September 30, 2023

The Benguet provincial board has approved on third and final reading an ordinance establishing the women official for-a-day (Wofad) to allow them to run the affairs of the provincial government during the Women’s Month celebration.
Through the ordinance, authored by Board Members Nestor Fongwan, Jr., Alexander Fianza, and Robert Canuto, a selection committee will soon be formed to screen the participants for the Wofad, which would be held on any day of March.
“The province fully recognizes and values the vital role of women as partners in family and community development and in order to provide the opportunity and encourage women’s involvement in decision making and local governance, and ensure the continuity of this program, there is a need to institutionalize the same,” the ordinance reads. 
The ordinance added the Wofad aims to engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services; to create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges and commitments in pursuing gender and development; and to strengthen the implementation of the Magna Carta for Women.
The selection committee would be led by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, co-chaired by the chair of the committee on social services, women and family, with the presidents of respective women’s federation of each municipality.
The committee will provide the necessary assistance to the women officials during their tenure, conduct assessment of the activities conducted by the chosen officials, prepare detailed reports of these activities, and coordinate with other organizations for possible expansion of the Wofad program.
The ordinance is anchored on the Gender and Development Code of Benguet, which recognizes the need to affirm, operationalize, and harmonize the local development efforts especially in promoting, protecting, and fulfilling men and women’s human rights towards their empowerment and attainment of gender equality in Benguet. – Ofelia C. Empian