Vice Governor Agnes Magpale lauded the 2013 accomplishments of the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) during the 14th Women’s Congress at the Capitol last Mar. 29. The event served as the culmination of the women’s month celebration in March.
Magpale, also chairperson of the Committee on Women, Family and Minors in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, sits as the co-chairperson of the commission. Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III is the chairperson. They are assisted by 18 commissioners.
In his message, Gov. Davide commended the commission and its “untiring members for their gains and breakthroughs.”
He added that they are the ”proof that strong women stand up for themselves and stronger women stand up for others.” He ended the speech with a pledge of full support to the PWC.
Magpale, on the other hand, cited production of posters, conduct of seminars and trainings, radio and TV guestings, and partnership with government agencies, non-government organizations and civic organizations as part of the information, education and campaign thrust of the PWC.
In livelihood development through cottage industries, the PWC distributed 41 sewing machines to Samboan, Tuburan, Carmen, Compostela, Medellin, Liloan, San Remegio, and Oslob.
A training on dressmaking was conducted in Samboan and Oslob in coordination with Rep. Willy Caminero. Hair culture training was also conducted in Samboan.
Grameen-inspired financial assistance was likewise made available to accredited women’s organizations. Monobloc chairs were also distributed to Alcantara and Minglanilla as requested by the local government units (LGU).
Upon LGU request, some barangays in Talisay City, Barili, Alegria, Malabuyoc, Samboan and Cordova learned soap-making and meat processing.
In the promotion and protection of women’s rights, the PWC forged partnership with legal offices, law firms and law enforcement agencies; conducted surveillance, investigated, rescued, and rehabilitated victims; and prosecuted reported cases of violence against women and children.
As a result, 114 cases were filed in the different Prosecutors’ offices and in court; 418 victims of violence were given psycho-social medico-legal services; 14 victims of abuse and other forms of violence were given shelter and were sent to school; seven offenders were incarcerated pending resolution of their cases.
At the same time, three foreign nationals are on bails or temporary liberty; one foreign national is on Hold Departure Order; and one foreign national is still at large.
In the rehabilitation and aftercare of rescued victims and survivors, the PWC forged partnerships with the Pink Room of the Don Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center for medical and psycho-social services; with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other government agencies; and with accredited civil society organizations.
In the promotion of gender-responsive governance, the PWC worked for the institutionalization of a gender and development mechanism to take care of women’s and children’s concerns; and the legislation of provincial ordinances to address women’s and children’s concerns, such as the Women Development Code of Cebu Province, the Comprehensive Children’s Code of Cebu Province, the Barangay Recruitment and Placement Registration Ordinance, and the Lingam and Yoni Massage Ban Ordinance of the Province of Cebu.
The PWC likewise established networks with LGUs, line agencies of the national government, Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation, US Embassy, LAW Center Inc., Children’s Legal Bureau, PLAN International, Philippine Visayan Forum, International Justice Mission, Federation of the Association of Barangay Councils, and other organizations.
The PWC was created in 1999 through the Provincial Ordinance No. 99-39. The PWC Technical Working Group was created in 2011 through the PWC Order No. 2011-04.