The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office officially kicked off the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women or VAW on Monday, November 28, 2022 at the PVAO Compound. The event was led by PVAO Administrator, Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu and Deputy Administrator and PVAO GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) Chairperson, Assistant Secretary Restituto Aguilar.
“Violence Against Women or VAW still remains to be one of the cruelest and most prevalent human rights violation today,” ASec. Aguilar said in his welcoming remarks, highlighting the relevance of this campaign in today’s society and how it can prevent and stop the pervasiveness of violence in the country.
“It is worthy to note that through the myriad of efforts of everyone, laws and policies on gender-based violence are now being initiated by the law-making body of the government. Discussions on the subject are also now being encouraged on different social media platforms, which is a powerful tool to spread information because of its diversity,” ASec. Aguilar added.
This year, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) launched its new recurring banner for the next six years, “United for a VAW Free Philippines” which aims to highlight the powerful impact of combining individual efforts towards a collaborative and united thrust towards a VAW-free Philippines.
PVAO, through the initiatives of the PVAO GFPS and the Men Opposed to VAW Everywhere (MOVE) PVAO Sub-Chapter, prepared various activities for this year’s campaign to help raise awareness about Violence Against Women. During the kick-off ceremony, Ms. Mariciel Estacio, Head of the PVAO Human Resource Division and Vice Chairperson of the PVAO GFPS, presented the list of activities that PVAO employees can participate.
Among the activities prepared for the 18-Day Campaign are: A lecture on “VAW: Pandemic behind the Pandemic” by Dr. Sharon Gianan-Cruz; A GADvocacy Talk with BGen Sharon Gernale, the first Female Deputy Commander of the Western Command of the AFP; MOVE Training for Officers; A Virtual Demonstration on How to Make a Pepper Spray; A Webinar on Bullying in the Workplace by Dr. Joan Mae G. Perez-Rifareal; An exhibit on the Safe Spaces Act; a Movienar of End VAW Films and many more.
Meanwhile, USec. Mapagu delivered an encouraging message for PVAO employees. “As we continue to help raise awareness about this issue, I hope that everyone will realize our crucial roles in this fight against violence,” he said, further urging everyone to actively participate in this year’s campaign.
“Let us all draw inspiration from the heroism of our veterans who bravely fought against oppression for the welfare of their fellow Filipinos. Now, it is our chance to become modern-day heroes by helping those in need and advocating for this campaign,” USec. Mapagu added.
The 18-Day Campaign to End VAW is a national observance spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women. This campaign advocates against all kinds of violence against women and children and focuses on promoting awareness on the different forms of violence, providing information about the laws on protecting women and girls and featuring VAW-related services that people can avail.