Beef up VAWC programs, policies, LGUs urged

Interior and Local Governments Secretary Benhur Abalos on Thursday urged local government units (LGUs) to beef up programs and policies on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) and solo parents following President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s directive in his first State of the Nation Address (SoNA).

Marcos has implored the assistance of LGUs in extending support to solo parents and mothers who are survivors of violence, and boosting anti-VAWC programs.

Abalos said that from January to July this year, a total of 6,383 VAWC cases were reported to the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center while 9,677 cases of violence against children were tallied in the same period.

“Following the rise in VAWC incidents during the pandemic, barangays and local government units must strengthen protective programs, counselling and support services for women who are victims of abuse and solo parents alike because they run to LGUs first when they have concerns and problems,” Abalos said.

LGUs, he said, must intensify their campaign on VAWC down to the communities and strictly ensure that their mandate on the protection of women and children is executed accordingly.

Among the responsibilities of LGUs as prescribed by Republic Act No 9262 are the filing of protection orders through an LGU social worker; leading in education and information campaigns on violence, particularly towards educating the public on its social impacts; and, ensuring sustained education and training of officers and personnel on the prevention of violence against women and their children under the Act.

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