The provincial government of Negros Oriental has set aside about P10 million for the construction of a women’s crisis center to address the persisting increase in the number of domestic violence against women and children cases in the province.
Gov. Roel Degamo announced the financial support to officials and members of the Provincial Commission of Women, Visayan Forum Foundation Inc., Gender Watch on Violence against Exploitation and some local and national agencies, during the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for the center, a government press release said.
Degamo said the WCC is the province’s response to one of the major problems on trafficking of persons and violence against women and children, particularly on the lack of facilities to secure and prepare the victims for successful prosecution.
It has been noted that victims are often discouraged from seeking justice as they keep going back and forth to the court without a place to stay in.
With the construction of the center, the governor said the victims also will no longer be subjected to constant pressure and threats from offenders, as it will serve as a safe shelter for them.
“This two-storey center accommodates abused women and children or trafficking survivors who will also be given counseling and taught livelihood and life skills for them to become self-reliant,” Degamo said.
Under Republic Act 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, local government units are mandated to provide abused women and their children temporary shelters, provide counseling, psychosocial services and/or recovery, rehabilitation programs, and livelihood assistance.
Degamo cited that the construction of the facility is a sign that Negros Oriental is serious in efforts to end domestic violence, trafficking in persons, and other forms of abuses committed against the vulnerable sector of society.
Gender and Development provincial focal person, Josefina Columna, said the province has set one percent of GAD Fund, or P5 million annually, for anti-VAWC programs and services.
The province vowed to support the implementation of RA 9710, or the Magna Carta of Women, which grants women, especially those in the marginalized sector, the full enjoyment of their rights, the press release added.*