Hardworking, persistent, creative and principled best describe the woman activist, parliamentarian and internationalist that is Liza Largoza-Maza.
Having honed her passion for public service and activism through integration with urban poor women and workers since her days as a student leader at the University of the Philippines, Liza is one who never hesitates to bring issues from the grassroots to the frontlines of rallies and picketlines to the halls of Congress.
Liza currently serves as the representative of Gabriela Women’s Party in the 14th Congress, a public service position she has held for two terms now. In the 12th Congress, she served as the sole woman representative of Bayan Muna. As a woman legislator, she was among the authors and a sponsor of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and a co-author of the Anti-Violence in Women and Children Act (Anti-VAWC) and the Juvenile Justice Act.
Liza believes that her work as an activist legislator in Congress is complimentary to the mass campaigns for workers’ and peasants’ rights and welfare.
In support of women workers, she initiated investigations into the rampant practice of contractualization and its impact on women workers. She has likewise sought investigations into the rampant cases of sexual harassment especially in the workplace.
A witness to the adverse impact of globalization on the country’s agricultural sector, Liza is a staunch oppositor of the Philippine government’s continues adherence to the GATT-WTO. She joins peasant women in their struggle against globalization and for food security. Moreover as a response to the onslaught of militarization in peasant communities, Liza delivered her maiden privilege speech on the plight of indigenous Mangyan women in the highly militarized province of Mindoro Oriental.
Liza is also an advocate of the youth’s basic right to education and teachers’ welfare. She conceived the 20-20 formula, urging legislators to allocate 20% of their Priority Development Assistance Fund for the construction of classrooms. She also opposed the arbitrary imposition of tuition fee hikes and called for increased government subsidy for State Colleges and Universities.
Having spoken in several international conferences on the plight and struggles of Filipino women, Liza is a prominent figure even in international communities. Liza is among the prime movers of GABRIELA’s Purple Rose Campaign, a global campaign to end sex trafficking in Filipino women and children.
Liza’s advocacies and militant stance in fighting for the rights and welfare of marginalized women and children remains unwavering despite the persecution and harassment against her and progressive partylist organizations, including Gabriela Women’s Party. At the height of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo’s proclamation of a state of emergency in 2006, Liza became the only woman representative in what came to be known as the ‘Batasan 6’. Liza along with 5 other partylist representatives, constantly faced illegal arrest, having been charged with cases of rebellion. The fabricated charges were eventually dismissed by the Supreme Court. To date, fabricated cases of murder and kidnapping remain pending in the province of Nueva Ecija.
Liza mixes creative ideas in various campaigns pursuing new politics and reforms. She was a prime mover of the GABRIELA Fashion Show that highlighted the women’s opposition to ousted President Estrada. She has twice participated in V-Day programs against violence. Her position against US military intervention and war was displayed in a Filipiniana outfit and a handpainted panuelo as US President Bush addressed the Philippine Congress last year.
Liza believes the progress and success of campaigns against violence and for genuine reforms in the society lie in the active participation of women from the grassroots.
This feminist is an endearing mother to two boys. Liza ensures that both Niko and AG grow learning to respect and recognize every woman’s worth.
OFFICE OF REP. LIZA MAZA
SW-309 House of Representatives, Batasan Complex
Constitution Hills, 1126, Quezon City, Philippines
TELS (0632)9316268; (0632) 9315001 loc 7230