The dynamism of women legislators captured during the election of officers for the Association of Women Legislators Foundation, Inc. (AWLF) on 09 August 2016. They were sworn into office by the House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on 25 August 2016, the same day its President for the 17th Congress, Rep. Linabelle Ruth R. Villarica, made a manifestation on the floor regarding her election to the AWLF.
Registered with the SEC as a foundation on August 26, 2011, the association was first organized five Congresses ago by then Representative and now Senator Cynthia Villar. Called then the Association of Lady Legislators, it rose to become a permanent political bloc in the House of Representatives under the leadership of Rep. Gina De Venecia of the 4th District of Pangasinan in the 15th and 16th Congress. Since then, Room 219 of the South Wing has been assigned for the organizaton’s use.
The association today is composed of the eighty-seven (87) women solons of the House of Representatives. During its First General Assembly, thirty-one (31) of its members were elected to various positions. The body also unanimously conferred the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus to the Hon. Gina de Venecia.
Aside from pursuing major legacy projects pursuant to the association's policy and tradition of advancing the legislative agenda on women and children and pursuing timely and responsive social undertakings, Rep. Villarica added, "Parallel to this initiative, I would like to invite, particularly the members of the Association as well as the members of the super majority coalition, to support my bill on fundamental equality H. B. 219, which was already referred to the CWGE last July 26, 2016. Refiled from the 15th and 16th Congress, it pertains to provisions in the Family Code which still give priority over the decision of the husband or the father despite the fact that spouses are presumed to be on equal status within a family unit. It is not only antiquated, it has also already been superseded by the Magna Carta on Women. I enjoin my fellow women-lawmakers to be co-authors of House Bill 219."
Rep. Villarica gathered members of the AWLF for their first informal get-together on 30 August 2016 at EDSA Shangri-la. Since then, among their activities include organizing the Forum, "Federalism: What’s In It For Us, Women?” in cooperation with the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, where UP Political Science Department's Ms. Socorro Reyes, Ph.D. and Maria Ela Atienza, Ph.D. were resource speakers and Ms. Jean Encinas Franco, Ph.D. was moderator.