Wednesday, December 20, 2017


In a Solidarity Caravan on Violence Against Women (VAW) held yesterday at the Haven for Women, Alabang, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Officer-in Charge (OIC) Emmanuel Leyco said that ensuring that Filipinos’ respect for one another is the key to achieve a violence-free community for women.

The activity led by the Office of the Secretary was in support to the government’s strengthened advocacy on anti-Violence Against Women (VAW). Members of the University of the Philippines (UP) Children’s Rights Advocates League (CRADLE) volunteered their services for the caravan.

OIC- Leyco, in his message during the activity, emphasized,  “Ang karahasan sa kababaihan ay hindi katanggap-tanggap.  Ang lipunang hindi gumagalang sa kababaihan ay hindi makataong lipunan  (Violence against women is unacceptable.  A society that does not respect women is an inhumane society).”

The OIC added that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that women have many opportunities to improve their lives.  He said that achieving a VAW-free community is difficult but not impossible if everyone respects one another.

“The DSWD is determined to be among the government agencies at the forefront of promoting the human rights of women and the right of all women to be protected from violence.

Programs and services for women

The DSWD maintains two types of women’s welfare programs: community-based and center-based.

Community-based programs and services are preventive, rehabilitative, developmental programs and initiatives that mobilize the family and community to respond to issues or concerns of women who are in need or at risk.

Preventive programs refer to those that promote protective and developmental services for women

Treatment and recovery includes programs that provide diagnostic evaluation and planning services for emotionally disturbed or abused women. The Department’s Quick Response Team (QRT) through the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), which provides temporary shelter, counselling, and psychotherapy; and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), which offers skills and capital assistance to women, both fall under this category.

Aftercare refers to interventions, approaches and strategies with the end goal of ensuring effective reintegration and prevention of relapse of women discharged from residential and correctional facilities.

Center-based programs are programs and services that give alternative forms of family care by providing 24-hour residential care facilities on a temporary basis for individuals whose needs cannot be met by their families or relatives for a specified period of time.

The DSWD maintains and manages 15 institutions or homes for women nationwide.

 “Walang rape sa Bontok”

As part of the program, the documentary “Walang Rape sa Bontok” was shown to the participants who comprised over 200 young women and children, as well as DSWD social workers and houseparents. Many of the young women and even children have experienced rape and/or other forms of sexual abuse and violence. Director Mark Lester Valle himself explained the focus of the documentary and the ideas it sought to expound upon.

The documentary written by Carla Samantha Ocampo focuses on the Bontok tribe of the Cordilleras  wherein the old culture and tradition of the Indigenous People (IP) notably gives importance to the rights of women and the role they play in the community. This deeply-ingrained culture of respect for women is seen to be among the main factors that contribute to the non-existence of rape culture in Bontok.

The documentary posited that Western influence has wrought negative changes among the members of the Bontok tribe, especially among members of the last three generations.

After the film showing, a team of social workers and psychologists conducted small group sessions with the participants.  This was the means employed to determine and assess the impact of the documentary of the viewers and how they received the ideas and information it imparted.

Music, art, and wellness

Aside from the film showing, the participants also engaged in mural painting and were given lessons in playing with traditional musical instruments like the gamelan. There were also storytelling  and crafts-making workshops for the younger children.  The participants were also treated to wellness activities such as foot spa and foot massage.

Hope for a violence- free community

Sixteen-year-old Francel experienced sexual abuse at a young age. Having participated in the Solidarity Caravan, she expressed sadness over what she experienced.  She said she wished every community is like the old Bontoc town where women are respected and protected.

Despite what she went through, Francel remains hopeful that one day, just like the Bontok of generations. # Source –

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