Most women of today are already aware of their rights, and when these rights are violated they know where to seek for help. The challenge now, according to Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale, is how to empower these women to be economically stable with the help and guidance of the Cebu Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC).
To address this challenge, the vice governor, in a speech during the 19th Provincial Women’s Congress on March 25, encouraged the participants to form an organization so that the Cebu Provincial Government can easily help them through livelihood training programs.
At least 3,000 women from all the districts of Cebu Province gathered for the congress held at the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex.
Gov. Hilario P. Davide III and Magpale led the activity, which was organized in line with the celebration of the National Women’s Month.
Magpale, co-chairperson of the PWC, shared the 2018 PWCs annual accomplishment report during the congress.
The vice governor said PWC has formed at least 125 women’s organizations. Of these, 115 organizations were given skills trainings on livelihood development.
The PWC also helped in organizing the three provincial women’s federations in the towns of Daanbantayan, Cordova and Pinamungajan.
Magpale said the PWC has been going around to encourage women to organize themselves into groups so that they can easily be given assistance.
The commission included in their accomplishments the establishment of a women and children development center, which is operated by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.
A total of 1,375 youths from the marginalized sector were given educational privileges under the Paglaum Scholarship Program.
As to the protection and promotion of women’s and children’s rights, the PWC partnered with the Pink Room of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center for the victims’ medical and psychological needs. The commission also partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, other government agencies, and accredited non-government organizations, people’s organization and civil society organizations.
With the persistent efforts of the PWC and its partner agencies, they were able to gain effective prosecution of cases, which include the conviction of two perpetrators in September 2018 for cases on anti-trafficking in persons, anti-child abuse and anti-child pornography.
As of 2018, PWC recorded 14 abused victims who were given shelter and were sent to school, and another two victims who were reintegrated to their respective families.
“We have effective prosecution of cases. We have convicted two perpetrators but still we are not happy with that. We want more convictions. We can still do more… The cases of cyberporn continue to rise. (As to) abuse of women, we saw that women are standing up, they are coming to us. The other challenge is how to empower them economically,” said Magpale.
During the congress, the PWC awarded their partners with certificates of recognition.
A panel discussion on women empowerment was conducted in the afternoon session.
Davide, on the other hand, assured the attendees that the Provincial Government will continue with its advocacies to protect women’s rights.
Mandaue Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna and some of the Capitol department heads graced the event.
Last March 28, about 3,100 women from Sibonga, Minglanilla and Toledo City attended the Women Summit in their respective areas in line with the celebration of the National Women’s Month.
Magpale led the activity in Barangay Poblacion in Sibonga and Barangays Campo 7, Vito and Ward 4 in Minglanilla.
The vice governor was joined by Provincial Youth Commission Executive Director James Canoy and some barangay officials.