CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 19 -- Violence Against Women (VAW) Desk persons trained in gender-sensitive handling of cases shall be of service 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7).

This is provided for in the proposed ordinance filed by Councilor Edna “Inday” M. Dahino, which requires the city’s 80 barangays to establish and maintain Barangay Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (AVAWC) Desks. These shall be financed by the barangay’s Gender and Development (GAD) Fund and other sources.

Pursuant to the proposed legislation, the AVAWC Desk may be established in the barangay hall or near the area where the punong barangay holds office. Its location shall be situated in a place where the confidentiality, privacy and safety of the client will not be compromised.

Councilor Dahino, who chairs the City Council committee on women and family relations, cites that the proposed legislation is in line with Section 12, Rule IV of RA 9710, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women and Republic Act 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004.

According to the councilor, barangay AVAWC Desks are essential in providing support services, such as access to legal services, counseling, referrals and/or rehabilitation programs to abused women and children and in relation to the implementation of Ordinance No. 8972-2003, otherwise known as the Anti-Domestic Violence Ordinance of Cagayan de Oro City.

The AVAWC Desk shall respond to gender-based violence cases brought to the barangay within the reglementary period specified in RA 9262, record the number of gender-based violence handled by the barangay and submit a quarterly report on all cases to the DILG City Field Office and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

It shall, likewise, assist victims of VAWC in securing Barangay Protection Order (BPO) and access necessary services among others.

The committee on women favorably endorsed the proposed legislation to the committee on laws and rules chaired by Councilor Ian Mark Q. Nacaya for appropriate action. (SP)