The 18th City Council during its 37th Regular Session Monday presided over by City Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin V. Uy enacted an ordinance mandating the establishment of Anti Violence Against Women and Children (AVAWC) Desks in all 80 barangays of the city of Cagayan de Oro.
This is pursuant to Section 12 (D), Rule IV of Republic Act No. 9710, otherwise known as “the Magna Carta of Women.”
Authored by Councilor Edna M. Dahino, the ordinance cites that Barangay AVAWC Desks are essential in providing support services, such as access to legal services, counseling, referrals and/or rehabilitation programs, of 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 Barangay AVAWC Desk will respond to gender-based violence cases brought to the barangay within the reglementary period specified in RA 9262. It shall 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), keep these records confidential and secured and ensure that only authorized personnel can access it.
It shall, likewise, assist victims of VAWC in securing Barangay Protection Order (BPO) and access necessary services, among others.
For its part, barangay officials and law enforcers shall respond immediately to a call for help or request for assistance or protection of the victim by entering the necessary dwelling whether or not a protection order has been issued and ensure the safety of the victim.
They shall, likewise, transport or escort the victim to a safe place of her choice or to a clinic or hospital, ensure the enforcement of the Protection Order issued by the punong barangay or the courts, arrest the suspected perpetrator without a warrant when any of the acts of violence defined under RA 9262 is occurring, or when he/she has personal knowledge that any act of abuse has just been committed and there is imminent danger to the life or limb of the victim as defined in RA 9262.
The AVAWC Desk is required to immediately report the call for assessment or assistance to DSWD, 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.
This legislation was reviewed by the committees of women and finance, budget and appropriations both chaired by Councilor Edna M. Dahino and on laws and rules chaired by Councilor Ian Mark Q. Nacaya. (JAO)