WOMEN and youth groups in the Visayas region presented to presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte a list of projects that they said will benefit them in a forum in Cebu last Saturday night.
The Forum on Women for Action Rody Duterte (Forward) and youth leaders in the Visayas presented their agenda to Duterte, hoping he will include them in his priority programs if he gets elected.
The proposals from the women include more employment in sustainable industries, credit unions and livelihood projects and community kitchens.
They also want a review of the Solo Parents Act and the Family Code and an expansion of anti-sexual harassment and anti-rape laws.
They also want divorce in the country, especially in abusive relationships.
During the debate last March 20, no one among the presidential candidates raised their hand when asked whether they would support legalizing divorce in this predominantly Catholic country.
Women’s groups from Metro Cebu, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Samar and Bohol were present during the forum.
They waited for more than an hour for Duterte to arrive for his speech that ended the one-day forum.
The youth wanted Duterte to improve the government’s skills programs, allow member of their sector to represent them in decision making and to have equal
opportunity in healthcare.
They also want an improvement of the Philippine Sports Commission and more public sports facilities and sports program.
Duterte promised to adopt their suggestions.
Duterte spoke for more than an hour to participants before he proceeded to his last commitment in Cebu, which was the gathering of motorbike enthusiasts in Plaza Independencia.
Despite his image as a “womanizer,” Duterte said Davao City was the first city to prohibit the wearing of bikinis during beauty pageants.
“Ang mga babae, minamahal yan. Adto mo sa Davao, di gyod ko mosugot nga magsul-ob sila anang bikini sa mga beauty pageant. Gipagawas ra na sa akong mga kaatbang nga babaero gyod ko, but in reality, I have high respect for women (That I’m a womanizer is a lie spread by my political rivals),” he said.