The government agenda includes the integration of the gender equality principle in the 1987 Philippine Constitution (Philippine Commission on Women, 2009) promoting women as part and parcel in development and nation building. The partnership of NGO and government for development is a contributory factor to fully realize inclusive growth. By this means, SPARK team had a discourse with VP Leni Robredo on women’s issues in the Philippines. Discussed in the meeting are future development initiatives that will promote and protect women’s rights, increase women’s political participation, and empowering girls to achieve sustainable development.
(From Left to Right: Victoria Garchitorena–Founder of Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Repormat at Kaunlaran, Inc. (SPARK), Hon. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo–Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Dr. Jenny Lind Elmaco–Executive Director and Managing Trustee of SPARK)
VP Leni was sworn in as Vice President of the Philippines on June 30, 2016. She was appointed as the 11th Chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). She is initially known to the public as the widow of the late Jesse Robredo – the beloved Mayor of Naga City and former Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government. She served as a Public Attorney and is a member of the alternative lawyers group SALIGAN. She devoted her entire professional life in the service of the most vulnerable sectors especially to women. .
(From Left to Right: Anwedda Navarra–SPARK Project Officer, Mikaela Luisa Carmen Teves–SPARK Operations Manager, Victoria Garchitorena–SPARK Founder, Leni Robredo–Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Dr. Jenny Lind Elmaco–SPARK Executive Director/Managing Trustee, Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr.–Project Officer, Lyrra Kaye Castillo–SPARK Admin and Finance Officer)
On August 16, 2016, the Quezon City Reception House, the Office of the Vice President, opened its doors for SPARK. This marks future multi-sectoral initiatives rallying equal chances for women and girls.