North Cotabato Solon Favors Women In Constitutional Bodies

March 3, 2008 at 10:16 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 03, 2008) – North Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Mendoza said she favors the selection of highly qualified female nominees to fill at least four vacant posts at three independent constitutional bodies — the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Audit (COA) and Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“We will definitely gladly receive highly capable female candidates to the open slots,” said Mendoza, who is also a member of the Commission on Appointment.

“The empty posts provide the administration a great occasion to designate female nominees who, by their perceived independence and indisputable probity, will unmistakably convey the administration’s resolve to further improve governance,” she said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

Last month, Karina David and Guillermo Carague completed ended their terms as chairpersons of the CSC and the COA, respectively, leaving the posts vacant.

Meanwhile, at the Comelec, only four commissioners have been attending to election duties following the retirement of Resurreccion Borra and Florentino Tuason Jr. last month.

Malacañang recently designated Jose Melo as the new Comelec chief, but he has refused to assume his new post until the CA confirms him. Commissioner Romeo Brawner is now acting head of the poll body, which is supposed to have seven members, including the chairperson.

Without a chairperson, only Commissioners Reynaldo Villar and Juanito Espino Jr. are now attending to the duties of the COA.

Also without a chairperson, only Commissioners Cesar Buenaflor and Mary Ann Fernandez-Mendoza are now attending to the duties of the CSC.

As the country’s supreme audit institution, the COA has the mission to promote “good governance with the attributes of honesty, transparency, accountability, credibility, efficiency and effectiveness to enhance trust in the government and foster a better quality of life for the Filipino people.”

The COA has the power and duty to audit and settle accounts pertaining to revenues and receipts, as well as expenditures or uses of funds and property owned or held in trust by the government; prescribe government accounting and auditing rules; and recommend measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations.

The CSC is the government’s central personnel agency tasked to render final arbitration on disputes and personnel actions on civil service matters. It is also responsible for the recruitment, building, maintenance and retention of a competent, professional and highly motivated government workforce truly responsive to the needs of the public.

Meanwhile, Mendoza has urged the business sector to give preference to women, cultural minority members in hiring policies. Mendoza said many firms abroad have their own affirmative action plans.

She cited the case of the US, where such plans are required of firms holding government contracts worth over $50,000 or around P2 million.

According to her, the Western concept of affirmative action in hiring and employment policies goes beyond non-discrimination by taking purposeful efforts and specific actions to advance the rights of qualified women and cultural minority group members.

“This means that, given two equally qualified job seekers, firms are encouraged to give preference to either a woman or minority group member,” she said.

Mendoza said companies should adopt more progressive personnel policies and be extra conscious in giving preference to qualified women and minority group members.

She added that policies on job training and promotion should also be modified along affirmative action lines.

Mendoza urged the Employers Confederation of the Philippines and the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines to consider integrating affirmative action plans in the hiring and employment policies of their member firms.

She said the plans could be done in consultation with trade unions, women’s groups and the Department of Labor and Employment, but lamented that many fully qualified women and minority group members remain unemployed due to “regressive” corporate hiring policies.

She expressed confidence that affirmative action plans would give more meaning to the constitutional mandate to provide “equal employment opportunities for all.” (With a report from Mark Navales)

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