Malaybalay puts up women, children crisis hotline

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/3 Feb) – The city council here passed a resolution Tuesday for the city government to put up a separate telephone crisis hotline for women and children.

Proposed by Councilor Mya Analene Rosos, who chairs the council’s committee on women and children, the resolution considers the unique needs of women and children in need of assistance.

Rosos said it will be a 24/7 facility to complement the city’s Dial 117 emergency assistance mechanism.

She cited that in 2010, there were 53 cases filed on violence against women and 43 on violence against children, based on the city police’s 2010 accomplishment report.

In her presentation during the city council’s regular session, Rosos cited receiving two phone calls from unidentified women reporting abuse by their spouses and seeking her help.

Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri has backed the mechanism and has offered three job order employees to be trained to take the calls properly, Rosos added.

The idea, Rosos said, is opening two postpaid cellular phone lines, which citizens can text about distress situations. The operators will then call back the sender to address their needs.

Councilor Roland Deticio said the Dial 117 mechanism takes so long to respond to emergency calls.

The rest of his colleagues hailed the initiative as an important move at least for relief action.

But city councilor Perla Rubio said there must be further study to be pursued beyond attending to emergency action. She said the city’s social welfare and development office opens only in an eight-hour schedule, not round-the-clock as the hotline is intended to be.

Rosos told MindaNews the plan will be operational effective immediately upon obtaining the mobile phone numbers.

Originally, she said, it was intended to be launched on March 8, International Women’s Day, but City Hall wanted it advanced as abuses against women and children occur even as they discussed the resolution. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)