Bontoc establishes women's desk

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


WOMEN'S concerns are set to be addressed in Bontoc town.

Mayor Franklin Odsey said he ordered barangay chiefs to establish Violence Against Women (VAW) desks in all 16 villages in the town and appoint a VAW Desk Officer who is trained in handling gender-sensitive cases.

Odsey signed an Executive Order on the protection of women and their concerns.

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"We hope that with a VAW desk put in place in every barangay, cases of VAW in our municipality would be lessened, if not totally eliminated," the mayor said.

Fe Toyokan of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) said the VAW desk, if made more accessible to clients, will make it easier to report VAW incidents adding, "necessary services would be provided more immediately."

There are two VAW cases in the municipality reported to the DSWD in 2013. So far, there are also two cases for 2014.

The VAW Desk Officer will respond to gender-based violence cases brought to the barangay, assist victims of VAW in securing Barangay Protection Orders (BPO) and accessing necessary services, develop the barangay's gender-responsive plan in addressing gender-based violence, address other forms of abuse committed against women, and lead advocacies on the elimination of VAW in the community.

The VAW Desk officer should preferably be a woman Barangay Kagawad or woman Barangay Tanod. However, in cases where there are no trained personnel, the Punong Barangay is mandated to ensure the person assigned shall undergo basic gender sensitivity training and orientation on anti-VAW laws. (With a report from Desiree Sokoken)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 14, 2014.

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