Province of Palawan GAD LLH: Championing Provision of Gender-responsive Social Interventions

The Palawan Provincial Government was one of the seven (7) LGUs recognized by the PCW in March 2019 for its notable efforts in addressing gender-based violence related issues and concerns. With the certification of the Lualhati Women Center, the Province remained committed to provide protection and rehabilitation services to women victims-survivors of abuse.

Lualhati Women’s Center

The Lualhati Women Center (LWC) is a 20-bed residential care service facility established by Palawan Women Foundation (PWF), through a funding assistance from the late Senator Leticia Shahani in 2006, to serve as a temporary shelter for women who are victims-survivors of violence and abuse.

It was initially conceptualized to provide low-cost and safe lodging facility for women who have nowhere to stay while working at Puerto Princesa City. A year after, it opened a center for Women and Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances (WEDC) due to the increased number of WEDC cases in the Province.   The LWC was later turned over to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) in 2007 to sustain its operations.

The Provincial Government, through the PSWDO designated seven (7) regular employees to manage and ensure the operations of the LWC. The LWC staff complement is composed of one (1) Social Welfare Officer II or the Center Head, two (2) Social Welfare Officer I as case workers, three (3) Social Welfare Aide or the Houseparent and one (1) security guard.

To reach more WEDC clients, the LGU funded the construction of new Women Center with 40-bed capacity which is expected to be operational in 2022. This new facility has wide open space and concrete fence to allow conduct of outdoor psychosocial activities while ensuring the safety of its residents.

To institutionalize the LWC in the regular programming of the Province, Provincial Ordinance No. 2320, series of 2020 Sustaining and Maintaining the Lualhati Women Center of Palawan, Providing Funds Therefore and for Other Purposes was issued. Said Ordinance recognizes the important role of LWC in ensuring safety, rehabilitation and integration of women victim survivors of violence.

The LWC provides protection and rehabilitation services through the provision of medical, psychological, residential care, legal, spiritual and values formation and educational assistance. It ensures basic and safety needs of its clients such as food, clothing and security throughout their stay in the Center for a maximum of six months or depending on the readiness of the client. Clients are admitted to the center through referrals only from the Provincial and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (P/MSWDO) and PNP Women and Child Protection Desk (PNP-WCPD). To address psychological effects of abuse and trauma, the LWC provides psychosocial interventions such as critical incidence stress debriefing, individual and group therapy sessions which are the core of its social services program with assistance from Ospital of Palawan and Philippine Mental Association.

Further, the LWC also facilitates conduct of tutorial sessions, skills enhancement trainings, and enrolment of its clients to Alternative Learning Education programs to address their educational needs. These programs were given by external service providers who are partners of LWC to ensure security of its residents.  However, referral to other agencies is also done in the case of clients with special needs for further interventions like pursuing formal basic education and protective custody.

The LWC also guarantees its clients access to legal services through collaboration with the relevant government agencies such as the Public Attorney’s Office, City/Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, Non-Government and Private Organizations.  These various services prepare LWC residents for integration in their communities once cases are given resolution, which indicates success over the struggles experienced.

LWC is committed to deliver its mandate of providing gender-sensitive programs and services to its clientele. Through the leadership and support from the Provincial Government, it will continue to work towards a VAW Free Palawan and contributes to the achievement of GEWE by empowering victim-survivors and help transform social norms and culture towards ending gender-based violence.

GAD LLH Coordinator:
Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Abigail Ablaña
Phone No.: +63(48)4332968

GAD Local Learning Hubs: 

Abra de Ilog (Likha Iraya)
Aklan (ACCW and MOVE-Aklan Chapter)
Baybay City (BMIS and WEE Program)
Davao City (IGDD, OSC-VAW, CMC, and Ray of Hope Village)
Iloilo (Convergence for Women’s Economic Empowerment Program)
Mabalacat City (Early Childhood Care and Development Program)
Misamis Occidental (PGADO)
Naga (Bantay Familia, GROW Negosyo Program, and Breast Feeding Program)
Palawan (LWC)
Pangasinan (PCIC)
Quezon City (QCPC and Social Hygiene and Sundown Clinics)
Quezon Province (PGADO, LKB Program, and 2-in-1 Program)