Bukidnon to put up women’s desks in barangays

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/12 Jan) – To help avert violence against women in the villages, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution Wednesday urging all the cities, towns, and barangays in the province to establish a barangay desk that will focus on violence against women (VAW).

Board member Jay Albarece, a lawyer, said it is meant to help address the problem at the barangay level.

He said practically it means putting a woman on a regular basis at the barangay office to encourage victims to express their problems.

But he pointed out that it should be the province’s response to implement and comply with Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2010-1 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Department of Health and Philippine Commission on Women mandating the establishment of the VAW desk in every barangay.

Albarece said it is incumbent upon the local government units to implement the order as the state condemns discrimination against women in all its forms and pursues the policy of eliminating discrimination against women in keeping with the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other international instruments consistent with Philippine law.

He said in his resolution that Section 12 d, Rule iv of the rules and regulations implementing the Magna Carta of Women provides for the establishment of a VAW desk in every barangay to ensure that violence against women cases are fully addressed in a gender-responsive manner.

He added that the circular requires every barangay to set up or designate a VAW desk or facility that would address VAW cases in a gender-responsive manner to be managed by a person trained in gender-sensitive handling of cases, preferably a woman barangay kagawad or tanod, to be designated by the punong barangay.

He said the desk must be situated within the premises of the barangay hall and to observe the procedures and protocols for the handling of gender-based violence cases.

Albarece said all provincial governors and city and municipal mayors have been mandated to ensure the establishment of such desk in every barangay within their jurisdiction, and to provide technical and financial assistance for its operations.

The SP unanimously approved the resolution on first reading. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)