MANILA–The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Monday held a celebration of the National Women’s Month at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City filled with hope and compassion.
“(H)appy women’s month po sa inyo… sa mga ginang po, sa mga lola po na nandito, na nag-aantay. Magdasal po tayo na makalaya po kayo,” Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag said in her speech.
Dubbed “BongGAD Ka, ‘Day! Part 2!”, the event served as a get-together with the CIW residents.
Employees from various agencies of the PCOO performed song and dance numbers to the delight of female inmates.
The program started with a Zumba dance workout led by the News and Information Bureau staff, followed by a series of dance numbers performed by volunteer employees of the Bureau of Broadcast Services (BBS), Radio-Television Malacañang (RTVM), National Printing Office (NPO), and Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Production Unit.
An employee of the NPO serenaded the audience with his rendition of popular Original Pilipino Music (OPM) songs.
A throwback video and short audio-visual plugs about women empowerment, produced by RTVM, were shown to inspire the audience.
“BongGAD Ka, ‘Day!” is an outreach project of the PCOO and its attached agencies’ Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System, which aims to spread hope and love to residents of CIW. It was first launched in December last year where free medical and checkups, legal consultations, and health and wellness services were provided.
As part of their GAD programs, the PCOO continues to assist women inmates in following up their “carpetas” and other documents necessary for their application for probation or parole.
“Malaking bagay ang naitutulong ninyo, pakikiisa ninyo sa aming adhikain na maparamdam na sila ay may halaga, na sila ay may karapatang mabigyan muli ng pangalawang pagkakataon,” CIW Superintendent Elsa Aquino-Alabado said, expressing her gratitude to the PCOO for holding the second leg of the BongGAD project at the CIW.
The PCOO, through the APO Production Unit, donated two wide flat-screen television sets—one to be set up in the stage area and the other to be placed inside the so-called “Bahay ni Lola” where old and frail inmates are confined.
The BCS, on the other hand, distributed leaflets about women’s rights.
As a finale, the female inmates performed a special number singing “Happy Birthday” to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who will be celebrating his 72nd birthday tomorrow, March 28.
The National Women’s Month celebration, which is held every March, is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day. This year’s theme, “We Make Change Work for Women”, captured the Duterte administration’s commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago.”