SAN SIMON -- A refuge for the needy and vulnerable Simonians.
This was the concept in mind of Mayor Leonora Wong when she thought of building the Local Support for Children and Women (LSCW) building in 2016.
“My initial thought was to provide a temporary shelter and refuge to my fellow Simonian women and the children who are abused and oppressed in their home or their community,” she said during the media visit organized by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Central Luzon.
The facility, which was inaugurated and opened on February this year, was built through the P3-million Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) awarded by the DILG-Central Luzon after winning the Seal of Good Local Governance in 2015.
The two-storey building located in the Local Government Center is equipped with ten bunk beds in its two rooms, an office for a social worker where they can take their counseling sessions, and a multi-purpose area for their activities.
Wong said that while the facility is now ready to function, it is only used for seminars and activities which promote and advocate women empowerment and children protection since there are still no records of abused women and children in the town.
“As much as we would like to utilize the main purpose of building the LSCW, we are happier that we still do not accommodate boarders because it only means that there is no abused woman or child in San Simon. This only shows that Simonian women are empowered and we are indeed child-friendly,” she said.
With this, Wong said that the local government, particularly the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), maximizes its use by conducting livelihood trainings and seminars for women beneficiaries in the building.
Maria Liza Enteria, one of MSWDO’s Sustainable Livelihood Program beneficiaries, attested that she is one of the many women in town who gained from using the LSCW building. Enteria is one of the Simonian women who took a 15-day commercial cooking short course held at the LSCW recently.
“Masaya ako na nagkaroon ng ganitong building na pwede namin gamitin para sa mga livelihood trainings. Ngayon, ang mga natutunan namin sa pag-aaral namin dito ay nagagamit na namin na pandagdag-kita sa araw-araw,” she said.
She stressed that the LSCW is one of the many projects of the DILG and local government which are very functional and useful to simple citizens like her.
And to fully maximize the building’s purpose, Police Officer 2 Mary Jane Genobili disclosed that the LSCW was also once used as shelter for drug surrenderees who are undergoing reformation.
The LSCW served as a temporary shelter for 50 individuals who are part of the second batch of drug reformists of this town, she added.
“Napaka-timely ng project na ito dahil kami talaga sa PNP [Philippine National Police] ay naghahanap ng mga ganitong facility kung saan pwede natin ireform ang mga kapatid natin na naligaw ng landas. Very thankful kami sa DILG at sa LGU na ipinahiram nila sa amin itong facility,” Genobili noted.
Meanwhile, DILG-Central Luzon LGO II Mark Salonga said that San Simon is the first town in the region that was visited by their team in the first agency-organized media visit.
San Simon LSCW was chosen due to the uniqueness of its purpose and its impact to the community, Salonga said.
“Napakaganda ng naisip nila na paglaanan ng PCF award kaya masaya kami at talagang sinadya natin sila, kasama ang mga kaibigan sa media para maipakita ang project na ito na bunga ng PCF,” he said.
Salonga also said that the media visit organized by the DILG-Central Luzon aims to gather good news and successful stories from the PCF award which can be shared to other region.