The Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC) of Western Visayas spearheaded the conduct of a three-day Training of Trainors (TOT) to make Violence Against Women (VAW) desks functional on December 10-12, 2018 at Tierra Verde Farm Resort, Janiuay, Iloilo. The activity was co-sponsored by the Philippine Commission on Women and in commemoration of the annual 18-day national campaign to end violence against women.

The training-workshop aimed at capacitating personnel and advocates from provinces and highly urbanized cities to serve as trainors/resource persons of barangay chairpersons, members of the Barangay Women and Family Committee, and Barangay VAW Desk Officers in every municipality and component city in the region using prescribed and standardize training module.

Thirty (30) participants from the Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) of the six provinces and two highly urbanized cities in Western Visayas were trained and are expected to further serve as trainors to barangay VAW Desk personnel across the region on how to handle cases of violence in a gender- and culture-sensitive manner.

Dr. Rosario Asong of ATIPAN, Inc. talked about the basic concepts of Gender and

Development and how gender roles have evolved across time and societies, as well as global, national and local statistics on gender-based violence (GBV).

Prof. Moniq Muyargas of the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas discussed Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) and Sexuality in relation to GBV and its impacts on personhood through a brief historical perspective, statistical evidence, and examples of social realities.

Ms. Prescilla Tulipat of the UP Diliman Anti-Sexual Harassment Office shared the good practices of the Women’s Care Center (WCC) in Quezon City, frameworks in viewing GBV, gender violence and approaches to address GBV, and basic helping skills through feminist and culture-sensitive counselling.

Meanwhile, Retired Police Superintendent Ma. Cecilia Detablan of ATIPAN, Inc.  discussed the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) and other legal bases and mechanisms in addressing the issue of VAW, including the guidelines in establishing and making VAW Desks functional, the PEACE Model interviewing techniques, and recording cases.

Ms. Febie Ibojos, the current chairperson of RGADC-VI, expressed that this is another step taken by the RGADC-VI to further heighten the awareness of trainors and social workers in the region on the complexities, interrelationships, and impacts of gender-based violence.  The next logical activity is to monitor the adoption and practice of new-found knowledge from this training to actual practice at the local level.  (IGPahila/NEDA-VI DRD)