PCW Memorandum Circular No. 2021-05: Guide for the 2021 Observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW)

ToAll Heads of Executive Departments, Agencies, Bureaus, Offices, State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Government-Owned and/or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), Legislative and Judiciary Branches, Constitutional Bodies, Other Instrumentalities of National Government, Local Government Units and All Others Concerned
DateOctober 27, 2021

1. Purpose

This Memorandum Circular is issued to guide the stakeholders on the national observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) on November 25 to December 12, 2021.

2. Background and Policy Mandates

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), in coordination with the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children (IACVAWC) leads the nationwide observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW).

The following provide the national legal mandates for the annual advocacy campaign:

  • Proclamation 1172, Series of 2006 – Declaring November 25 to December 12 of Every Year as the “18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW)”
  • Republic Act No. 10398 – Declaring November 25 of Every Year as the “National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children”

3. Campaign Objectives:

This year, the campaign generally aims to promote awareness about the Safe Spaces Act (RA 11313 or SSA), both for the general public and the institutions that are mandated to implement the law.  

All government agencies and local government units (LGUs), including the private sector are enjoined to align their campaign activities with this general objective.

4. Guide for 2021 observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW

  1. Campaign Theme

In 2016, the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women (IACVAWC) adopted the theme “VAW-free community starts with Me” for the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW. The Council also agreed that the said theme shall be used every year from 2016 to 2021. 

The theme elevates the campaign to positive advocacy as it enjoins everyone to pursue the common vision of a community free from violence against women and girls, and highlights what can be done to achieve such. 

  1. Focus for 2021

The 2021 campaign shall spotlight RA 11313, with the slogan Filipino Marespeto; Safe Spaces, Kasali Tayo.

Enacted into law in 2019 with its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) approved on October 28, 2019, the SSA defines and/or penalizes gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) in the streets and public spaces, workplace, educational and training institutions, and online. 

PNP data shows that from its effectivity in August 2019 until August 2021, there were 148 violations of RA 11313 reported to the police

Over two years after the enactment and approval of the IRR of the Safe Spaces Act, there is a need to intensify awareness raising on the core provisions of the law, the penalties, and mechanisms in place as the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic which breeds various forms of VAW, especially online with many spending their time in the digital realm. 

  1. Suggested Activities

In view of the above, government agencies and instrumentalities, non-government organizations, sectoral groups, private and civil society organizations at the national, regional, and local levels are enjoined to conduct any of the following activities in line with this year’s campaign theme:

  1. Hanging of 2021 18-Day Campaign to End VAW official streamers in all government offices including regional offices and local government units (LGUs). Streamer design and guide for the printing can be downloaded from the PCW website or from this link.

  1. All government agencies and local government units are encouraged to share their 18-Day Campaign to End VAW activities in their respective Flag Raising Ceremonies in November.

The use of the All-Women Cast Lupang Hinirang Video in activities is also encouraged.  The music video can be downloaded here

  1. Uploading of the official logo, advocacy videos and other 18-Day Campaign to End VAW advocacy materials in government agencies’ website and social media accounts;

  1. Development and production of information education and communication (IEC) materials for 2021 18-Day Campaign to End VAW which include collaterals designed by PCW and agency-specific materials to raise awareness on VAW and the Safe Spaces Act like brochures for distribution to clients and the general public. 

  1. PCW-developed materials may be reproduced by agencies provided that the content and design of the material is retained. Printer-ready copies of the materials can be downloaded from the PCW website, or from this link. The materials are designed for interested organizations to incorporate their official logo so that due acknowledgement could be given to their contribution for the campaign;

  1. “Let’s Make this a Safe Space” Ground Campaign.  This year’s campaign aims to gain traction in the ground, mounting tangible visual messages in the streets, public spaces, private establishments, public utility vehicles, sidewalks, alleys, restrooms, and other spaces. This is also aligned with the objective of preventing GBSH in public spaces and the streets, a core provision under the Safe Spaces Act. Designs for various materials like posters, stickers, and billboards are available for download from the PCW website for agencies, private entities, and other stakeholders to produce and post in conspicuous places in their areas. 

  1. Playing/showing of PCW-produced and agency-produced (if there are any) videos/infomercials on VAW and SSA in public areas, electronic billboards, and tv/radio programs managed by their office. PCW-produced videos can be downloaded from PCW Digital Library, PCW’s official YouTube channel (PCWGovPH) and Facebook page. 

  1. Participation in the online campaign thread about the observance by uploading photos, news features, and other information relative to 18-Day Campaign to End VAW in social media accounts using the hashtags #VAWfreePH, #FilipinoMarespeto, #SafeSpacesKasaliTayo, and encourage the use of 18-Day Campaign to End VAW Facebook Profile Frame available through the PCW FB page.

  1. For those using the Viber App Messaging platform, we encourage you to download the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW Sticker pack. These Viber Sticker Pack that contain vibrant illustrations but with meaningful messages about VAW. This will be launched on November 25, 2021. Visit this page for more information.

  1. Conduct of orientation or forum regarding the Safe Spaces Act which can inform internal and external stakeholders on its core provisions. For government and private entities tasked to implement specific provisions of the SSA, there can be internal discussions, capacity-building, and learning sessions on operationalizing their mandates under the law as well as an assessment on the status of the implementation. 

  1. Participation in the nationwide “Orange Your Icon” advocacy initiative by decorating landmarks and iconic spots in their area with the color orange which represents hope and a future free from gender-based violence against women and girls. Information for the activity is available in PCW’s website and PCW FB page. Please use #OrangeYourIcon2021 when you feature your Orange Your Icon initiative in your social media pages. Visit this page for more information.

  1. “Safe Spaces, Kasali Tayo” Online Events (November 25, December 3, and December 10, 2021) – Agencies and stakeholders can participate in and share these online activities which will be streamed live on PCW’s Facebook page. These events aim to elevate the public’s knowledge of the law, focusing on how victims can utilize the processes and mechanisms stipulated therein. On November 25, the campaign will kick off with the launching of the “Let’s Make this a Safe Space” ground campaign, “#SanaAllSpacesSafe” experience-sharing online campaign, as well as the commitment-sharing of IACVAWC members. On December 3, the online discussion will revolve around what victims can do should they experience GBSH in the streets and public spaces or on cyberspace. On December 10, Resource Persons shall elaborate on the mechanisms in place in preventing and responding to GBSH cases in the workplace and educational/training institutions, as well as the responsibilities of the employers and the schools stated under the Safe Spaces Act. Visit this page for more information.

  1. #SanaAllSpacesSafe Experience-sharing Online Campaign. This online campaign aims to encourage the public to share how they visualize a community without gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) through posting on their social media pages. Under the hashtag #SanaAllSpacesSafe, it serves as a platform for all genders to expound on their imagery of and hopes for a VAW-free community, also opening discussions on experiences relative to VAW and/or sexual harassment. 

  1. Do the Macho Choir Video Challenge. In 2018, the Philippine Commission on Women, in partnership with DDB Cares, developed three (3) radio plugs entitled “Macho Choir”, featuring three 30-seconder Filipino nursery melodies with lyrics which emphasize that catcalling is a form of sexual harassment. With “Do the Macho Choir” video challenge, participants can sing, dance, act, and give their own creative spin to the Macho Choir and post their take on one or all of the plugs under the hashtag, #DoTheMachoChoir.

  1. Safe Spaces Pledge. Officials of agencies, implementers, service providers, establishment owners, educators, employers, influencers, and ordinary people can share their #SafeSpacesPledge vowing to do their part in making all spaces safe through actions as public servants, private institutions, or as individuals. The content and visuals guide can be downloaded here.

  1. Organizing activities related to this year’s theme and focus during the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW period, with both external and internal stakeholders as participants;

  1. For Regional GAD Committees, Regional and Local Inter-Agency Committees on Trafficking in Persons and VAWC, regional/field offices, and LGUs:

Coordination with other government regional offices or LGUs for inter-agency and LGU collaboration in holding regional and local activities at the regional and local level. 

Requirements and materials relative to the program can be downloaded from here.

5. Compliance with Protocols relative to COVID-19

Considering the threats of the COVID-19 health crisis, stakeholders are advised to strictly follow the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and/or their local government units relative to the conduct of public events that require physical gathering of people. The PCW leaves the decision to continue or forego 18-Day Campaign to End VAW public events to agency heads and local chief executives, considering specific COVID-19 threats or circumstances that may arise in their localities. 

6. Non-partisan, and non-election related activities

The annual observance of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW as well as the national advocacy for RA 11313 implementation are strictly non-partisan and not election-related activities. To maintain the focus on the advocacy, please refrain from using PCW-produced materials for political gains. Government offices are likewise reminded to adhere to existing policies against electioneering or partisan political activities. Please refer to the guidelines issued by the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Elections, and other relevant agencies relative to the said matter.

7. Use of Gender and Development (GAD) Budget

The 18-Day Campaign to End VAW is one of the annual advocacy campaigns spearheaded by the PCW. It addresses the continuing prevalence of VAW in the country as a gender issue. As such, expenses related to the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW may be charged to the GAD Budget and may be reflected in the 2021 GAD accomplishment reports of the government offices, provided that the activities conducted are in line with the theme and focus area of concern under in this circular.

Nothing in this circular shall be interpreted to amend previously set policies on GAD Planning and Budgeting, or any procurement, finance, and administrative-related policies set by appropriate oversight agencies.

8. Inquiries and Feedback

For more information, comments, and suggestions, please visit the campaign page at the PCW website and PCW social media accounts (www.facebook.com/PCWgovph, www.twitter.com/PCWgovph, and www.youtube.com/CommissionOnWomenPH). You may also contact the PCW Corporate Affairs and Information Resource Management Division (CAIRMD) at telephone number (02) 8352-5372 or 8735-1653 and look for Ms. Nevi Calma, Ms. Franz Dela Cruz, or Mr. Ann Jun Magnaye or email vawfreeph@pcw.gov.ph.  

For guidance and appropriate action.


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