Evacuation centers must support breastfeeding and provide mother- and child-friendly spaces
By a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court declared the Reproductive Health Law as constitutional. Read More
On the first Saturday of the year, my amazing Senate legal team indulged me and let me buy them a cup of coffee each Read More
On Friday, I launched a breast milk bank at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center – the first of its kind in the Visayas. Read More
Here’s the real deal about the Senate RH Bill.
Running was her escape. Sadly, she was not able to run fast enough or far enough from this man, her very own husband who would be her murderer.
1 August 2011
Today I walked into a sea of purple in the Senate Session Hall. Read More
8 March 2011
Senate of the Philippines
Film Showing on the State of Maternal and Child Health
Last March, in celebration of Women’s month, my office and the Senate, in cooperation with Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of UP Manila College of Medicine, hosted a film showing on women’s lives.
The films which include a documentary and short films are part of the recently concluded 2nd Quisumbing-Escandor Film Festival for Health (QEFF2). This film festival is a nationwide film-making competition by the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity. This combines the visual power of cinema with the passion of the health advocates.
The first film “Sa direksyon ni Makoy: Da Final Cut”, Jury’s Pick for Best Short Film, tells the story of the six final days of a young boy who lives a lonely life because he has HIV. He knows he is going to die just like his mom who also had HIV.
The second film “Badong Buntis” is a very short and funny but so real- a man experiences being pregnant and all the difficulties of being a woman.
The third film is “Ang Ina” which is Jury’s Pick for Best Documentary. Ang Ina is a documentary about the economic hardships of raising a family. It gives us the sad statistics about maternal and infant deaths.
The fourth film is the QEFF Grand Prize Winner “Limang Libo” about how the paths of a midwife and a scavenger with a pregnant wife are intertwined because of poverty.
The last film shown is “Tinalikdan” which follows the plight of two women forced by poverty to make difficult life decisions out of hope and despair.
After the film showing, Dr. Anthony H. Cordero, Director of the Center for Gender and Women Studies- University of the Philippines- Manila, facilitated an open forum.
The film showing was warmly received by a diverse audience including non-governmental organizations, government agencies, students, senate employees and senator’s staff. Senator TG Guingona joined us as well. Also in attendance were members of the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of UP Manila College of Medicine led by Dr. Danilo DV. Alpapara Jr. Also gracing the event and giving a short introduction on their works were Mr. Donnie Sacueza of Ang Ina, Ms.Aiza Jane Idanan of Limang Libo and Mr. Edgar Baltazar of Tinalikdan.
For related blog on our series of film showings.
Every October, Parliamentarians from all over the world meet in Geneva for the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference. I am currently the President of the Women Parliamentarians and our committee of women meets here once a year to take stock of our work and to prepare for the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians the next year (2010 will be in Bangkok).
In the Women’s Committee, we discussed the gender dimension on the topics pending in the IPU’s standing committees:
– On the topic of Cooperation and shared responsibility in the fight against organized crime, in particular human trafficking. it was underscored that human trafficking was often under-acknowledged and that the first step was for parliaments to call on governments to recognize the full extent of the problem and develop strategies to address it. This in fact is a big problem in the Philippines and much needs to be done.
– On the Role of Parliament in developing cooperation in order to accelerate achievement of the MDGs, the women emphasized the need to focus on MDGs 4 and 5, on child and maternal mortality. This has been my campaign in the country for the last two years. We need more midwives to the barrios, more birthing facilities and access to information and support re family planning.
– On Youth Participation in the Democratic Process, it was suggested that different strategies be considered to include young people in parliamentary debates and hearings, parliamentary youth forums and political party work. The need for gender-sensitive training was also emphasized. I met with the representative of UNICEF to brainstorm on this item later in the week. This would be a good project to implement back home.
The Secretary General Anders Johnson briefed us on IPU’s campaign “Parliaments Take Action on Violence Against Women.” IPU is urging parliaments to take part in this campaign and organize activities to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. This has also been my campaign for the past few years (my related blogs on violence).
Our Gender Partnership Group met twice. We looked at the IPU budget and noted that due to budgetary support for gender issues, the IPU has been able to focus on many gender related activities. As for participation in the IPU, the Group noted that there are still 6 countries without women parliamentarians from the Gulf States and the Pacific Islands.
At the second meeting, we met with the Senator from Palau who briefed us about the recent election of two women in the Palau Senate. He explained that Palau is actually a matriarchal society. Women are king makers in the communities but do not themselves run for office. I opined that there may be a need for re-orienting society to support women in leadership positions.
At the General Council Meeting on the last day, the body approved the resolution on the emergency item on Global Food Security. I supported an amendment to this resolution, urging governments to make microfinance funds available, guaranteeing that at least 50% would go to women.
Finally, I presented the report of the women parliamentarians to the body. Although the IPU meeting formally closed on Wednesday, there were still events going on, including the seminar on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which I would chair the next day.
Over the years, I have made friends with parliamentarians from different countries. It is always a pleasure to see them during the IPU meetings. Many of them are seasoned parliamentarians, and I always go home inspired by the people I meet and the lessons I learned.
Violence comes in many forms. It is not just physical, like a black eye or a swollen face. Other forms of violence are less visible but equally painful and damaging.
Incidents involving video-taping and the posting/circulating of such material has brought about many questions as to what kind of abuse or violence is punishable.
There is currently no law that specifically punishes the acts of video-taping a sexual or other private act and circulating this content without the consent of the persons involved. I filed a bill in the senate known as The Anti-Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 that seeks to punish these acts. I hope this will be heard and passed into law soon.
At present though, victims can take refuge in Republic Act 9262 otherwise known as the Anti-violence against Women and Children Act of 2004 which penalizes various forms of violence. A victim can also claim for damages.
Sometime ago I wrote about my campaign along with women parliamentarians all over the world to end violence, “Say No to Violence Against Women“.
Many of my colleagues joined this signature campaign to end violence.
My office and some local groups we work with conduct seminars to increase awareness on this issue.
Below is a partial replication of the Primer on Violence against Women and Children that my office distributes. It includes contact information on where to go for help.
What are the different acts of violence.
1. Physical violence – acts that include bodily or physical harm;
2.Sexual violence – acts which are sexual in nature;
3.Psychological violence – commission or omission of acts which cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim;
4.Economic abuse – acts that make a woman financially dependent on the offender.
Who are protected under the law?
The Anti-VAWC Act protects women and their children, specifically:
1.Wife or former wife of the offender;
2.Woman with whom the offender has or had a dating or sexual relationship;
3.The mother of the child of the offender;
4.The child, whether legitimate or illegitimate of the woman.
Who are punished by the law?
The following are liable:
1.Husbands or former husbands;
2.Any person with whom the victim has or had a sexual or dating relationship (e.g. boyfriends, live-in partners, or lesbian partners);
3.Any person with whom the victim has a common child;
4.Father of the child-victim
What can a victim of violence do?
The victim can file any or all of the following:
a. Barangay Protection Order
b. Temporary and Permanent Protection Orders
2.Independent Civil Action for Damages
3.Criminal Action for Violation of the Anti-VAWC Act
What is a Barangay Protection Order (BPO)?
A BPO is the protection order issued by the Punong Barangay, or by any kagawad, if the Punong Barangay is unavailable. It commands the offender to refrain or stop from committing or threatening to commit harm to the victim. The Order is valid for only 15 days.
What is a Permanent Protection Order (PPO)?
A PPO is the Order issued by the court commanding the offender from further committing or threatening to commit harm to the victim. It is issued after notice and hearing wherein the offender is given the opportunity to present his evidence. A PPO is effective until revoked by a court upon application of the victim or by an authorized applicant, if the application was not filed by the victim.
What are the penalties for committing VAWC?
If the courts have proven that the offender is guilty of the crime, he may be imprisoned and will be obliged to pay P100,000 to P300,000 in damages. The length of imprisonment depends on the gravity of the crime.
WHO TO GO TO FOR HELP:
(Updated directory as of 28 November 2012)
• Law enforcement:
National Bureau of Investigation -VAWCD
Tel. (02) 5256028
• Crisis Centers:
Women’s Crisis Center, East Ave. Medical Center
Tels. (02) 5450836
DSWD Crisis Center
Tel. (02) 9517433
Quezon City Hall
Tel. (02) 9271588, 9269344
Women’s Desk Philippine General Hospital
Tel. (02) 5548400 loc. 2536
• Legal Assistance:
Women’s Legal Bureau
Room 505, UP College of Social Work and Community Development (UP-CSWCD)
University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City
Tel. (02) 9214389
Department of Justice Public Attorney’s Office (DOJ PAO)
Tel. (02) 929 9436 loc. 106 & 107
Tel. (02) 3743452
Tel. (02) 4266001 loc 4858-60