/ 18 August 2021

DAVAO del Sur Rep. Mercedes Cagas filed a bill that mandates the establishment of Resource Development and Crisis Assistance Centers for women and children in every province and city.

House Bill 9838 seeks to amend Republic Act 8505 or the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998.

Cagas said that one of the most frightening consequences of the Covid19 pandemic is the increase in gender-based violence.

“The prolonged lockdown has also tormented many women and children who are victims of violence and abuse; the privacy of their homes has threatened their mental and physical well-being and has endangered their lives,” she said in her explanatory note.

Cagas said that her measure will address the problem of violence and abuse against women and children.

“We cannot sacrifice or endanger vulnerable survivors by rendering them invisible, minimizing or denying their pleas for help and assistance. They need a home away from the violence and the abuse; the support to help them heal and get back on their feet; and to have their cases brought to justice,” she said.

The measure mandates the creation of the centers under the management and supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

These centers shall serve as venue for consciousness-raising, capability-building and functional literacy enhancement programs that will enhance public awareness of issues and promote community participation.