February 22, 2024

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Cordillera Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC) members affirmed their support in ending violence against women (VAW) through the signing of pledge of commitment during the culminating program of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW at the Benguet State University gym on Dec. 12.
The VAW advocates pledged to never commit or support gender violence in all its manifestations, to speak up against gender violence and sexism, and to teach others how they can help end violence.
RGADC Chairperson and Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Regional Director Leo Quintilla reminded the VAW advocates to remember their pledge as he calls for unity to end violence against women.
“Let us not take for granted the technical aspects of violence against women, gender and development especially on the legal matters. Tayo po ay sama-sama para tugunan itong isyu ng gender and development at the same time, ‘yung violence against women and children,” Quintilla stated.
Judge Marietta Brawner-Cualing shared her experiences on handling cases related to VAWC as she underlined the significance of changing the mindset of everyone to attain a VAW-free community.
“I believe changing the mindset not only of women but also of men is very important to proceeding towards this gender-free, this violence against women and children-free society. It’s not because she is wearing very seducing clothes, she is calling attention to be harassed already. This is something that we have to change,” Cualing said.
She also gave a briefer on Republic Act 11648, An Act Providing for Stronger Protection Against Rape and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Increasing the Age for Determining the Commission of Statutory Rape.
The La Trinidad Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office also shared its best practices while a VAW advocate shared her experience.
BSU President Felipe S. Comila gave an inspirational message.
To further discuss the programs and services of the government to address VAW, a kapihan was also conducted with Quintilla, Cualing, RGADC Co-chair Ferdinand Gonzales, Regional Development Council-Cordillera Co-Chair Edna Tabanda, Police Cordillera Women and Children Protection Desk Women and Children Protection Desk Chief Maj. Marcy Grace Maron, Commission on Human Rights-Cordillera Director Romel Daguimol and Tina Aniway of the La Trinidad MSWD Office as panelists.
The 18-Day Campaign to End VAW supports the Philippine 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 the Constitution. It is observed from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12. – Debbie E. Gasingan