DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos on Thursday called for a continuing fight for the protection of human rights of women by addressing all forms of gender-based violence.
Abalos issued the statement as the entire nation observes the ongoing 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Children (VAW) led by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW). PCW is an attached agency of the DILG.
Proclamation 1172 series of 2006 declares November 25 to December 12 as the annual 18-day VAWC campaign.
Abalos also stressed that the ongoing 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Children led by the PCW is strictly a non-partisan activity.
He discouraged the use of PCW-produced materials for political gains, favors, and grandstanding.
“Let us maintain the significance and integrity of the campaign,” he pointed out.
This year’s VAW campaign caters to the recurring theme “UNITEd for a VAW-free Philippines” from 2022-2027 in line with the UN Women’s UNITE by 2030 to End VAW Campaign.
In DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2023-186, Abalos encouraged LGUs to utilize their Gender and Development (GAD) budget on activities that are aligned with the theme of the campaign and relevant to their mandates.
Such activities may include the conduct of online forums or orientations on anti-VAW laws; installation of an “Orange Exhibit on their VAW milestones; and public showing of PCW-produced VAW videos and services.
LGUs are also encouraged to use the all-women cast of the Lupang Hinirang AVP during their flag ceremony and participate in the Online Campaign Thread, using the hashtag #VAWfreePH and #VowToEndVAW.
The DILG Chief also urged collaboration among other national government agencies or LGUs in holding GAD-related activities at the regional level, including local inter-agency committees on trafficking in persons (TIP) and violence against women and children (VAWC).