The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) with its attached agencies has partnered to “orange” 18 Philippine tourist destinations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to promote public awareness on Violence Against Women (VAW).
Dubbed as the “Orange Your Icon (OYI) Advocacy Initiative”, the activity intends to raise consciousness in ending VAW through decorating or embellishing famous and prominent tourism sites or attractions in the country with something that is colored orange. The idea is to attract the public’s curiosity on why major landmarks or icons nationwide are colored orange, thereby providing opportunities for advocates to explain the Anti-VAW advocacy. The creative advocacy effort likewise hopes to convey a message that the DOT, together with its stakeholders in the tourism industry are partnering for achieving a VAW-free community through safe and non-exploitative tourism activities.
The OYI is one of the major activities for this year’s 18-Day Campaign to End VAW observed on November 25 to December 12. The 18 participating sites will simultaneously open on November 25 which is declared as the National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children under R.A. No. 10398.
The 18 participating sites are as follows:
|Host DOT Region / Office||Participating Sites|
|National Capital Region||Fort Santiago, Intramuros|
|Cordillera Administrative Region||The Mansion Baguio City|
|I||Hundred Island National Park|
|VII||Cebu Provincial Capitol|
San Juanico Bridge
Mac Arthur Landing Memorial
|IX||Paseo Del Mar|
|X||Maria Cristina Falls|
|XII||Lake Sebu Seven Falls|
|Intramuros Administration||Plaza Roma|
|National Parks and Development Committee||Rizal Monument, Rizal Park Visitor Senior Citizen’s Garden, Gomburza Marker, Japanese Garden, Chinese Garden, Lapu-Lapu Monument, Diorama, La Madre Statue, Kilometer 0, Kanlungan ng Sining, Children’s Playground, Binhi ng Kalayaan|
Promoting VAW-free communities in the Tourism sector
In a separate statement, PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa expressed appreciation towards DOT for partnering with the Commission in this activity. She likewise believes that this initiative is a concrete step towards building VAW-free communities in the tourism sector and making our tourism industry gender-responsive.
“We look forward to see the Philippines become the model of gender-responsive tourism. We want to show the world that we are not only known for our natural wonders but as one of the women-friendly destinations across the globe,” she said.
“We are calling our private organization counterparts to work with us in ending stereotypical images of women as part of tourism products and ensure that gender sensitivity will be incorporated in their respective internal guidelines and policies,” Verzosa added.
Verzosa further noted that this initiative of the DOT and its attached agencies of linking the promotion of Philippine tourist attractions with the anti-VAW advocacy gears toward the formulation and implementation of preventive measures to ensure harassment-free and sex trafficking –free tourism in the Philippines.
The color orange is adopted from the United Nations’ UNiTE To End Violence Against Women. As a bright and optimistic color, orange represents hope and a future free from violence against women and girls.
“When we orange an icon, we declare that the place is one with us in building a VAW-free community. We hope to see more “orange icons” through the years until we completely ‘orange the Philippines’ and finally say ‘we are VAW-free,’” said Verzosa.
Aside from the 18 tourism sites, government agencies and private institutions supporting the advocacy will similarly “orange” noticeable areas of their establishments.
Interested individuals and organizations may visit http://pcw.gov.ph/event/OrangeYourIcon2016 for the complete details of OYI.