PHILIPPINES: Strengthening of Task Forces on Women and Children Pushed

Monday, March 28, 2011
Philippine Information Agency
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding
Human Rights

In order to improve and sustain programs for the rights and welfare of women in the province, there is a need to assess their status and further strengthen the Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) Task Forces, according to concerned representatives of government agencies here.

Dr. Arnel Magdirila, assistant provincial health officer lamented the inactive role of VAWC task forces in local government units, saying they should be tapped for frontline services in support of the welfare and rights of women.

“The only active VAWC Centers in the province is the Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Hospital and the Veterans Regional Hospital,” he said during a recent media forum here organized by the Philippine Information Agency(PIA) in support of the Women's Month Celebration and attended by media practitioners and government information officers.

Magdirila said that by conducting an assessment among VAWC task forces can lead to a better coordination and unity of action on the implementation of various laws protecting the women sector.

He also added that the reactivation of the Anti-Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Task Force can contribute on the reduction of women trafficking cases and minors who have fallen prey to unscrupulous videoke bar operators and owners.

This developed as the Philippine National Police (PNP) bared that there is an increasing number of reports and cases of violence against women in the province where most of these cases have long been committed against them.

“We can say that there is already a growing level of awareness on the rights of women, including laws that protect them from harm and abuse,” said Police Inspector Myla Paguyo, in charge of the PNP's Women and Children's Desk at the Provincial Police Office(PPO) here.

In 2009, the PNP has listed 9 cases of VAW and rape cases while in 2010, 25 VAW cases have been listed and 2 rape cases . From January to March this year alone, 11 cases have been reported.

The DSWD office on the otherhand, claimed that an average of 100 cases and incidents of violence against women and children are being received yearly.

Republic Act 9262 or VAWC is an Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children, providing Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties Therefore and for Other Purposes.