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Bebot: A champion for women

Renato Tibon .

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” -Margaret Thatcher

ON March 8, 2019, women around the world celebrate the International Women’s Day. The IWD is a global day marked to commemorate the social, economic and political achievements of women and as a call to action for accelerating gender parity. In many parts of the world, women are still discriminated against and even harassed in the workplace. In the Philippines, although more women are occupying positions of power, especially in the political front, gender balance in terms of hierarchy, pay and privileges is still heavily tilted in favor of men. 

Yet women, whether in private or public life have impacted society in many ways thought as impossible in the past. Some of the most notable names were Florence Nightingale, a brave British nurse during the Crimean war, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and even Diana Spencer “The Princess of Wales”, proverbial names famous for their work tending to the sick and needy especially children, the poorest of the poor and other socially-infirmed individuals. These women had one thing in common: they were concerned with people being served, if not personally by them, by the institutions they have influenced or created. Whether they were aware of it or not, politics was transformed by their ideas and work for social justice, equality and solidarity with mankind regardless of demographic characteristics.

Politics and Social Services

In the field of public service in the local scene, Bebot Rodriguez is a cut above the rest of her peers. Hardwired for politics like her prominent older siblings, she made social services instinctive and commonplace so that in all her terms of office as chairwoman for Barangay Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro from 2007 to 2018, she was consistently awarded numerous citations and recognitions for her achievements, among which are the following:

• 2009 Regional Award Sandugo Local Government Executive Award – Davao

• 2009 Prestigious Award DILG Most Effective Mediator and Conciliation Award

• 2010 National Awardee Sandugo Outstanding Local Gov’t. Executive Award – Manila

• 2010 Second Runner-up Barangay Award Lupon Tagapamayapa

• 2011-2012 First Runner-up Barangay Award Lupon Tagapamayapa

• 2013-2018 Awardee Barangay Award Lupon Tagapamayapa

• 2015 First Runner-up Award Child Friendliest Barangay

• 2016 Second Runner-up Award Child Friendliest Barangay

• 2017 Exemplar Special Award for Reading and Information Center

• Appointed Vice Chairperson, National TB Task Force of the Philippines, Antipolo City and President of Kagay-an TB Task Force Cagayan de Oro City

Born in their ancestral house at 12-30th Nazareth Street in Cagayan de Oro City as the 4th child of Atty. Maximo G. Rodriguez Sr. and Martha Bautista Rodriguez, she is preceded by her illustrious older brothers, Congressman Rufus who served as CDO District representative from 2007-2016, now running for another fresh mandate, and Congressman Maxie representing Abamin as party-list for two terms before currently serving his present third and final term from 2016-2019. Her other siblings, Suzette and Emmanuel chose to keep away from the political limelight. Kapitan Bebot as she is fondly called, finished her elementary grades at South City Central School in Nazareth, secondary school at Lourdes College High School and graduated with a BS in Nursing degree at Cebu Doctors College. She passed her nursing licensure exam in 1982 before working as a registered nurse for 13 years in the US. She used to be President of City High School Governing Council 2013 and President – Lourdes College High School Batch 1976.

She has filed her certificate of candidacy as councilor for District 2 in Cagayan de Oro City and with Nanette Roa, herself not a stranger to public service, they would join their counterparts, Atty. James Judith, Atty. Don Gumahad, and Councilors Leon Gan, Atty. Monching Tabor, Jun Acenas and Alexander Dacer, a formidable team of capable and experienced legislators, as members of the Coalition of CDP, Padayon Pilipino and Abamin Party-list.

Among her agenda, Councilor-aspirant Bebot Rodriguez intends to become the people’s voice in the Council for Health initiatives; more medicines and medical services for the sick and needy, the poorest of the poor and the socially-infirmed Kagayanons in all barangay health centers in the city; additional medical equipment and more benefits for patients in the JR Borja Hospital; to be the Coordinator for services at Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) tapping the resources of brother Rufus, if elected Congressman and Abamin Party-list and as a Champion for Women’s rights, a theme which will be highlighted during this year’s celebration of the International Women’s Day.

“Ang Probinsiyana”, Bebot Rodriguez will surely be a worthy addition to our City Council.

(Renato Gica Tibon is a fellow of the Fellowship of the 300, an elite organization under Centrist Democracy Political Institute  [CDPI] with focus on political technocracy. He  holds both position as political action officer and program manager of the Institute. He is the former regional chairman for Region 10 and vice president for Mindanao of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines [CDP].)

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