Monday, March 7, 2016


    Congressman Cris "Mr. Coop" Paez vows to continue his advocacy to support women's rights and increase their participation in development.

    Mr. Coop, who is running for a Senate seat under the Daang Matuwid Coalition traces his advocacy for women's rights in the 1980's through the mandatory representation of women in the board of directors of cooperatives.  Under the Cooperative Code, a seat for women representatives is automatic for cooperatives with 70% women members.

    At the House of Representatives, Cong. Paez authored House Bill 4113 which would require women's participation in national budget deliberations.

    "Ako ay kasama sa laban na mabigyan ng pantay na karapatan at kapangyarihan ang kababaihan," said Paez, on the occasion of the celebration of International Women's Day.

    Paez also underscored the role of women not just in nation building, but in the fight against hunger.  He had proposed the People's Fund Bill, which would make the mandatory allocation of 5% of income tax to gender development, particularly in projects and programs that address hunger.

    Paez said that laws he crafted like the Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Act (R.A. 10477), which would make possible collateral-free loans by micro, small and medium enterprises would eventually help women entrepreneurs.

    R.A. 10477, which took effect last February 6, 2016 would establish a credit surety fund through the partnership among cooperatives, local government units, LandBank, DBP, the Industrial Loan Guarantee Fund, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.  Whatever CSF fund raised, which serves as guarantee, will be matched by tenfold loan fund by participating banks.

    Paez is unfazed by his survey numbers. "We remain focused on our mission, which some people describe as Mission Impossible.  But we have faith in the people, the Cooperative Movement, that in the end, my candidacy is paezable."

    At the start of the campaign, Paez, who is running on a shoe-string budget, caught the attention of netizens after photos of giant billboard put up by a supporter at the Sta. Rita exit of the NLEX featuring him in an imaginary conversation with Hollywood star Tom Cruise, who told the Coop Natcco party list congressman that his senate run is "Mission Impossible", to which the congressman replied: "Have faith, it is paezable".

    The giant billboard which had been removed at the start of the campaign period caught the attention of the Hollywood star.  Cruise lawyer Bert Fields was quoted in an article in that the Hollywood star has been amused by the ad and would not mind the use of his persona by Paez.

    By Bencyrus G. Ellorin

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