December 3, 2023

The Department of the Interior and Local Government Cordillera is urging all local government units to take proactive steps to ensure the Barangay Violence Against Women (VAW) desks are fully equipped and operational to address cases of violence against women and children (VAWC).

DILG said these desks are crucial in providing support, assistance, and protection to women who are victims of violence in their respective barangays.

“The issue of VAWC is a matter of great significance that necessitates immediate and efficient action. Barangay VAW desks play a crucial role in the management of cases, conducting thorough investigations, and offering essential support to individuals who have experienced violence,” said DILG-CAR Director Araceli San Jose.

She said the DILG aims to enhance the capabilities of LGUs in safeguarding women’s rights and addressing gender-based violence by placing significant emphasis on functionality.

San Jose underscored the importance of making sure VAW desks are fully equipped and operational to handle VAWC cases effectively. This includes providing adequate resources, training, and support to the personnel manning at the desks.

“By ensuring the functionality of barangay VAW desks, LGUs can play a significant role in preventing and addressing gender-based violence at the local level. It reflects the commitment of the government to protect women’s rights, promote gender equality, and create safer communities for all citizens,” she said.

The punong barangay has to issue an executive order to establish or reorganize the VAW desk within the first 100 days upon assumption office.

Further, barangays are reminded to enact an ordinance or, if there is already one, review and revise the ordinance to provide assistance for the establishment and continuous operations of VAW desk.

San Jose emphasized the importance of ensuring the integration of the barangay’s gender-responsive programs, projects, and activities in the Barangay Gender and Development Plan and Budget, Barangay Development Plan, and Annual Investment Program.

The PB shall also designate a VAW desk officer who is trained in gender-sensitive handling of cases, preferably a female Sangguniang Barangay member or a female barangay tanod.

In situations where there are no female SB members or barangay tanod, the PB has the authority to designate community volunteers, as long as they possess the necessary qualities of a VAW desk officer in accordance with the barangay VAW desk handbook. – Pamela Mariz T. Geminiano