Press Release
March 13, 2015


As the country celebrates women's month, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago sought wider public support for her bills aimed at placing Filipino women on equal footing with men.

Santiago, author of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act No. 9710) and co-author of the Reproductive Health Law (R.A. No. 10354), said some of her proposed legislation on women and gender equality remain at the committee level.

"I have written the committee on women, family relations, and gender equality earlier this year to ask that it prioritize public hearings for my bills," the senator said.

Among her measures pending in the committee is the proposed Child Support Act (Senate Bill No. 403), which seeks to penalize any parent who refuses to support a child.

"This will protect single parents, especially women, from being financially abandoned by the child's other parent," she said.

Santiago also filed the Safe Haven Bill (S.B. No. 2457), which caters to women unprepared or unfit for motherhood, while ensuring the safety of their babies.

If enacted, the bill will allow women to leave newborns with government-assigned safe haven providers rather than haphazardly abandoning them.

The Battered Women's Testimony Bill (S.B. No. 1558), meanwhile, seeks to facilitate the use of expert testimonies in cases of women subjected to domestic violence.

Santiago is also pushing for the creation of a task force that will recommend a national strategy to protect women against violent crime (S.B. No. 1801).

Other pro-women bills filed by Santiago are:

1. S.B. No. 1751, which, if enacted, will allow women to use their maiden first name and surname;

2. S.B. No. 1771, which seeks to eliminate gender bias in adultery and concubinage in the Penal Code; and

3. S.B. No. 1722, which seeks to establish a Commission on the Advancement of Women in Engineering, Science and Technology Development.

Santiago is known as advocate of gender equality through legislation. In 2011, the senator successfully led moves to lift Labor Code prohibitions on night work for women, which she said prevented women from exercising their right to equal access to jobs.

She has also consistently been the top performer in the Senate by filing the most number of bills and resolutions. Despite her lung cancer, Santiago filed 1,007 bills and resolutions from the start of the 16th Congress until the end of 2014.

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