“BAWAL ang bastos. Bawal yan sa Safe Spaces Act. Bawal yan sa Mabalacat City! Dapat ligtas ang lahat ano mang oras at lugar.”

This was stressed by Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo during a solidarity program held November 25, 2021 at the City Hall grounds, as the city kicks off its nationwide 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women themed, “Filipino Marespeto: Safe Spaces, Kasali Tayo.”

Spearheaded by the Mabalacat City Population, Gender and Development Office (Popgad), the program aims to propel the National Government’s goal of protecting the human rights of women and girls by upholding its commitment to address all forms of gender-based violence as enshrined in

In his keynote speech, the mayor stressed the importance of respect for every member of society regardless of gender.

He said the City Government has always championed the importance of inclusivity with high reverence to human rights, citing his administration’s pillars to advance advocacies against gender-based discrimination.

“Nakatuon tayo para gawing ligtas ang lahat ng miyembro ng ating komunidad mula sa mga kalsada at pampublikong lugar, sa trabaho, sa paaralan, hanggang sa cyberspace. Hindi lang babae at lalake kundi pati narin ang ating mga kapatid sa LGBTQIA+ community,” the mayor added.

In affirmation, Vice Mayor Gerald Aquino, along with the City Council, is currently in a plenary discussion to establish structures and policies for the Safe Spaces Ordinance in Mabalacat City.

“Hangarin po natin na matapos na po itong iba’t-ibang uri ng pang-aabuso, verbal, psychological o physical abuse sa mga kababaihan at kabataan. Kasalukuyan po naming pinaguusapan at binabalangkas ay Safe Spaces Ordinance. Ang ordinansa na ito ay pagbibigay ng proteksyon laban sa iba’t-ibang uri ng gender-based harassment sa lahat ng pampubliko lugar, mga institusyon, sa online space, lalo na sa workplaces dito sa ating siyudad,” Aquino said.

Meanwhile, the Mabalacat City Council on Anti-Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Children staged a massive information and awareness drive through a motorcade prior to the launching program.

The City Government is also set to host an Orientation on Safe Spaces Act of 2019 for all its local government employees on December 9.