Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol will be lighted orange to signify that the entire province is one with the international movement to end violence against women.
“Society can never be really progressive until the rights of women are rightfully accorded the import and value it deserves,” he said at the launching of this year’s 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women at the Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City, today, November 24.
Lacson was joined by members of the Provincial Council for Women and the Provincial Committee Against Trafficking, Child Pornography and Violence Against Women and Children at the launching of the activity, with the theme “VAW-free Community Starts With Me”.
The governor said he has invited the 31 mayors of Negros Occidental to join the observance of the campaign by hanging 18-day streamers, tying of orange ribbons around their public plazas, the use of orange ribbons by the LGU employees and by supporting the activities of the local and provincial councils for women.
All these are being done to spark public interest and promote awareness of the need to end violence against women, he said.
He said that amid humanity’s progress due to globalization and modernization, one would suppose that violence against women is an archaic act that deserves no place in society. However, the fact remains that such a form of vile conduct against women still exists, the governor added.
“Change does not happen overnight, thus, the key is to persevere, to persist — to take every step necessary to achieve the empowerment, justice and equity each and every woman deserves,” Lacson said.
He stressed that under his watch Negrense women will always have a fighting chance and will be treated without prejudice.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, Senate Committee on Women, Children and Family Relations chair who gave an online inspirational message, said ending violence against women takes a community effort.
The lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused more women to be abused because they have been trapped with their abusers, Hontiveros said.
She stressed the need for citizens to check on their neighbors and to be vigilant against such abuses by reporting them to authorities.
The Provincial Capitol Committee on Decorum and Investigation members chaired by lawyer Julie Ann Bedrio took their oaths of office before Lacson, as part of the program, while Dawn Marie Castro, member of PILIPINA National Council gave a briefing on the “Bantay Bastos” Campaign.
Lacson also turned over P500,000 to the Negros Occidental Girls Scouts Council for their various programs and projects in the province.
Also present at the activity were Negros Occidental Board Members Juvy Pepello and Rita Gatuslao, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz, Provincial Legal Officer Alberto Nellas Jr., Executive Assistant to the Governor and PIO Head, Charina Magallanes-Tan, Executive Assistant to the Governor and Provincial Gender and Development (GAD) Action Officer, Marie June Castro, Provincial Council for Women Chair, Andrea Lizares-Si, Fr. Chris Gonzales, Director of the Social Action Commission of the Diocese of Bacolod, and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office Head, Merle Garcia.*