By Joash Pramis
CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – Uniformed soldiers from the 9th Infantry (SPEAR) Division observe the Women’s Month Celebration with the theme: “We Make Change Work for Women” that aims to highlight gender equality, women contributions and empowerment in nation-building.
In the message of Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, read by Lt. Col. Leonarda M. Varilla during the flag ceremony here last Monday, the PA commanding general stated: “The Philippine Army emphasizes the need for collective effort, collaboration, and participation to ensure that women will not be left behind in the pursuit for change.”
Gen. Bautista also encouraged all women to discover their full potential and continue to be an active catalyst in bringing about relevant changes for the benefit of the organization and the entire Filipino nation as a whole”.
Republic Act (RA) 6949 s. 1990 declares March 8 as National Women’s Day.
In the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), admission of women in the military ranks was further strengthened with the passage of RA 7162 or the Women in Development and Nation Building Act which calls for the integration of Filipino women “as full and equal partners of men” in nation building and development. With this, it paved the way to formally admit women in the male-dominated field which clearly manifest that women are not second class citizens but rather an equally significant player in the AFP.
In the local setting of 9ID, there are 43 female personnel and 57 enlisted women out of nearly 5,000 organic personnel in the ranks of Spear Troopers, making them in the forefront, too, of maintaining and protecting the safety and security of the region.