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UPV-GDP and Ugsad conduct benchmarking of anti-VAWC mechanisms in Iloilo

To cap the 2016 Women’s Month Celebration, the Ugsad Regional Gender Resource Center for Western Visayas, in coordination with the UP Visayas Gender and Development Program, conducted a benchmarking of existing province-level mechanisms to address the persistent problem of violence against women and their children (VAWC), on March 30, 2016.

The activity’s objective is to determine the institutions and facilities that are in place where VAWC victims can be referred to receive proper and necessary assistance. It also aims to assess these mechanisms and give feedback or interventions to improve the services being offered in these centers.

From UPV Iloilo City Campus where GAD focal persons of the Ugsad member agencies assembled, the group proceeded to the following: 1) Iloilo City PNP Women and Children Desk; 2) Western Visayas Medical Center – Women and Children Protection Unit; 3) Iloilo Province PNP Women and Children’s Desk; and 4) the Regional Center for Women (Haven), a facility run by DSWD RO6 for abused women aged 18-59 years old; and lastly, the Home for Girls, also a DSWD facility for abused young girls (below 18 years old). In the last two institutions, Ugsad members gave donations of personal care products that were purchased using the proceeds from the Run for Women held on March 8, 2014.

During the visit to Iloilo City WCD, Chief Clerk/Investigator SPO2 Ruth Laudato reported that Iloilo City has the highest reported cases of VAWC in the province, perhaps because of the effective reporting mechanisms in place. She discussed the protocols of reporting and records management in a Women’s and Children’s Desk which is true to all police stations. On the other hand, Police Inspector Mary Grace Moneva of the PNP Provincial WCD lamented that because barangay-level VAWC Desks are still largely un-operational, the PNP WCDs receive a number of petty complaints. For Moneva, this actually accounts for the high incidence of reported VAWC cases in the province. She believes the trend will most likely drop once barangay VAWC desks start settling matters at their level.

Twenty-nine members of Ugsad RGC attended the benchmarking activity. The agencies which participated in this activity include the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Science High School, Professional Regulatory Commission, National Irrigation Authority, Philippine Statistics Authority, MARINA, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Tourism, Department of Education, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and UPV, which serves as the Coordinator of the Regional Network. (By: Michael Q. Orquejo, Gender & Development Program)

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