Philippine Standard Time - Tuesday, May 21, 2024,

PEZA joins #VAWfreePH campaign, promotes gender-sensitive economic zones

Monday, December 12, 2022

Pasay City – In continuous pursuit to promote gender-sensitive economic zones in the country, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has joined the 18-day campaign to end Violence Against Women (VAW) which began last 25 November until 12 December 2022.

PEZA OIC and Deputy Director General for Policy and Planning Tereso Panga ensures that “PEZA will continuously raise awareness to end VAW in the ecozones and contribute to the attainment of our goal of a #VAWFreePH, in line with our efforts to protect the rights of our workers and promote the Philippines as an investment haven in Asia.”

In line with the campaign, the PEZA Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System has conducted various activities aimed at raising awareness on the problem of violence and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children, particularly in the ecozones.

For the duration of the event, the activities included the presentation of topics and infomercials regarding the 18-day campaign to end VAW, production of promotional materials (i.e., VAW Advocacy Shirts, 18-day campaign to end VAW streamers and banners), and the use of various online marketing collaterals such as the VAW sticker packs on Viber and VAW Zoom background during teleconferences.


18-day campaign to end VAW

Mandated under Republic Act 10398 or the Act declaring November 25 of every year as the “National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of VAWC”, the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW supports the Philippine government’s goal of protecting the human rights of women and girls by upholding its commitment to address all forms of gender-based violence as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

For the observance of the campaign this year, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) has released Memorandum Circular No. 2022-04 dated 14 September 2022 which aims to highlight the gains and milestones achieved in the efforts to prevent and address VAW in the country toward the assessment of VAW-related laws’ implementation.

At the same time, all government agencies and LGUs are enjoined to align their campaign activities to continue to broaden the general public’s knowledge on the laws protecting women and girls from violence as well as the services available for victim survivors.

In support of this campaign, Ms. Patricia Anne Gallardo-Marcelo, the founder of Save Our Women Inc., also shared some insights about ending violence against women and in promoting a gender-inclusive society during the culmination of the PEZA 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women last December 12, 2022.

According to Ms. Gallardo-Marcelo, “There are at least 7.5 million women and girls from ages 15 to 49 who are experiencing domestic violence or different form of violence in our country today. The problem is, only about 1% have spoken and have asked for help. We’re so far away talaga from ending domestic violence and VAW.”

Ms. Gallardo-Marcelo likewise noted that it is our role to end the stigma or taboo and the best way we can do about it is to make it part of the conversation.

“We really need to do our share. We need to listen and to help these women and men so that they can battle the violence that is happening to them… Once we start talking about it, especially to the younger ones, we educate them and help them be aware so it won’t happen to them. It’s more on prevention,” noted Ms. Gallardo-Marcelo.


Efforts towards GAD

PEZA continues to strengthen its efforts on gender mainstreaming and its inclusion in policies and programs within the zones through the PEZA Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System (GFPS) headed by Pampanga Economic Zone OIC Allan Datahan with members which include Atty. Bernadette Quitoriano, Ms. Janette Cabral, Mr. Jellius De Guzman, Ms. Luzbe Belen and DC Melencio Silo IV as well as the GFPS Technical Working Group.

Panga stated, “We constantly work on our initiatives to end VAWC, implement the Safe Spaces Act (Bawal Bastos Law) in relation to Anti-Sexual Harassment Law and promote Gender Diversity and Inclusion.”

At the same time, PEZA encourages all its stakeholders to include the creation of GAD policies and its implementation within their respective jurisdictions.

Noteworthy, PEZA revised the Quality Policy to include gender and development mainstreaming.

“Through the PEZA GFPS, we will continue to craft policies that support gender equality, promote the use of gender fair language, and provide gender-sensitive services to both our employees, clients, and other stakeholders. Let us be one in achieving an inclusive economy and a #VAWFreePH,” noted the PEZA interim chief. #