FOLLOWING the high prevalence of gender-based violence in other regions in the Philippines amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental-South has intensified its campaign to prevent it to happen among its agrarian reform communities in the southern part of the province.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer I and Gender and Development Program Chairman Enrique Paderes said the agency will continue its various advocacies under the Magna Carta of Women, particularly against gender-based violence.

"In order to ensure the provision of the necessary mechanisms to enforce women's rights and adopt and undertake all legal measures necessary to foster and promote the equal opportunity for our agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) women, DAR-Negros Occidental II has formed its own Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children and Values Formation Crusaders," he said.

The team is composed of personnel from provincial and municipal offices and is tasked to ensure the protection of the rights of DAR women personnel and ARBs and to help them develop their personality, behaviors and attitudes.

"Aside from this, the agency has also launched our own group known as MOVE: Men Opposing Violence Everywhere, which is composed of men personnel of DAR-Negros Occidental II," Paderes added.

In order to prepare this "group of crusaders," an orientation and training seminar was conducted in Nature's Village Resort in Talisay City recently.

The agency invited Registered Social Worker Dionela Flores-Madrona, who is known as a women and children's rights advocate in Negros Occidental, as the speaker and trainer under its Gender And Development program.