2nd MOVE General Assembly: Continuing Our Advocacy to End VAW

Secretary Jesse M. Robredo during his pledge before the MOVE GA to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. (From Left) PCW Executive Director Emmeline Verzosa, MOVE-DILG President Celso Battala, Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, DILG-NBOO Director John M. Castaneda, MOVE Phils., Inc President Donald Amado M. Caballero, and MOVE Phils., Inc. Vice President Reynaldo C. Cusi.

Manila – The Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere* (MOVE) Philippines, Inc. in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) held its 2nd MOVE General Assembly with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as the host for this year’s MOVE annual gathering.

Newly designated interior and local government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo graced the occasion which was highly appreciated by the audience. The hard working man from Naga City, pledged before the MOVE GA to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. During his term as the mayor of Naga City, the city was recognized as the first recipient of Most Outstanding VAW Responsive LGU in 2009 and Most Child Friendly Hall of Fame Awardee (2007-2009).

In his brief message, Secretary Robredo challenged MOVE to be a major catalyst in changing the views of their fellowmen in understanding and committing VAW. He added that men and women should work side by side to put a stop to VAW. “All sectors of society should work together and commit towards mutual respect and gender equality”, Robredo said.  As a gender advocate and a member of the Cabinet, he likewise committed to adhere to the provisions of Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women Act of 2009, specifically on equality in representation of women and men in the bureaucracy by recommending an equally competent female to be appointed as Assistant Secretary of the department.

Meanwhile, Philippine Commission on Women Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa challenged the MOVE members to embody the principles and agenda of the organization by being an anti-VAW advocate at all times and in all places. She also shared the relevant provisions of MCW, such as the creation of VAW Desk in every barangay wherein MOVE can be of help in orienting barangay leaders on addressing and responding to VAW in the community.

The event was participated in by MOVE members from various National Government Agencies and local MOVE Chapters. Director John Castañeda of the National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO) of DILG underscored that men should continue to be partners of women in ending violence against women (VAW). He also emphasized the need to bring the advocacy of MOVE to the local level to ensure that interventions to prevent and address VAW will start from the community where it is most prevalent.

Globally, 1 out of 3 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. In the Philippines, according to the latest NDHS Report prepared by the NSO, one in five Filipino women aged 15-49 experienced physical violence since age 15. Also, more than one-third (37%) of separated or widowed women have experienced physical violence, implying that domestic violence could be the cause or ground for legal separation or annulment.  The PNP report shows that there were 9,485 recorded cases in 2009, and everyday there are 26 women who become victims.

*The Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere (MOVE) Philippines was founded in 2006 as part of the National Commission on the Role of the Filipino (NCRFW) now Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) campaign to eliminate VAW. Anchored on the premise that VAW can best be eliminated if the perpetrators (mostly men) themselves will take a pro-active role to educate and campaign for the elimination of VAW, the MOVE was formally established into a corporation and registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission in November 2008.