MANILA - Women are encouraged to seek a seat in the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this May 14.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) made the appeal on Wednesday in a bid to increase the number of women in public office.
"Naniniwala ako na marami sa mga kababaihan ay matino, mahusay at maaasahan at ito ang mga katangiang dapat taglayin ng isang kakandidato sa darating na halalan," DILG officer-in-charge Eduardo Año said in a statement.
Ma. Teresa Montalbo, chief of Barangay Balingasa in Quezon City, echoed Año's sentiments, saying women could contribute a lot to public service.
"Meron kaming motherly touch. Maraming program ang barangay na hindi naman kailangan ang tapang. Kailangan hinahaluan pa rin ng soft spot na madali kang lapitan," said Montalbo, a barangay official for the past 15 years.
According to the DILG, data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) show that while more voters are women, only 1 in 5 candidates are women.
Namfrel meanwhile said only 20 percent of incumbent barangay officials are women.
Filing of certificates of candidacy for the upcoming village and youth council polls is from April 14 to 20, 2018.