BAGUIO CITY – in efforts to strengthen public awareness on violence against women and children here, the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLEC) conducted a forum dubbed ‘Public Awareness on the Management of Women and Children Cases’.
The forum was conducted at the Chalet Baguio Hotel Tuesday (July 24) and was attended to by the different Women and Children Concerns Desk personnel of the Provincial Police Offices of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Baguio, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mt. Province and the different stakeholders.
The forum aims to enhance public awareness on issues related to violence against women and children in the Cordilleras and to muster support to the advocacy of the Philippine National Police (PNP) aim of zero statistics on the abuses committed to women and children in the region.
From among the personalities who shared their knowledge regarding the issues are retired Gen. Yolanda Tanigue, a registered social worker and one of the PNP’s foremost authorities on issues involving women and children, PCINSP. Julius Cruz, Regional Chaplain, PSupt. Oliver Enmodias OIC BCPO Chief P/Supt. Roberto Soriano and representatives of the national line agencies involved in the protection of women and children.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan who was the guest of honor and speaker said, ‘there is great importance of the role of women and children not only in our personal lives but also in the society and future of the country’.
He said, ‘the traumatic impact of violence on children is well documented, rich or poor he said are at risk’.
‘There is great physical and emotional impact on survivors of violence, some children do poorly in school, others drop-out, some turn to crime’, he said.
Domogan also said, ‘These children who are exposed to violence oftentimes repeat the violent cycle whereby abused children also become abusive parents’.
The mayor said the degree of prevention on abuses committed to women and children depend on the increasing awareness to the problem.
Domogan added, ‘a social consensus should be adopted that moves towards zero tolerance and a policy statement regarding equal protection and treatment of women and children’.
The members of the group include the Provincial Police Office-Cordillera, Department of Justice, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office, National Bureau of Investigation, City of Baguio, League of Government Units, the different universities of the city, the Department of Health-CAR, Department of Education and other stakeholders.
The group signed a covenant encouraging every woman to report to the PNP any abuse committed against them or their children; work together to help victims find safety and to be free from abusive relationships; promote programs/services towards the elimination of violence against women and children.
They will also facilitate the fast healing and recovery of abused women/children through provisions of appropriate programs and services, assists the survivor come up with guided decisions/action to get out of the cycle of violence and make a difference in their lives.
As part of their two-way approach, they have pledged to assists the perpetrator to access professional help for treatment and rehabilitation; sustain regular capability building activities for PNP personnel on the prevention of violence against women and their children.
The group also plans to develop an integrated action plan institutionalizing the program on ‘Public Awareness on cases regarding abuses against women and children’ and programs on gender and development of frontline agencies in the region.
The mayor said, ‘it is not enough to pass laws that make criminal sentences tougher for offenders but there is also the need to build a pro-active, strong and protective system anchored on a collaborative effort with different organizations and individuals to create public awareness and preventive strategies in the fields of justice, law enforcement, public education and the community as a whole.’
Domogan said, ‘the duty to protect starts with every individual in his own home’.
Police officers meantime said they will continue to deliver effective and efficient service to every woman and child in the region to uplift their trust and confidence towards the PNP. ***paul rillorta