Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Men and women join 18-Day Campaign to End VAW

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) – Men and women from the different government agencies and private sector joined together for this year’s celebration of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) spearheaded by the Regional Development Council – Gender and Development Coordinating Committee (RDC-GADCC) Caraga.

Said celebration kicked-off on Tuesday with a fun walk activity from the Guingona Park going to the Capitol Covered Court of this city where the opening program was held.

GADCC chairperson and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Caraga regional director Atty. Marylin Pintor bared that the said celebration is conducted yearly from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12 with various lined-up activities to empower women and fight VAW.

"Men Oppose to Violence Everywhere (MOVE) comprising male representatives from government agencies and partner stakeholders is also an active partner of the GADCC in the campaign to end VAW in Caraga region," she said.

Pintor also encouraged the general public to participate and witness different activities to be conducted for this celebration. "This year's lined-up activities for the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12 include the following: Oratorical Contest; Gender Sensitivity Training for Media; Reproductive Health Law Forum; Information Drive Campaign and School Symposium; Visit to Home for the Girls in Barangay Bonbon, Butuan City; Capacity Building Training to GADCC members; Youth Forum; and Culmination program," she disclosed.

"We are calling on every individual to continuously help us in our campaign to end violence against women and girls everywhere. Let us be concerned citizens and report cases of gender-based violence in your respective community. Violence is preventable, let's end VAW Now!," Pintor added.

Also, Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Board Member Elizabeth Marie Calo representing Agusan del Norte Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba thanked and acknowledged the presence of all stakeholders for their constant support and participation to the celebration.

"With this campaign we hope to bring peace through love and respect. We encourage men to advocate in valuing the development and human rights of women. Each of us is tasked to sustain harmonious relationship and do our share to end violence against women," expressed Calo.

Paz Y Desarrollo (PyD) country representative Antonio Gonzales also reiterated that VAW is one of the most persistent human-rights abuses in the world, however it remains also one of the least recognized. The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women defines the term VAW as “any act that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threat of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in private or public life”.  It has significant economic, physical, and psychological effects on victims, regardless of their wealth, age, class, race, culture and ethnicity.

Gonzales further called on the public to witness their photo exhibit entitled “Female Forward! Towards Gender Equality and Women Empowerment,” on the same day (Tuesday) at 4:30 p.m. at the East Entrance of Robinson’s Place here. “We are displaying 18 compelling visuals, which will provide a glimpse of PyD’s journey on Gender Equality in its project areas across Agusan del Norte and Lanao del Sur, Mindanao. It is a compilation of various photos showcasing past and present projects and achievements,” he said.

Moreover, the GADCC also launched the "Salida" Short Film and "Bangga sa Pakigpulong" Oratorical Contest as part of the lined-up activities for the said campaign.

Atty. Pintor, together with Paz Y Desarrollo (PyD) country representative Antonio Gonzales and other guests, led the symbolic releasing of dove and releasing of white and orange color balloons printed with this year's theme, "End VAW Now! It's our Duty!" which echoes the clarion call to the ordinary Juana and Juan in harboring deep concern for women & girls by reporting cases of gender-based violence, participation to advocacy works, & engaging to various discussions on women's rights.

The Zumba exercise and One Billion Rising Dance culminated the said program and followed with the press conference facilitated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga.

The observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) is based on Presidential Proclamation No. 1172 & Republic Act 10398. (JPG/VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga GADCC stakeholders promote women empowerment to eliminate VAW

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) – Focused on this year’s theme, “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty!” for the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) 2014, the Regional Development Council (RDC) - Gender and Development Coordinating Committee (GADCC) stakeholders in Caraga region continued in educating and capacitating women to take actions against discrimination that seriously violates all human rights and fundamental freedom.

In a press conference held here right after the kick-off activity, GADCC chairperson and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regional director Atty. Marylin Pintor reiterated that the campaign aimed to increase awareness of rights-bearer and empowering them to prevent from becoming victims of gender-based violence. "The duty-bearers are likewise expected to augment their efforts and forge partnerships among stakeholders in addressing VAW," she said.

When asked about the role of local government units (LGUs) in ending VAW, Pintor emphasized that LGUs are tasked to strictly implement the laws. "There are VAW desks in every barangay and this is a way of bringing government services nearer to the people, especially the provision of legal assistance to women," she said.

It was pointed out that putting up of VAW desk in every barangay is necesary in order to help solve VAW problems. In Agusan del Norte, Sangguniang Panlalawigan board member Elizabeth Marie Calo said that their office started receiving ordinances creating and strengthening the VAW desks in the entire province.

As of October 2014, there are 54 cases of rape, 71 physical injuries, and 1,478 cases for violations under R.A. 9262 recorded in Caraga region as revealed by PSInsp Venus Delmida in her report on “updates on VAW related cases”.

"With that, the report from Philippine National Police Office 13 shows that indeed a lot of women now are confident to report even the minor violence that they have experienced. Our efforts in ending VAW must be harmonized to create greater impact to the women we are serving. It is a year-round campaign and we want to unify and highlight our advocacy without ceasing," stressed Pintor.

However, Agusan del Norte provincial prosecutor Marigel Hugo cited that most of the reasons why VAW cases will not be elevated in court are due to the withdrawal of the aggrieved party and no available witnesses.

Prosecutor Hugo said that VAW is not limited only on physical abuse but it also includes economic abuse, among others. "When female partners experience such violence, I encourage them to speak out and claim their rights against violence," she said.

According to Atty. Cisco Franz Maclang, clerk of court of Regional Trial Court, Branch 1 in Butuan City, those abused women who would come to their office to seek for protection order will be granted without necessary payment of legal fees. "Being considered as non-criminal in nature, it is not a move of running before the offending party to put them behind bars but to protect the abused women from further violence," he said.

Meanwhile, Paz Y Desarrollo country representative Antonio Gonzales expressed that as a non-government organization they help provide skills and livelihood projects for women to sustain economic independence. "An empowered woman has more possibilities to combat violence," he added.

Paz Y Desarrollo, together with GADCC Caraga, will conduct in no definite date yet a Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) among media practitioners in Caraga region.

The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women in the Philippines is celebrated from November 25–December 12 of every year pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1172 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (VLG/NLM/PIA-Caraga)


'18-day campaign to end VAW' stakeholders vow for continued advocacy

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Nov. 25 (PIA) - Members of the Provincial Council for the Welfare Children and Women (PCWCW) and other stakeholders vow to continue the campaign even after December 12 and to advocate the ending of violence against women and children while making appropriate representation to local government units (LGUs) to convince them to put up separate space or detention center for women and children victims and offenders.

This is the root of the messages that were delivered by the members of the PCWCW during a radio program conducted at DxDA radio station as an opening salvo of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women with the theme, “End VAW now! It’s our Duty!” that starts on Tuesday and will end on December 12, 2014.

Asked on the status of abuses committed against women and children, P/Insp Junalyn Suan of the Philippine National Police Provincial Office presented the figure that surprised even the other members of the council. But Insp. Suan said, the figure does not mean that the count of the crime was committed lately.

“The figure appears that in the year 2013, a total of 406 abuses to both women and children province-wide were inflected while as of ending September 2014, the abuses already totaled to 531, with an increase of 125 cases. But it does not really mean that the perpetrators and the victims are increasing. As per our evaluation, the level of awareness on the commission of any act that lead to abuses increased a lot, and that became the main factor that made the figure increase tremendously,” Suan said.

According to Michael John Andohuyan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga Regional Office, information and education on the different crimes perpetrated and can be committed against women and children is very important because many does not even attempt to bring the case to proper authorities because of “shame”, and most of all lack of knowledge of the crime that make them inferior to go to the proper authorities to file the case.

Elva Theresa Velmonte of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also said that most perpetrators that they have recorded are relatives of the victims thus incest rape are the common crime committed.

“The crime does not only destroy the victim upon its commission, but it ruins the victims’ well being and future. Therefore, the process is long and tedious which need deep understanding and psychological healing. We can now imagine how heinous is the crime, but that situation sometimes is the reason why the case will not prosper,” Velmonte said.

While there are conviction and sentence for the crime committed against women and children, more than 30 cases were filed at the office of Parole and Probation (PAB) here in Agusan del Sur that are applying for probation, according to Cenen Castellano of the PAB.

“We are not after for the conviction and the serving of sentence, but we are after for the development and the hope that even the convict can be given the chance for renewal and become a productive Filipino citizen. After the council of the convict filed a petition in our office for probation, we have to process the documents for a maximum of six months, and return the same to the Judge for final decision, so we do not have any jurisdiction of the convict after the processing,” Castellano said.

While cases of abuses against women and children continue, members of the PCWCW have agreed that they will be making appropriate representation to the LGUs for the provision of separate shelter for women and children who are victims of physical, psychological, economic and any other forms of abuses inflected to them. (DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


LGU-Surigao Norte joins 18th-Day Campaign to end VAW

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) – The provincial government of Surigao del Norte through the Provincial Center for Women’s Training and Development in coordination with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) joins the observance of the 18-day to End Violence Against Women (VAW) here from November 24 to December 12, 2014.

Provincial Center for Women’s Training and Development head and PCW-AECID project coordinator Florian Tan Trinidad said that their office has been spearheading the yearly lined-up activities. Trinidad added that this year’s observance is anchored on the theme, “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty!” which also aimed to raise awareness on Republic Act 9262, intensify campaign to end violence against women, and uplifting women’s worth.

The lined-up activities include hanging of streamers, thanksgiving mass, motorcade, zumba, radio information campaign on VAWC, candle lighting for the World Aids Day celebration, video presentation on STI/HIV Aids prevention and control, film showing/movie review on VAWC, distribution of vegetable seeds, and GADCC team building/Christmas Party. 

To culminate the 18-day campaign, a Talk on Kasambahay Law and R.A 9262 and Talk on VAW experience will be conducted on December 12 with retired executive judge Evangeline Yuipco-Bayana and other invited guest. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


1-M worth of MRDP sub-project in Carrascal, SurSur implemented

By Japhet Sugian

SURIGAO DEL SUR, Nov. 25 (PIA) - After three years of waiting, a complete package of multi-purpose building worth one one million pesos was finally turned-over to Doyos Eastern Coast Fishermen Consumers Cooperative (DECFISCOCO) in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur on Thursday, November 20, 2014.

"Salamat karajaw sa paghatag nan dako na pagsalig sa ulohan sa atong panggamhanan, ilabi na sa Department of Agriculture (DA)-13 sa ilang walay puas nga suporta pinansiyal sa among koop (To the never- ending financial support provided to our cooperative by the Department of Agriculture-13, our warmest thanks and gratitude)," said Tito Garcia, chairperson of DECFISCOCO on his message of acceptance.

The said assistance was a reward to DECFISCOCO from the DA under Mindanao Rural Development Program 2 - Community Fund for Agricultural Development (DA MRDP2- CFAD) component as best performing people's organization in Mindanao.

Vice Mayor Alfred B. Arreza of Carrascal, Surigao del Sur cited that DECFISCOCO's effort in implementing the project from MRDP 2 was very commendable and extraordinary. "This organization received assistance not only in national funding agencies but also here in Carrascal local funds because they really implement the project by heart and dedication," he said.

"Hundreds of people's organization competed, but the said cooperative really got the highest rating," bared program officer Sammy Mate of the program support office (PSO) in Caraga. He also pointed out that the amount worth a million pesos will be spent through bidding process, and must follow accounting rules and guidelines with proper procurement plan established by the Municipal Planning Management Implementation Unit (MPMIU).

The said organization is composed of fisherfolks and market fish vendors in Barangay Doyos, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur. As planned, they will consider the building as venue for fish storage and will also serve as their social center. Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Esmeraldo Odtohan said that the building will also qualify in the establishment of a village type fish processing center. Odtohan's suggestion was applauded by all members of the coop.

Further, the activity reminded each member to become more proactive in every government's endeavor. They commit to serve the coop by way of patronizing their own produce and other initiatives agreed by different parties. (NGBT/OPAg Info Officer/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


PDRRMC assures preparedness among SurSur residents

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) in Surigao del Sur has assured that people here also know that they are responsible for their personal safety and security during actual disasters.

Abel De Guzman, PDRRMC executive officer said that "'preparedness" is not the sole responsibility of the government because the government itself, from national agencies to local government units, are also composed of people equally vulnerable to disasters."

However, he said that keeping the right “mindset” in this context is relevant with the help of concerned DRRMC officials who are tasked to impart to the citizens the thorough understanding about the impact of disasters and how to mitigate its effect by way of conducting symposia and information education campaign (IEC).

But, the PDRRMC chief was quick to admit that there are incidents when some members of the community are hard to mobilize as they still want to protect their “belongings” as much as possible.

On the other hand, De Guzman also pointed out some responsibilities of government like sending “warnings, doing pre-emptive and forced evacuations plus other mitigating measures including pre and post disaster activities.”

Likewise, he bared that they are focused on “risk assessment” as calamities usually strike during end or early part of every year in this part of the country. (NGBT/Radyo ng Bayan Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Surigao Norte agrarian coop visits integrated agricultural demo farm

By Daryll M. Tumbaga

SURIGAO CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) – The provincial office of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Surigao del Norte (DAR-SDN) recently toured the officers and members of the Budlingin Rural Workers Association (BRUWA) of Brgy. Budlingin, Alegria here to the Provincial Integrated Agricultural Demonstration Farm and Training Center located in Barangay Ipil, Surigao City for an educational visit.

The demonstration farm visit aimed to provide the officers and members of BRUWA, which is one of the DAR-SDN’s assisted Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization, the necessary knowledge on the key factors that should be considered carefully during the planning stage of the vegetable farming operations that BRUWA will undertake.

The said undertaking will be acquired through the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) program of DAR.

The DAR-SDN provincial office representatives headed by Merlita D. Arana, together with the participants, visited the verme-culture area, the crop plantation area, and the livestock production area of the said facility. (SDR/PIO DAR-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)
BSP to conduct learning outreach activities in Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will conduct the sixth leg of its Economic and Financial Learning Program (BSP-EFLP) for 2014 in Surigao City on December 2-4, 2014 to be held at Hotel Tavern, this city.

The BSP-EFLP consolidates the learning outreach activities of the BSP under one flagship program.  It includes a series of learning sessions that aim to promote greater public awareness and understanding of key economic and financial issues.

The EFLP also embodies the goal of the BSP to promote economic and financial education among its stakeholders, who can then become more effective partners of the BSP in safeguarding price stability and in ensuring a stronger and safer banking and payments system.

The learning outreach activities include the following programs such as information campaign on the role of the BSP in the economy dubbed as “Be up to SPeed on BSP” (Dec. 2 module for professionals and Dec. 3 module for students),  financial education expo for the working sector (Dec. 3), financial learning campaign for Overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries dubbed “Paghahanda sa Kinabukasan” (Dec. 4) and financial education expo for Students and Members of the academe (Dec. 4).

The information campaign dubbed “Be up to SPeed on BSP” will cover recent economic developments and the role of the BSP in the economy, with emphasis on the three pillars of central banking like price stability, financial stability and efficient payments and settlements system.  Two sessions will be conducted; one for professionals including representatives from government agencies, business sector, and banking community, and another for students and members of the academe. 

The financial learning campaign dubbed “Paghahanda sa Kinabukasan” for Overseas Filipinos and their Beneficiaries (FLC-OF) aims to educate participants on the importance of using remittances to build up savings and directing these into investments in financial products and business ventures.

Through this learning advocacy, the BSP hopes to help overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries achieve financial security, bring them into the fold of the formal financial system, and enable them to participate more meaningfully in the country’s economic development.

Officials from the BSP, as well as from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) will give briefings on topics such as the importance of remittances, financial planning, investment/business options and agri-business opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Financial Education Expo offers various financial education activities for students, professionals and others from the public and private sectors.

It features learning booths with audio-visual presentations, graphic displays and interactive activities that will help participants become self-reliant in promoting their financial welfare.

Two separate sessions of the Financial Empowerment Course, which is an integral part of the Expo, will also be conducted for students and members of the work force.  The learning sessions will present the importance of financial education, the Philippine financial system, basics of budgeting, saving, investing and borrowing, financial planning for life-cycle events, and credit card awareness.

Interested parties to join may contact Ms. Georgina O. Fabreag at telephone number (+632)306-2707, or at email address: gortiz@bsp.gov.ph. (SDR/Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas/PIA-Surigao del Norte)