In the Philippines, tremendous and significant progress has been made in addressing and eliminating violence against women by both government and non-government organizations. As we face developmental issues regarding the protection of women and the protection of our youth, it is an obstacle in achieving equality, security, liberty, integrity, and dignity of all human beings. It constrains human development, economic growth, and productive capacity.
With the collaboration of the Office of the Vice Mayor-General Santos City, University of the Philippines Law Center Training and Convention Division, Fontanilla and Fontanilla-Mamadra Law Office and Rotary Club of Greater General Santos, we are making a mark in intensifying the enforcement of the law regarding Republic Act No. 9262 or the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004″ and the Republic Act No. 9262 or the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004″.
Some of the more significant laws passed were RA 8353 (or the Anti-Rape Law) and RA 8505 of the Rape-Victim Assistance and Protection Act; the Anti Sexual Harassment Law (or RA 7877) and the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Law. The Family Courts Act of 1997 (RA 8369) established family courts in major cities all over the country. It is expected to foster a more proactive approach to protecting the rights of women and children against domestic violence and incest. The Department of Justice Memorandum No. 9 series of 1998 on the Guidelines on the Handling of Rape Cases Involving Adult Victims was adopted. Relevant features of the policy include ensuring the fair and respectful treatment of the adult rape victim, assignment of a woman investigator during preliminary inquest, prevention of admission of evidence of the victim’s past sexual conduct or reputation unless such evidence is material and relevant to the case, and banning of the public during the conduct of the preliminary investigation. This is pursuant to RA 8505 or the Rape‑Victim Assistance and Protection Act.
As the advocates in this room can attest, when a victim of abuse leaves a violent relationship it’s often a particularly vulnerable time. We need to make sure that we’re doing everything we can for victims in this critical period – to ensure that folks who are seeking help and protection get that help and get that protection. That’s our responsibility.
This is not just the job of government. It’s a job for all of us. So I want to thank all of you for the work that you do in your respective communities. And I want you to know that I am going to stand with you each and every step of the way. Moreso, everything starts from home!
So congratulations on your great work. We’ve got more work to do. And I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this effort. Thank you very much!
Shirlyn L. Bañas-Nograles
General Santos City
Vice Mayor Shirlyn L. Bañas-Nograles Speech on the Training Workshop for Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act and
the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act last August 9, 2012 at the Sangguniang Panlungsod Building, General Santos City