Council eyes addt’l benefit for GAD workers for better VAWC reporting

Mandaue City Hall (File photo: Mandaue City Public Information Office)
Mandaue City Hall (File photo: Mandaue City Public Information Office)

THE Mandaue City Council plans to draft an ordinance to promote barangay Gender and Development (GAD) focal persons to become paid job order (JO) employees of the city.

This is to strengthen Mandaue’s Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) measures to encourage more VAWC victims to come out and stand for their rights.

Mandaue City Councilor Cynthia Cinco-Remedio, head of the Women and Family Committee, said Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, they aim to promptly propose a plan to the council.The proposal seeks to enhance the compensation of barangay GAD workers, emphasizing its importance for their effective task fulfillment.

She said some barangay GAD focal persons pay for their victims’ expenses, such as food and transportation, every time they visit their barangays to report a VAWC case beyond office hours.

“It is also better to have them as JO employees because, often, the struggle comes when a victim decides to pursue a case. And then, because our GAD workers are barangay paid, the focal changed when the barangay administration changed. It is difficult for the new focal persons to assist because they need to undergo training first when that’s the case. It’s like back to square one,” said Remedio.

The about 200 barangay-paid Mandaue GAD focal persons receive at least a P3,000 monthly honorarium on average, depending on the national tax allotment (NTA) or the internal revenue allotment.

The government benefits of barangay GAD workers will also depend on the barangay if they allocate a fund for such depending on their budget.

Based on the provisions of the local government code, local government units (LGUs) hold a 40 percent share of the national internal revenue taxes based on the collection of the third fiscal year preceding the current fiscal year.

If the GAD workers transition to JO workers, they will receive P435 per day multiplied by the number of days the city will credit from 22 to 26 days plus secured government-mandated benefits.

Meanwhile, Police Lieutenant Colonel Mercy Villaro, the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) Strategy Management Unit head, said the cases of VAWC in the city had significantly dropped in 2023.

From Jan. 1 to Nov. 5, 2023, MCPO only logged 53 VAWC-related cases, with the highest figures from violations of the Republic Act (RA) 9262 with 15 lawsuits, RA 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 with 13, and RA 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” also with 13 lawsuits.

It has notably decreased, with the city having 93 VAWC-related cases for the whole year of 2022, with the highest cases recorded from RA 9262 violations, with 22 litigations, RA 8353 with 31, and RA 7610 with 19. / HIC


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