Cagayan de Oro okays ordinance creating women and children’s desks in villages

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The city council here has approved an ordinance requiring all 80 villages to create a desk that would attend to cases involving Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (AVAWC).

City Councilor Edna Dahino, chair of the committee on family relations, said that City Ordinance No. 8972-2003 was pursuant to Section 12, (D) Rule IV of Republic Act No. 9710, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta of Women.”

Dahino said that City Ordinance No. 8972-2003 was also known as the “Anti-Domestic Violence Ordinance of Cagayan De Oro City.”

The ordinance cited that the village AVAWC desks are essential in providing support services, such as access to legal services, counseling, referrals, and/or rehabilitation programs for abused women and children.

Dahino said that the AVAWC desk would respond to gender-based violence cases brought to the village officials within the required period specified in RA 9262.

She said that the AVAWC would also record the number of gender-based violence handled by the barangay and submit a quarterly report on all cases of VAWC to the DILG City Field Office and the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO), and to keep these records confidential.

The AVAWC desk would, likewise, assist victims in securing Barangay Protection Order (BPO) and access necessary services, among others.

Dahino said that village officials and law enforcers should respond immediately to a call for help or request for assistance or protection from a victim whether or not a protection order has been issued in order to ensure the safety of the victim.

She said the AVAWC desk is also required to immediately report any call for assessment or assistance to Department of Social Welfare and Development, CSWD or accredited non-government organizations.

Section 8 of the ordinance provides that the cost of the establishment and operation of the AVAWC desk shall be charged to the barangay’s Gender and Development (GAD) budget, which is five percent of its annual budgetary allocation, Dahino said. Cris Diaz/