PCW’s #VAWfreePH hailed as the Most Outstanding Advocacy Campaign at the 6th Gawad Lasallianeta

(From L to R) Ms. Nevi Calma, Ms. Shiekah Sandigan, Ms. Honey Castro, Ms. Vicky Atanacio, and Ms. Anna Maravillas representing PCW at the 6th Gawad Lasallianeta

Marking herstory for the agency, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) bags the Most Outstanding Advocacy Campaign Award for #VAWfreePH at the 6th Gawad Lasallianeta held on January 29, 2024 at the De La Salle Araneta University. Recognizing campaigns with significant impact, PCW was honored for its efforts to end Violence Against Women under the banner #VAWfreePH, which stands both as a hashtag and a mission. 

Receiving the award on behalf of PCW, Ms. Honey Castro, Chief of the Corporate Affairs and Information Resource Management Division (CAIRMD), expressed the agency’s gratitude to the award-giving body, noting that the nominees for the category include prominent and bigger agencies. 

“Nakaka-inspire at nakakataba ng puso na napansin, lalong-lalo na ng community ng De La Salle Araneta na alam naman po namin na mga kabataan dahil kayo po ang isa sa mga target ng aming kampanya laban sa karahasan sa kababaihan,” Ms. Castro said. 

The nominees for the Most Outstanding Advocacy Campaign include the Department of Health’s “Ligtas Christmas 2023”, Philippine Information Agency’s “Explain, Explain, Explain Advocacy”, National Economic and Development Authority’s “Bayanihanomics”, Department of Education’s “Bullying Prevention Campaign”, Department of Tourism’s “Love the Philippines Campaign.”

Ms. Honey Castro, CAIRMD Chief, accepting the award on behalf of PCW

Ms. Castro also urged the La Sallian community to continue supporting the campaign towards a safer, more inclusive, and VAW-free society. 

“We hope na sa pagkilalang ito, hindi nagtatapos sa recognition, kundi araw-araw, taun-taon, makasama po namin kayo doon sa campaign, dahil hangga’t mayroong kabataan na naaabuso, nagiging biktima ng karahasan, patuloy po kami sa pagkampanya at paggawa ng mga programa, kasama ang iba’t ibang ahensiya, para tugunan itong isyu na ito. We hope na hindi lang ngayon, kundi sa mga susunod pang araw at taon, makasama namin kayo patungo sa isang VAW-free Pilipinas,” she added. 

Ms. Castro is joined by PCW representatives from CAIRMD Ms. Vicky Atanacio, Ms. Nevi Calma, and Ms. Shiekah Sandigan, with Ms. Anna Maravillas of the Inter-agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children Secretariat.

#VAWfreePH serves as the official hashtag for the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women, launched in 2016, aligned with the then recurring theme “VAW-free Community Starts with Me.” The campaign, spearheaded by PCW, is aimed at raising awareness on and combating VAW in the country. Through several activities in 2023, the campaign was utilized to share information about laws protecting women from VAW, gauging the public’s understanding of the issue, and drumming up support to the advocacy. 

Continuing as the hashtag for the recurring theme of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW from 2022-2027, “UNiTEd for a VAW-free Philippines,” #VAWfreePH remains a powerful tool for engaging advocates to stand against violence. 

Now in its 6th installment, the Gawad Lasallianeta recognizes remarkable contributions and achievements of individuals and organizations in different fields and sectors, including journalism, entertainment, social media, and community development. 

The event witnessed the presence of numerous personalities and organization representatives. Among them were journalist Mr. Atom Aurallo (Most Outstanding Male News Anchor and Male Documentarist), Mr. Alvin Elchico (Most Outstanding Male News Correspondent), Ms. Mariz Umali (Most Outstanding Female News Correspondent), Migs Bustos (Representing My Puhunan: Kaya Mo, Most Outstanding Public Affairs Talk Show Host), DJ Nicole Hyala (Most Outstanding Female FM DJ), DJ Chacha (Most Outstanding Digital Radio Show and Broadcasters, together with Mr. Ted Failon), and several others. 

This marks the first occasion for PCW to receive an award from the Gawad Lasallianeta, signifying a stride for both the agency and the #VAWfreePH campaign. PCW, together with advocates from the public and private sector, will remain steadfast in its dedication to catalyze efforts to eradicate VAW in the nation, aspiring a safer future for all.

Photos courtesy of: Gawad Lasallianeta Facebook Page