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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Women’s role in military organization recognized

By Gideon C. Corgue

PAGADIAN CITY – Since the time the Armed of the Philippines (AFP) opened its doors to the women, the military organization is no longer an exclusive domain of the men, recognizing the women’s right to serve the organization.

This has encouraged Private Raniene Jane Hamillian, 21, an enlisted lady soldier to continue working for the AFP.

Hamillian, who has been in the military service for more than a year now, told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in an interview that women are “treated as equals inside the camp.” She is one of three lady soldiers – an officer and two enlisted personnel - working in the 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron, First Mechanized Infantry Division in Camp Col Jacobe Zobel, Upper Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

At first, Hamillian said, it was not her dream become a soldier because she found it very difficult to compete with men. But an uncle pushed her to enter the military service, as he noticed that she had potentials to become a good soldier.

“Nadasig ako sa awhag sa akong Tito nga mosulod pagka-sundalo tungod kay iyang nakita nga taas akong height ug nagtuo siya nga  mahimo nako ang mga gimbuhaton sa mga lalaking sundalo. Ako usab nakita nga adunay babaye nga sundalo nga ang ilang height average lang,” Himilian explained.

(I was inspired by my uncle to enter the military service because I have my height and he believes that I can do what the men can and I have also noticed that the height of other female soldiers is only average.)

“Usa usab ka butang nga dili nako malimtan ni Tito nga dihang giingnan ko niya, ‘You will be somebody someday’,” Hamillian quoted her uncle as saying.

(I cannot also forget what my uncle told me “You will be somebody someday.”)

After she graduated from her two-year course of Information Technology in Iligan City, she decided to join military service.   

A dancing soldier

With her dancing prowess, Hamillian leads the officers and men of the 1st Cavalry Squadron in their Zumba session every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 a.m.

Hamillian said she feels proud that she was given the opportunity to lead the officers and men in their weekly Zumba session.

“Wala gyud ko magdahum nga mangulo sa among Zumba session tungod kay kaniadto dinha ra ko sa atbang duol sa entablado ug inanay gihimo ko nga usa sa mangulo sa maong session sa among battalion”, Hamillian proudly said.

(I did not really expect that I would lead the Zumba dance session because I only used to stay in front near the stage. But, eventually they ordered me to lead the session in our battalion.)

Hamillian said aside from her office work, she is also actively assisting her male counterparts during medical and dental civic action programs (MEDCAPs) in the different barangays within the area of responsibility of the unit.  

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Charlemagne Batayola said the unit is recognizing the vital role of women in our society adding that that “they (women) can lead the organization well.”

Batayola congratulated the enlisted women for they are faring well in their tasks and duties.

In the 1st Cavalry Squadron, Batayola said, female officers and enlisted women became Gold crosser and combat awardees, a solid proof that they can be deployed in the combat areas.

“With the government’s implementation on Republic Act 9710 otherwise known as The Magna Carta of Women, they (women) can now fully assert their rights as persons in our society,” he added.

“Unlike before, Filipino women lacked access to decent work and faced occupational segregation and wage gaps; they were only allowed to perform household chores. But with the law, they are now empowered. Civil and political rights enjoyed by men are also enjoyed by our women,” he added.

“Inside the camp the tasks given to men are capably handled by the women,” stressed Batayola adding, “We treat women with respect.

He also emphasized, “our government has acknowledged that development is not going to happen without the full involvement and active participation of women.”