SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Womenfolk here and around this premier free port received orientation on their rights, privileges, and opportunities as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) made history by holding the first Women's Summit in the community.
With the theme, "Ang Bagong Pinay," the two-day gathering sought to promote the welfare and development of womenfolk and update them on the latest socio-economic and political issues that have significant bearing on them.
The event was organized by the SBMA thru its Gender and Development Focal Point System and as part of the SBMA's week-long celebration of its 22nd founding anniversary.
"This is a historic event for SBMA in the sense that this is the first gathering to tackle gender and development," remarked SBMA Chairman and Administrator Roberto Garcia as he welcomed participants last Wednesday.
"I am sure that from the line-up of speakers you have prepared, you will learn so much on how we can further promote the concept of 'Ang Bagong Pinay' and address the issues that confront women in the workplace today," Garcia added.
No less than Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo was guest of honor in the assembly and imparted her ideas on "Women and their Careers on being a Wife, Mother and Leader."
Aside from Robredo, other speakers fired up the summit with timely discussions on the first day: Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation Inc. Director for External Affairs Varinia Tinga who spoke on "Women in the Corporate World", Subic Bay Colleges Inc. Vice President for Academic Affair Marilou Nicart who tackled "Telecommuting for Women", Sandiganbayan Third Division Executive Clerk of Court Dennis Pulma who spoke on "Violence Against Women," as well as RA 10398, an act declaring November 25 as National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children; and SM elevator girl and YouTube sensation Cheridel Alejandrino who urged womenfolk to "Be The Best That You Can Be."
On the second day of lectures, FQ Mom Rose Fausto talked about "Financial Liberation for Women"; and Philippine Commission on Women Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa lectured on "Magna Carta of Women."
Among those who trooped to the Women's Summit were employees of the SBMA, workers of Subic Bay Freeport companies, employees of the Authority of Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), and residents and students from Olongapo City and parts of Zambales.
Among the activities during the week-long celebration of the SBMA anniversary were a jobs fair at the Harbor Point mall,vwhere 10,386 job positions were opened to applicants; the annual recognition of the Ten Most Outstanding Freeport Workers who epitomize the best of what the Subic Bay Freeport has to offer in terms of workers' performance; and the Milestone Service Awards that recognized around 200 SBMA employees who have been serving the agency for 15 and 20 years. (30)
Members of the United Women Artists Association of the Philippines hand over to SBMA Planning Development Office manager Amethya Koval (right) a painting of "Ang Bagong Pinay" that the group made during the two-day 1st Women's Summit at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.