Commission on Women to assess local VAW desks nationwide

MANILA -- The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) on Friday said it will assess local Violence Against Women (VAW) desks nationwide as it cited that VAW remains a "pervasive social problem" in the country.

Honey Castro, chief of PCW's Corporate Affairs and Information Resource Management Division (CAIRMD), said although VAW desks have been installed in different barangays nationwide, the council and the PWC said it realized the need to assess if these desks are functional enough for the women victims and evaluate if local officials can handle VAW situations properly.

"So far, an assessment tool is already formed to see or check if the barangay VAW-desks are functional," she said.

She said the assessment can improve the current functions of the VAW desks, and could be a gateway to know what is still lacking in terms of women's rights protection and fighting discrimination against women.

She added that VAW desks at the local level play a vital role in protecting the rights of women and children, as it is the nearest and accessible complaint desk for women who continue to experience different forms of abuse.

Castro said the government sets all-year-round works to address this kind of social issue, referring to end VAW.

She added that the PCW along with members of the inter-agency council on VAWC composed of the government-line agencies, local government units and barangays are providing direct services to victim-survivors of VAW.

"Based on the data of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, more than 90 percent of 40,200 barangays nationwide has VAW-desks," she said.

She said PCW continues to monitor the use of the government agencies of their gender and development (GAD) budget to pursue VAWC programs and ensuring the agencies' VAWC operations are properly practiced.

According to the PCW, violence and the threats of violence can be experienced by every woman of any age, skin color, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, disabilities, economic, and social status.