The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office intensifies its advocacy to achieve a safe and violence-free province with the conduct of a Gender Based Violence Awareness Seminar at the Ceremonial Hall of the Provincial Capitol Building in Trece Martires City on September 26, 2019. The activity was attended by male employees of the provincial government, PNP Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) Officers, Men Opposed to Violence Everywhere (MOVE) Officers and Barangay VAW Desk Officers to encourage them as active partners in integrating efforts to eliminate Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC).

The group were welcomed by Provincial Administrator for Community Affairs, Mr. Alvin Mojica, who called for everyone’s cooperation in promoting awareness on preventing VAWC which should start at home and in the workplace.

Meanwhile, Third District Board Member Dennis T. Lacson advocated for equality by removing discrimination and shared some examples showing unequal treatment between men and women in society. He also stressed out that a good husband should know how to treat his partner right, quoting “Gawin mo yung tama siguradong hindi ka magkakamali”. Likewise, former Board Member Irene Bencito urged the partakers to put an end on gender stereotyping. She added that in order to gain respect, one should also treat people with respect.

The seminar was led by PCPT Renalyn P. Lim, Chief of WCPD and Social Welfare Officer II Rodolfo C. Buhay, RSW. PCPT Lim reported the VAWC situation and problems of LGUs based on the data gathered from January 2018 to August 2019. In 2018, out of 603 children cases, 207 were physical injuries/intentional mutilation cases and 153 rape cases while as of August 2019, out of the total 300 cases, 88 were physical injuries/intentional mutilation cases and 72 were other acts of abuse which mostly happened in the City of Dasmariñas, Bacoor and Imus. She also elaborated the Anti-Photo and Voyeurism Act (RA 9995) reiterating the liabilities and penalties to be imposed in committing the crime and violating the law. She reminded everyone to use social media wisely and always think before they act or share.

Topics on Gender Based Violence, Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (RA 9262) and Anti-Human Trafficking (RA 9208) were conversed by Mr. Buhay. He provided the ratio of VAWC classified into physical, sexual, pregnant women violence. He also tackled the 3 elements of trafficking which are acts, means and purposes and said that this kind of crime can be reported to the barangay, the PNP and local social welfare office.

During the discussion, representatives from Office of the Provincial Governor Mr. Bholie Razon and Mr. Albert Sañez shared their own perceptions about the training course. Mr. Razon encouraged them to have a balanced and equal treatment between men and women while Mr. Sañez shared his belief that women deserve to be loved not to be hurt.

To determine the effectiveness of the program and draw commitment, participants were asked to write down what they will do to end violence in the aspect of personal, family and in the workplace.

As a response, representative from PG-Enro Mr. Arnel Paredes underscored the importance of respect regardless of gender, age and beliefs while Dasmariñas City WCPDO Maria Victoria Divina hoped that the lecture will serve as motivation for participants to use their voice in eliminating violence to the community.

In closing, Social Welfare Officer III Ms. Henelyn Lapizar left a word of advice reminding participants to share with their colleagues what they have learned, encouraged them to put it into practice and as a public servant, always lend a helping hand to others.