The move to create the Local Councils of Women (LCW) was initiated during the incumbency of Ms. Myrna Tang Yao as President of The National Council of Women of the Philippines (NCWP). She believed that women’s group at the local levels should be institutionalized to work effectively in partnership with government and the private sectors. Ms. Yao lobbied with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under Secretary Joey D. Lina for the local government’s support on the creation of the mechanism that would unite local women’s groups and institutionalize women empowerment at the ground level. Her lobbying obtained the support of DILG Undersecretary Eduardo R. Soliman, Jr. who understood and appreciated the objectives of NCWP’s advocacy. On October 10, 2001, during the 10th Anniversary of the DILG, Ms. Yao representing NCWP and Secretary Lina representing DILG signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) providing for the creation of the Local Council of Women in all localities.
The MOA provided for the creation of LCW in all cities and municipalities nationwide as a joint project of the LGU and the city/municipal-based women’s groups under the supervision of the NCWP and the DILG. As a GO-NGO/PO/Private Sector partnership initiative, the LCW was seen to integrate and coordinate gender and development (GAD) programs and projects and to leverage women’s access to the 5 % GAD budget of government.
To make the LCW as inclusive as it can possibly be, the different women NGOs such as NCWP, The Filipino Chinese Federation of Business and Professional Women of the Philippines, the Women in Nation Building, the Zonta Club of Greater Rizal II and other national women organizations and coalitions prepared the development of the “Guidelines on the Procedure and Structure for the Creation of the Local Councils of Women“, which the DILG thereafter disseminated to the LGUs through Memorandum Circular 2002-167. NCWP also convened national organizations and networks of women groups to determine the members of the NGO Advisory Council (NGOAC). Membership in the NGOAC is a position of responsibility as it is the NGOAC that is responsible for mainstreaming GAD in the LCW operations, for setting the initial agenda of the LCW on its three thrusts which are economic empowerment, human rights and gender-responsive good governance, and for convening the General Assembly of the LCW to come up with the LCW National Agenda. The NGOAC is also responsible for ensuring that the agenda of the LCW is consistent with the national agenda.
Based on the DILG Circular, the LCW convened its First General Assembly on November 25-27, 2002 to consolidate and integrate the LCW local agenda in the National Agenda of the LCW. On September 21, 2006, the DILG passed Memorandum Circular No. 2006-125 which amended Memorandum Circular No. 2002-167 to further strengthen the operations of Local Councils of Women.
The Philippine Federation of Local Councils of Women (PFLCW), Inc. is the national coordinating body of all the local councils of women in mainstreaming gender and development (GAD) in pursuit of women empowerment, gender equality, social justice, lasting peace, fulfillment and protection of human rights and sustainable development.
The PFLCW believes that the impact of poverty alleviation initiatives to the targeted beneficiaries can be enhanced if all stakeholders’ efforts are coordinated. Realizing the need to consolidate and solidify these efforts in empowering women for economic development, the PFLCW was created to serve as the link between the government, private sector, and women NGO in the localities.
Focusing on developing entrepreneurial capabilities of women, the PFLCW, Inc. endeavors to remove all obstacles toward achieving self-reliance and independence. PFLCW’s main agenda highlight the following action plan: professionalizing micro-enterprise operations; increasing access to marketing facilities; increasing productivity and income level; improving work conditions; providing social protection scheme; increasing access to new technology; providing soft-loans and guarantee funds; and developing entrepreneurial capability.
To date, PFLCW is the biggest network of women’s organization with a GO-NGO/PO/Private Sector partnership in the locality. PFLCW has a total membership of about 500 groups that compose of more than 50,000 women.
A gender-responsive society with GOs, NGOs, POs and Private Sectors partnership/ collaboration where women’s organizations and various sectors are actively involved to institutionalize a unified effort in developing and implementing programs and projects for women’s economic growth and nation-building while also providing advocacy support and networking assistance in the areas of social justice and gender-responsive governance.
To facilitate, strengthen and institutionalize the GO-NGO/PO/Private Sector partnership towards the implementation of gender-responsive economic programs, projects and activities at the local level.
To unify/coordinate local women’s group; institutionalize development by focusing on women’s economic empowerment programs; strengthen and promote collaborative initiatives with other NGOs in the areas of social justice and gender-responsive governance.
MOA between DILG and PFLCW