Candidate for Mayor of Quezon City
Ma. Josefina G. Belmonte is no stranger to media, being the daughter of former House Speaker and Quezon City Mayor Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. and the late journalist and newspaper publisher Betty Go-Belmonte, and sister of The Philippine Star president and chief executive officer Miguel Belmonte and publisher and editorial board chairman Isaac Belmonte, and Philstar Global chief executive officer Kevin Belmonte. Of course, being the incumbent Vice Mayor of Quezon City helps keep her in the limelight.
Joy Belmonte is a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences. She earned her master's degree in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester and in Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, in the United Kingdom.
During her stint as vice mayor of Quezon City, Joy Belmonte has had many flagship programs, mostly focusing on her advocacy – women empowerment. Among her most notable programs are the QC Protection Center for Women, Children, and LGBT, a one-stop shop facility for victims of abuse located at the Quezon City General Hospital, the QC Hall Breastfeeding Station, which encourages working mothers to continue breastfeeding and accommodates nursing mothers transacting business at city hall, and the Child-Friendly QC Movement, an initiative that aims to protect and promote the rights of children to survival, development, protection, and participation.
Belmonte's other projects and programs focus on providing better health services, promoting the well-being of children and senior citizens, improving education at all levels, including livelihood, skills training, and employment for adults, and giving the youth a variety of opportunities to engage in sports.
Recently, Belmonte has been in the forefront of efforts to clear the city of illegal drugs, launching programs such as the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council InfoBoard, which encourages active participation of city residents in the illegal drug prevention and control campaign through intelligence gathering, and the establishment of the Children and Adolescent Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center.