Manay Gina, new president of Lady legislators

THE women-members of Congress today elected Pangasinan Rep. Georgina “Gina” Vera Perez de Venecia as President of the 64-strong Association of Lady Legislators (ALL) of the 15th Congress.

“We must continue to be vigilant in uplifting and guaranteeing women’s rights, that men and women are equal, that we are co-builders of our nation, and that together, we must struggle for the achievement of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” declared de Venecia in her acceptance speech.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte administered the oath of office of the new set of officers before the opening of the plenary session at 4:00 pm at the Speakers office.

The new set of officers include: Vice President for NCR- Rep. Sandy Ocampo; VP for Luzon –Rep. Linabelle Villarica; VP for Visayas – Rep. Mercedes Alvarez; VP for Mindanao – Rep. Bai Sandra Sema; VP for Party-List – Rep. Luz Ilagan; Secretary – Rep. Josie Joson; Treasurer – Rep. Imelda Calixto; PRO – Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy; Muse – Rep. Aliah Dimaporo; Board of Advisers – Rep. Imelda Marcos; former Pres./Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; Rep. Girlie Villarosa; Rep. Herminia Roman and Rep. Beng Climaco.

Likewise, Rep. de Venecia or “Manay Gina” to most who know her vowed to help the national efforts “to advance democracy and human rights, to fight corruption, to fight poverty and extremism, and to combat climate change and environmental degradation.”

However, she acknowledged that the group (ALL) of the 15th Congress is not taking over from zero “as we assume and take on a great personal and collective challenge.”

“We have behind us a group of lady legislators who have worked hard for the passage of the landmark Magna Carta of Women, the Anti-Violence against Women and the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act,” she noted with pride.

The new ALL president, wife of former Speaker Jose de Venecia, assured that their group “does not look at political parties and affiliations as she uncorked a menu of projects which, as a group, will undertake in the next two and a half years.

“We are on equal footing here.  Everything is decided upon democratically,” Manay Gina assured the membership glowing with prominent and star-studded names like Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former First lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

“We are a strong and eclectic group: We have a former President, Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; a former First Lady, Congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos; and practically every one is a leader in her own right in Metro Manila, in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Manay Gina, a former president of the Congressional Spouses foundation, Inc. during the five terms of Speaker de Venecia, vowed to bring the same “gift of caring,” words she often heard from her mother, Mama Nene.

“Asahan po nyo ang isang pro-active lady legislators…pro-Filipino. Whatever is best for our country, yun po ang ating gagawin,” the new ALL president declared. D’Jay Lazaro

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