A kick-off program for the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Children (EVAWC) was led by Forester June Melissa C. Garol, Gender and Development (GAD) Regional Chairperson of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 on November 13, 2023.

This year’s theme is “UNITEd for a VAW-free Philippines” and aims to highlight the powerful impact of concerted efforts towards the goal of ending violence against women in the country.

The campaign was conducted by virtue of Proclamation 1172, Series of 2006 that declares every November 25 to December 12 of every year as “18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW)” and through the Republic Act No. 10398 which declares every November 25 as the “National Consciousness Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children.”

Prior to the oathtaking of the new set of officers that comprises the DENR Region 6 Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System, Atty. Cheryll Rose Librero did a short lecture on various VAWC laws. “If there is one law I wanted all of us to really familiarize ourselves with, it would be the House Bill 8655 or the Expanded Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children,” Atty. Librero said. She is also the Regional GAD Vice Chair.

Atty. Librero also emphasized the need for employees to speak up against any form of violence or harassment committed in the workplace to the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) which vows to treat all information with utmost confidentiality.

House Bill 8655 seeks to amend RA 9262 and once passed as a law, it could penalize harassment and psychological violence through the use of information and communications technology (ICT) devices. This would now look into the harassment and bullying being committed with the use of social media platforms.

“The government now is very keen on implementing these laws. To the men, be careful and do not commit any offense [against VAWC laws] especially now that we have the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI). The CODI really takes serious charge of the complaints or violation of the laws,” RED Duran said.

The DENR 6 new set of officers for the GAD Focal Point System made up the following Committees: 1. Planning and Research; 2. Finance; 3. Training; 4. Policy; 5. Project Development Committee; 6. Special Concerns; 7. IEC and Monitoring; and lastly, the Secretariat.

The activity was concluded with the DENR 6 Personnel actively participating in the One Billion Rising Dance. (DENR-6)