced gender sensitive governance with policies like the “Women Development Code of 2003” that uphold the rights of women and the belief in their worth and dignity as human beings.

Cayetano, a women’s welfare advocate and senator since 2004, believes that there are many women who are waiting to be discovered in an environment where opportunities do not come readily available for them.

“We will discover these women and put them in the shortlist,” she said.

Laviña added that the transition committee has started identifying personalities who will take the key positions and they are expected to come out with the final list before June 30, 2016.

“We will announce from time to time,” he said.

He added that they wanted to ensure that those who will comprise will have “shared vision with the administration, integrity, ability, and personal sacrifice.”