• CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
A resolution urging Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez to establish a center to serve as temporary shelter for victims of violence against women and children, and a rape crisis center, was approved by the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod yesterday.
The resolution authored by Councilor Celia Matea Flor said Section 3 of Republic Act 8505, or the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998, provides for the establishment of a Rape Crisis Center in every city.
Section 40 of R.A. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 provides for the mandatory programs and services for victims, including the establishment of temporary shelters, provision of counselling, psycho-social services and/or, recovery, rehabilitation programs and livelihood assistance, it said.
The resolution said Section 30 of Magna Carta of Women mandates local governments to deliver necessary services and interventions such as, but not limited to, temporary and protective custody for Women in Especially Difficult Circumstances or victims and survivors of sexual and physical abuse, illegal recruitment, prostitution, etc.
It is important to have a place of refuge for our victim-survivors where they will not only be provided with shelter, but also other assistance and services that they might need, it said.
Currently, Bacolod City does not have a center that can cater to the needs of victim-survivors, it said.
In line with the commitment of the city to be a safe space to all Bacolodnons, it is only right that we establish a long overdue center, the resolution added.*