Women Dominate Leyte Provincial Board

The Leyte provincial board welcomes the election of more women into the local legislative body.

Aside from re-elected board members Gina Merilo (first district), Trinidad Apostol (second district), and Maria Corazon Remandaban (third district), two more women legislators have been added to the provincial board.

New faces from known political clans include Raissa Villasin (second district), Anna Veloso-Tuazon (third district), and Carmen Torres-Rama (fourth district).

Raissa is the sister of outgoing board member Niccolo Villasin and daughter of former Leyte vice governor Nestor Villasin.

Anna, a neophyte politician, is the daughter of Leyte 3rd District Rep. Vicente Veloso.

Carmen will replace her brother, outgoing board member Matt Torres, who won as Kananga town mayor. She is the elder sister of actress-turned-congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez (4th district).

Also joining the list of female legislators is Sanguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) Federation president Jo Vanille Chua, an ex-officio member of the board.

Under the current term, out of 13 seats in the Leyte provincial board, five are being held by women and eight seats by men.

Starting June 30, the board will have seven female members and five male members. The last seat will be filled up after the Philippine Councilors’ League election.

“I think that will be something. Stereotypes are often distorted, but in my own observation, women are more attentive to details and I think having more female board member is an advantage,” re-elected Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto said Monday.

“Their presence will be felt significantly in the legislation that we are about to make, the standards, concerns and how to address the demands of the new normal,” he added.

Re-elected male board members are Ranulfo Abellanosa (first district), Mesias Arevalo (fourth district), Florante Cayunda Jr. (fifth district), and Emmanuel Gacis (fifth district).

Another male member is Association of Barangay Chairmen – Leyte chapter president Nolie Caña.

Loreto said since politics is an equal ground between female and male members of the society, having and giving opportunity to women in public service is a way of acknowledging their contribution to the improvement of society by participating in crafting legislative measures.

“I don’t think politics has been a turf of men, but based on experience, women are more vocal and they tend to be more meticulous on details than men,” the vice governor said.

In the history of the Leyte provincial board, two women had been elected as vice governor. The first was Board Member Apostol, who was instrumental in the construction of the provincial legislative building.

The second was Mimietta Bagulaya, who replaced then governor Jericho Petilla when the latter was appointed secretary of the Department of Energy in 2012.

As outlined in section 468 of the Local Government Code of 1991, the legislative body is tasked in general to “enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the province and its inhabitants in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of the province.” (PNA)

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