Spark Celebrates the 77th Anniversary of the Women’s Vote in the Philippines

Spark Trustees and Staff during the Forum

Today is the 77th anniversary of the Filipina vote. To celebrate this very important occasion, Spark Philippines sponsored an intimate forum, ‘When Women Vote: Politics, Governance and Development’ at Club 1851 in Makati. Victoria Garchitorena, former Ayala Foundation President, challenged those present to spark reforms in their barangays and to get involved in the political process themselves.Amina Rasul, President of the Philippine Center on Islam and Democracy, talked about the significance of creating a real women’s vote especially in the new Bangsamoro.

Spark trustee Maribel Ongpin encouraged everyone to become watchdogs of their communities, to proactivelypresent opinions using traditional and social media so as to foster good governance.

The very essence of democracy is the responsibility of electing the right people – matino at mahusay – to govern and lead our country. The kind of government that we will have is a consequence of this choice. Therefore, we should get involved.



Spark Trustee Maribel Ongpin and Spark President Mel Alonzo

We have 740 days left before the 2016 National and Local Elections. The COMELEC is set to implement a ‘no biometrics, no vote’process. 9 million out of the existing 52 million do not have biometrics. And there are 3 Million first time voters to be registered. We have 12 million voters to reach in less than 700 days. Half of the existing voting population are women but we have yet to see women voting for an issue affecting women and women coming together because of a common goal to participate fully in the affairs of the Philippines. The time is ripe for women to lean in and take a seat to fully invest in the future of this country.

Vicky Garchitoren and Amina Rasul talk on the importance of the women’s vote


Calling All Young Servant-Leaders: Join the Summer Camp 2014!


“Each of us has a spark of life inside us, and our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that spark in one another.”
– Kenny Ausubel

SPARK a REVOLUTION of  youth leadership with the burning desire to make a difference! Create a legacy of  unlimited creativity, innovation and a passion to serve.  Join the Summer Camp 2014!

According to the Global Youth Wellbeing Index as released by the US-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, the International Youth Fellowship and the Hilton Worldwide, the Filipino youth are considered worse off as compared with their counterpart “lower – middle income countries” such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Morroco and Ghana. Out of the 30 countries representing income and regional diversity (where nearly 70 % of the world’s youth population aged (10 to 24) are located), the Philippines ranked 22nd in the over-all tally.

With less than a year counting for the conclusion and the evaluation of the eight international development goals specified in the Millennium Development Goals set forth by the United Nations in 2000, the need to provide an effective and more holistic, comprehensive and multi-stakeholder approach in addressing the Filipino youth issues and concerns must be given priority. These initiatives must be felt across the country tapping out those youth leading and are present in the grass roots level.


In an effort to invest in the Filipino youth, the Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran Inc. (SPARK! Philippines) and the Philippine – Leadership and Empowerment Alliance for Development Inc. (PH-LEAD Inc.) with sponsorship from the J. Amado Araneta Foundation are conducting the Summer Leadership Camp – a program dedicated in uplifting the leadership quality of the Filipino youth in an aim to equip them with proper Filipino leadership values. This camp aims to enable, engage and empower more young Filipino leaders helping hand in hand and train them to be effective agents of change in their respective communities.

The Summer Leadership Camp is a three – day leadership camp that aims to develop the leadership values of the participants through plenary sessions, workshops and team-building activities Also the camp will help the participants to unleash their Filipino leadership value bounded by the principles of being “makabayan, makatao at makakalikasan.”

The Camp will train these Filipino youth leaders to be an emerging leader enhancing their leadership skills and expose them to the best practices shown by the notable and high calibre speakers in various fields such as government, media arts, social entrepreneurship, sports and recreations, health, religion and spirituality.

SPARK! Philippines and PH-LEAD Inc. believe that the leadership paradigm designed and prepared for the chosen batch of youth leaders are great venues to inspire and get inspired, share ideas and feelings, build long lasting friendship and create great impact for the empowerment of the society as a whole.

Summer Leadership Camp Delegate

1558440_10203232265987907_778615488_n The Summer Leadership Camp will invite participants who are:

  • Filipino Citizen, bonafide resident of any provinces across the country
  • 18-30 years old of age at the date of the camp
  • Proven track record in Leadership
  • Model of integrity, discipline and excellence
  • Good communication skills
  • Not convicted of any crime or subjected to disciplinary action

All Expenses relating to the actual camp such as Accommodation, Food and actual Training will be covered.The Camp will be held on May 23-25. Venue will be in Luzon with the exact location to be announced in the next days.

For those who are interested, please fill up the two forms below:

YLP 2014 – Application Form 02-2014 – Leadership Positions and Essay

YLP 2014 – Application Form 01-2014 – Personal Details

You may send your applications to

Be the change you want to see in the Philippines! Join the Summer Camp!

Learn and Practice the Women’s Empowerment Principles : Equality Means Business

What are the WEP’s (Women’s Empowerment Principles)?


thumb_WomensEmpowermentPrinciples_enWomen’s Empowerment Principles-Equality Means Business suggests seven steps for companies to take to empower women in the workplace and the market place. They were launched by the United Nations Development Fund For Women (UNIFEM, part of UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact on March 8th, 2010 based on a multi-stakeholder consultative process.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are subtitled Equality Means Business because the full participation of women benefits business and by signing the Statement of Support, CEOs will demonstrate leadership on gender equality and women’s empowerment and will encourage fellow business leaders to do the same.

The 7 Principles are:
1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination.
3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men worker
4. Promote education, training and professional development for women.
5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.


“The ‘multiplier effect’ of women’s empowerment has been increasingly acknowledged,” said Inés Alberdi, Executive Director, UNIFEM. “What is powerful and new today is that the corporate community itself reports that gender equality is good for business — advancing innovation, attracting top talent, raising positive consumer and community recognition and improving profits. This business case augments the efforts of women to realize their right to equality and economic empowerment.”

UnknownDrawing on real-life business practices, the Principles were developed through a year-long international multi-stakeholder consultation, and are designed to help companies to tailor existing policies and practices — or establish needed new ones — to advance women’s empowerment and inclusion.

Click to download WEP_EMB_Booklet