In line with the National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC) with the theme from 2017 to 2022: WE Make CHANGE Work for Women, City of Isabela de Basilan hosts the first ever Basilan Women Executives and Legislators (BWEL) Summit on March 17 at the Tabiawan Gymnasium, this City. The BWEL Summit is a gathering of all women government executives, legislators, and leaders from across the 13 cities and municipalities of Basilan Province. It aims to provide a platform for a collective aspiration and its translation to actual advocacies and actions for women participation, welfare and advancement.
No less than the highest lady executive of the country, Vice-President Ma. Leonor G. Robredo served as the Keynote Speaker of the BWEL Summit. During her speech, VP Leni stated that the celebration of women is symbolic and that the stories of women have to be told and retold many times over. “Ang pinaka-pangarap ko po para sa atin ay hindi na natin kailangan mag celebrate ng Women’s Day kasi everyday of our lives women are valued in a manner we deserve”, she added. Senator Kiko Pangilinan also graced the activity with his presence and gave a brief message, “may kasabihang, women hold up half the sky and that really is a key mindset in terms of how we move the country forward. We need more women in positions of authority so that we can really have progress and development in our country”.
Meanwhile, Mayor Dadah in her message expressed her gratitude to all the women attendees and said this activity is just an appreciation of the contribution of women leaders to society. Furthermore, she said “Ang pinakamagaling na kababaihan sa buong probinsya ng Basilan ay nandito ngayon. Sila ang gumagawa ng polisiya at mabibigat na desisyon para sa munisipyo at lungsod ng Basilan. Gusto lang nating maumpisahan na baka pwedeng magsama-sama tayo at magkakakilala tayo kasi pare-pareho ang mga trabaho at pinoproblema natin”. Mayor Dadah said, BWEL is an avenue for women to create a support system to help each other and she hopes BWEL will be institutionalized as a group to come together, to learn from each other, and to simply have fun. She aims for BWEL to be not just an activity of Isabela City alone but by the whole province of Basilan.
Together with Isabela City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, women leaders gathered on this event were Anak Mindanao Representative Amihilda Sangcopan, Hj. Muhtamad Mayor Nerwelyn Mansul, IP Representative Mary May Julhari, Councilor Karel Sakkalahul, Councilor Maria Jennesa Tubongbanua, Punong Barangays of Isabela, Isabela City Barangay Lady Legislators Association led by Ms. Sheila Pagarigan, Atty. Rosebelle Sanson, BASC President Haifa A. Salain, CCI President Sr. Alecia Dumaboc, DepEd-Isabela City represented by Gina Halasan and Myra Mangcabong of DepEd-Lamitan City, Department Heads and Legislators of Isabela City, Al-Barka, Sumisip, Hj. Muhtamad, Tuburan, Maluso, Lantawan, Lamitan, Tabuan Lasa and Ungkaya Pukan, the Provincial Government of Basilan and women members of Kadendahan. MP of BARMM Atty. Laisa Masuhud-Alamia participated in the event through her pre-recorded video message.
Also, as part of the BWEL Summit, the City Government launched the NIDA Awards or the Nine Independent, and Dynamic Advocates (NIDA) of Women Empowerment. This distinction aims to give recognition to 9 Isabeleñas who have exemplified the ideals, principles, and values of the late councilor, Nida Patiño-Dans whose years in public service were defined by her unparalleled commitment to the causes on women, children, and family affairs.
These 9 women NIDA honorees each represent sectors that reflect the attributes of the 9-Point Agenda of City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman: (1) Ms. Nilda T. Delos Reyes for Transparent, Participatory, Effective and Efficient Governance; (2) SJO2 Cherielyn F. Tabada for Safe, Secure and Resilient Community; (3) Ms. Mary Claire I. Geduquio for Clean and Environment-friendly; (4) Ms. Sayra J. Umali for Economically Progressive; (5) Ms. Miriam L. Suacito for Culturally-diverse and Proud; (6) Ms. Rhodora K. Loctores for Sustainable Tourism; (7) PSSG Zarna L. Abuharis for Care for the Vulnerable Members of the Society; (8.) Ms. Bernadita F. Hontucan for Health, Education and Well-being; and (9) Ms. Ruby Anne T. Yu for Synergy.
Through this activity, we give honor to the achievements and accomplishments of these outstanding women who have shown passion and determination in their respective fields of endeavor in the hopes of elevating models worthy of both admiration and emulation, most especially for the young girls of the City of Isabela.