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STATEMENT | Way ChaCha: Women & Youth Against Charter Change

Women and youth comprise half and 30 percent respectively of the nation’s population. We, the women and youth of Davao City, strongly oppose changing the Philippine Constitution, especially in the manner that allegedly involves cash payment for every solicited signature.
We are calling on the President of the Republic of the Philippines to put a definite stop to this now and use his power instead to address the pressing needs such as sky-rocketing cost of basic commodities and on the overall to promote the good of the Filipino people he has vowed to unite under his leadership.
We make this stand as part of our continuing history of pushing for genuine empowerment of the people in the democratic process in Davao.
We are part of the movement that gave birth to Davao City’s landmark legislation, including the Women Development Code of 1997, amended in 2020, which is the legal framework for the City Government of Davao’s innovative and award-winning programs for women empowerment and gender equality and earned for the city its first and only Galing Pook Award in 2005. As such, we know the democratic process of crafting policies that reflect genuine people’s initiative and meaningful participation.
In fact, our trailblazing Women Development Code has been the model of several national laws and local ordinances all over the country, making Davao City a national gender and development (GAD) hub for others to learn from.
We are categorically stating that the so-called “people’s initiative” is a “politicians’ initiative” being used to push for charter change, which is without meaningful people’s participation and devoid of accountability. It is downright fraudulent and abusive of the public’s trust, especially those who are economically vulnerable.

We have laws that are harsh and uncompromising on those who commit fraud in private transactions. We should be more vigilant when this fraud is being committed in our name to change no less than the Constitution of our country that safeguards our individual rights, our resources, and our territory.
The women and the youth of Davao City will not allow this deceitful, illegal, and immoral act to continue. And we want our political leaders — from the President to the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and those in the Judiciary — to take us seriously.
Let us proceed in continuing to address real transformation for the majority, the women and youth, who are burdened with poverty, inflation, and lack of opportunities in education and employment. These matters do not need charter change but rather a political will for good governance which translates to effective policies and programs that benefit our communities.

We are half of the population. Our youth are no longer just a sector, but a third of the populace. When we organize and mobilize, we are more powerful than any national or local politician.

When we say “WAY CHACHA” (No ChaCha) we mean it.
8th February 2024
Davao City
1. Luzviminda Ilagan, – President, Ateneo de Davao Retirees Association (ADORE)
2. Isabelita B. Solamo, J.D. – Chair, PILIPINA – Davao
3. Mae Fe Ancheta Templa – Executive Director, Liyang-Kyabaan, Inc
4. Former Councilor Pamela Librado
5. Prof. Mildred Estanda – Educator
6. Emma Villegas Ricaforte – Nonoy Librado Foundation (NLFI)
7. Patricia Melizza Ruivivar – Vice -President, Davao Historical Society
8. Dr. Jean Lindo, Vice Chair, Gabriela Women’s Party
9. Mary Kristine Antonio, Fellow, PILIPINA Legal Resources Center, Inc.
10. Ma. Iris Melliza, Ed.D., Chair, PILIPINA Legal Resources Center, Inc.
11. Atty. Leah Librado – Yap
12. Atty. Antoinette G. Principe
13. Maria Teresa dela Rosa, RSW
14. Atty. Ibrahim Silongan
15. Cirila Lilibeth Panes


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