VAWC desk coverage extends to gender-based violence cases
The city council has approved Ordinance 105, s. 2021 or the “Establishment of Violence against Women and their Children and Gender-based Violence Desk in the 128 barangays of the City of Baguio.”
The measure has amended Ordinance 120, s. 2018 to extend the scope of the VAWC desk to GBV cases.
VAWC refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child; or against her child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
GBV refers to violence targeted towards a particular person because of their gender that causes or is likely to cause another’s mental, emotional, or psychological distress, and fear of personal safety, sexual harassment acts including unwanted sexual remarks and comments.
The desk refers to a facility that would address VAWC and GBV-related cases and shall be established/situated within the premises of the barangay hall or where the punong barangay holds office.
The desk/facility under the management and supervision of the punong barangay shall have a separate filing and record-keeping system with responsibility to handle all related-cases with confidentiality and privacy and ensures the safety of the victim-survivor.
The punong barangay shall designate a desk person, preferably a female barangay kagawad or barangay tanod trained in handling gender-sensitive cases or who 0underwent basic gender-sensitivity training and orientation on anti-VAWC and GBV laws.
Barangay desks shall take proper coordination and reporting of any VAWC/GBV case under them through hotline numbers of their respective police stations.
These are Police Station 1 – 0998-598-7741; Police Station 2 – 0998-598-7742; Police Station 3 – 0998-598-7745; Police Station 4 – 0912-405-8258; Police Station 5 – 0999-674-5555/0998-598-7750; Police Station 6 – 0998-598-7752; Police Station 7 – 0916-535-7619; Police Station 8 – 0998-598-7758; Police Station 9 – 0929-537-3343; and Police Station 10 – 0998-598-7762.
The offices of the City Social Welfare and Development and the City Budget were tasked to work for the necessary trainings to all barangay officials for the proper implementation and operation of their respective desks.
Through Resolution 542, s. 2021, the city council approved the temporary processing of business permits affected by Ordinance 63, s. 2016 or the “Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance” until such time that the review and update of same ordinance are finalized and given final approval by the city council.
The resolution is to help individuals obtain the required permits of their businesses/livelihoods for them to provide basic provisions for their families while the City Planning and Development Office is undertaking update and review on the Zoning Ordinance to harmonize its provisions with other existing laws.
The action came pending and unacted permit applications or renewal of livelihoods/businesses operating on establishments, buildings or areas prohibited by the Zoning Ordinance or those given exemptions, but are no longer allowed by provision of Ordinance 32, s. 2021, which imposes a moratorium on the issuance of exceptions from the Zoning Ordinance.
Although these businesses have ceased operations which impacted the financial conditions of the operators and employees, including income of the city considering the business fees that it failed to collect, the resolution sees that the remedy is not yet late for the affected sectors to get back on their feet given the city’s collaborative efforts towards reviving local economy.
In Resolution 540, s. 2021, the hotels were requested to allow space/s within their premises for the stalls/booths of qualified and registered souvenir, delicacies, and pasalubong retailers or sellers in Baguio to display and sell their local products.
Formulation of the guidelines and criteria of the selling activity was tasked with the Permits and Licensing and the Public Order and Safety Divisions of the City Mayor’s Office, in coordination with the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio.
In Resolution 539, s. 2021, the city council confirms the memorandum of agreement between the city represented by Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the National Housing Authority, represented by Acting Regional Manager Maria Belinda Sevalla for the construction of two low-rise building known as the “Luna Terraces Housing Project” within the 18,000-square meter lot owned by the city located at Irisan barangay.
The project is beneficial to the city and all the requirements have been substantially complied with.
Precedence to the said agreement is Resolution 509, s. 2021, which authorized the city mayor to sign for and accept the donation of P25 million and to sign for and secure a loan of P24.9 million from the NHA, and authorizing the yearly appropriations in the city’s budget for payment of the loan in accordance with the schedule of amortization for the construction of the housing project.