May 24, 2024

Incidences of sexual abuse in Baguio City are decreasing.

Based on the records of the Baguio City Police Office from Jan. 1 to March 4, three cases were logged compared to 10 incidents for the same period last year.

Two of the three victims were of legal age while one is a minor, according to Lt/Col. Domingo M. Gambican, BCPO Deputy City Director for Operations.

“Most of the sexual abuse cases transpired on residential areas and most of the suspects were those working until late night but not necessarily under the influence of alcoholic beverages prior to the commission of the crime,” Gambican said.

The decrease in rape cases is being attributed to the collaborative efforts among government agencies from the BCPO, the City Social Welfare and Development Office, and the City Health Services Office.

In 2019, there were 68 sexual cases in Baguio. Cases went down to 45 cases in 2020 and increased again to 64 in 2021; 44 cases in 2022; and more than 20 cases last year.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong directed concerned agencies to immediately work out programs for rape prevention.

Gambican said the BCPO with CSWDO and CHSO conducted information drives during barangay and school visits.

Particularly, the stakeholders conducted lecture programs on “Safe Touch, Good Touch,” in schools with information, education campaign materials against child abuse and rape shared.

The police handle investigation of cases while the CSWDO extends psycho-social support to rape victims including their families while the CHSO spearheads the national program Health and Home, Education, Drugs and Depression, Suicide and Safety (Headds).  

Training and capacitation of 100 Headds counselors from the schools, BCPO, HSO, CSWDO and probable implementers from the civic-social organizations were also initiated.

“Sexual abuse ranks second in the list of index crime in the Cordillera and in the country, so let us not be complacent. We need to sustain our efforts in addressing this crime,” the mayor ordered. – Jess Mardy Samidan