Aklan Province awards the first Governor’s Search for the Best Barangay VAW Desk

Aklan Province–The Provincial Government of Aklan awarded winners of the first Governor’s Search for Best Barangay Violence Against Women (VAW) and Children Desk. The 2014 Governor’s Search for Best Barangay VAW Desk winners were Brgy. Pook, Kalibo (1st Place); Brgy. Banay-banay (2nd Place), Malinao; Brgy. Laguinbanua East, Numancia (3rd Place) and Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Lezo (4th Place).

The search was a result of partnership between Aklan Province and the Philippine Commission on Women-AECID Magna Carta of Women Project, Institutional Strengthening of National and Local Governance on Human Rights and Economic Empowerment with a Gender Focus: Implementation of the Magna Carta of Women.

The 2014 search was open to all 327 Barangays of Aklan, with awardees receiving certificates of recognition and trophies with cash prizes of Php 30,000 for 1st Place, Php 20,000 for 2nd Place and Php 10,000 for the 3rd Place. Executive Order 44 created the Inter-agency Monitoring Task Force and Evaluation and Assessment Team for Governor’s Search for Best Barangay VAW Desk.

Through this incentive mechanism, the Provincial Government pushed for the materialization of this Governor’s Search with the following criteria for evaluation: functional organization (Brgy. VAW Desk), GAD plan and budget, resolutions and ordinances passed in relation to VAW and gender and development, completed gender-responsive programs and projects for women, documented best practices and prior citation and awards.

This Governor’s Search is an annual event. The Provincial Government of Aklan through the Aklan Gender and Development Commission encourages all Aklanon barangays to participate in the next year’s search, and be the next best performing barangay for VAW service delivery.

Drastic improvement in Aklan VAW services emerged as the PCW AECID MCW Project trained almost 400 Aklanon stakeholders from 327 Barangays, including Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Desk officers and municipal social welfare development officers in 17 municipalities, Department of Interior and Local Government Officers and members of the Aklan Gender and Development Commission (AGADC).

Aklan is the only Philippine province to pilot-test and implement the National VAW Documentation System (NVAWDocS) up to the barangay level. Aklan Province receives capacity development, technical and funding support to craft and implement gender-responsive policies, plans, programs and activities for women’s economic empowerment and women’s social rights.

The National VAW Documentation System (NVAWDocS) is a secure web-based documentation system that facilitates and integrates the collection and standardization of information from VAW service providers. It can generate an accurate report on the magnitude of VAW cases, while removing double counting of data from different service providers. It also tracks the services given to VAW victim survivors.

After two years of project partnership, the Province of Aklan, through the Gender and Development Program of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) were able to evaluate and assess the performance of its barangays in VAW service delivery.

In a related development, civil society organization Men Opposed to Violence Everywhere (MOVE)-Aklan chapter and the Provincial Government of Aklan also awarded winners of the first End VAW Photo Contest with theme: “Empowering Women in Aklan”. Winning entries were displayed in the lobbies of the Gaisano Capital, Kalibo and Aklan Provincial Capitol.