Cases of violence against women and children (VAWC) in CALABARZON were brought to attention by the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC) during its meeting on July 17.
The Philippine National Police Region IV-A reported 1,087 cases with acts of lasciviousness, statutory, incestuous, and attempted rape topping the list while the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region IV-A, through the VAW Desks of local government units (LGUs), reported 1,044 cases which include physical, sexual, psychological or emotional abuse and neglect. The Department of Social Welfare and Development Region IV-A attended to 15 gender-based violence cases while the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) Region IV-A reported 7 VAWC cases which all involved economic abuse.
However, during the meeting of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking and Violence Against Women and their Children last June 30 it was noted that VAWC cases in CALABARZON are lower for the first semester of 2020 compared to the reported cases in 2019. The decrease in the number of reported cases may be because of underreporting due to lockdown and home quarantine.
To improve the reporting of VAWC cases, CHR requested the help of the RGADC to promote their e-Report sa Gender Ombud (gbcovid.report). This is an online system where people can report incidents of gender-based violence while the country is on quarantine due to COVID-19. CHR also requested the assistance of DILG in reaching out to the victims for the provision of financial assistance. RGADC agreed to have a more in-depth discussion with the concerned agencies to harmonize and come-up with a more accurate data collection and reporting system.
RGADC also discussed incidents of sexist or victim-blaming post in social media by certain local police stations in CALABARZON. A resolution requesting all LGUs and agencies in CALABARZON to refrain from using sexist and discriminatory language in all communication materials and social media posts was passed. Through the resolution, the Committee is hopeful that future incidents of sexist and discriminatory acts against women will be avoided in support to the goal of being a VAWC-free Region.
Aprille M. Suyat, NEDA Region IV-A| July 22, 2020