WOMEN and children who are victims of violence will get more support from the Cebu City Government within the year, officials said.
In its regular session last week, the Cebu City Council approved an ordinance to institutionalize the funds to end violence against women and children. Councilors Alvin Dizon and Lea Japson drafted it.
Dizon and Japson cited in the legislation that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual violence, whether by their partners or not. That was based on the 2013 global review by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Development (UN Women).
In Cebu City, the Women and Children Protection Desk of the Cebu City Police Office has recorded 863 cases of violence against women and children, including physical abuse, threats and rape, in 2013.
Under the new ordinance, the City Government is mandated to allocate at least one percent of its Gender and Development budget annually, or P5 million, whichever is higher, for the “end violence against women and their children” fund.
Section states that the fund will help women and children who have survived violence by providing them with temporary shelter, legal assistance, counseling, medical care, job placement or a job referral.
It can also pay for training for social workers, counselors and other personnel directly involved in providing services for abused women and children. City Hall may use the fund to support relevant services in the barangays, or pay for any project or activity that is designed as an intervention for survivors of violence.
Programs will be prepared by the Cebu City Women’s Affairs Commission in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Services and the Cebu City Commission for the Welfare and Protection of Children, under Section 4.
These three offices are also asked to submit the annual report on the programs, projects and activities, and regularly consult stakeholders to review all these programs.
“Personnel who fail to comply with Section 4 of this ordinance without justifiable cause shall be subject to the appropriate administrative liabilities,” the ordinance states.