After serving her city as Vice Mayor for nine years, Mayor Joy Belmonte was elected to become the Mayor of Quezon City in June 2019. During her past public service, Mayor Joy Belmonte has shown great concerns and taken up actions to promote gender equality and upholding the rights of children, women as well promoting the right of LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders). The initiatives have been implemented in various forms including economic empowerment and mental health improvement.
The Quezon City Protection Centre for Women, Children and LGBT
Established in 2011, the Quezon City Protection Centre for Women, Children and LGBT has become a one-stop-shop facility for victims of abuses. It has assisted more than 1,147 victims (comprising women, children and LGBTs) with psychological, medical, legal assistance, counselling and psychiatric evaluation and referral to a temporary shelter programme to help them recover from devastating experience (data in 2018). In addition, after becoming Quezon City’s vice mayor, she collaborated with private sector the Centre’s services.
Mayor Joy Belmonte places great emphasis on the need for women to provide breastfeeding. She initiated a plan to facilitate a breastfeeding station and provided one at the city hall. In line with the celebration of Women’s Month, the first breastfeeding station was launched on 13 March 2012 at the Inner Ground floor of Legislative Building. The station is adequately equipped with refrigerator, lavatory, television, air-conditioning unit, play area and couch, to ensure comfortable environment. In addition, this facility comes with Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) lectures for mothers every month.
Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Programme
Other programmes were created to help women increase their income and sustain their businesses namely:
- Small Income Generation Assistance Programme – To support marginalised residents with seed capital to sustain businesses.
- LIPAD (Local Inclusiveness Project for the Advancement and Development), Pinay Programme – To train women on how-to put-up businesses.
- Quezon City Credit Surety Fund – To provide micro, small and medium enterprises with surety cover for bank loans through credit-support programme.
Holding the highest level of leadership in city, Mayor Joy Belmonte continues to exercise her authorities for better livelihood and conditions of women and people with diverse sexual orientations. Above are only brief records of what she has done in incorporating gender perspective for city development. Ahead, we can surely expect her other initiatives that put gender equality and fairness at the forefront of city development.