QC marks Women's Month with various services to female residents
Posted: 2023-Mar-08 07.38.54 UTC+0800
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MANILA – To celebrate Women's Month, the Quezon City government has lined up various activities that include free services that will benefit the women residents of the city.
To highlight the event, Mayor Joy Belmonte is set to deliver her State of the Women Address (SOWA) on Wednesday.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, Belmonte reiterates her commitment to eliminating physical, mental and sexual abuse against women through their different programs.
She said that various programs to protect women from abuse, look after their physical and mental well-being, and provide them with livelihood and education are being implemented by the city government, such as the Task Force Magdalena that was established in 2020 to help victims of human trafficking in the city.
"Gaya na lang ng higit isang daang kababaihan na nasagip ng Task Force Magdalena, karamihan ng mga biktima ay edad bente uno pataas at ipinasok sa mga spa o massage parlors na nag-aalok ng extra service (Just like the more than a hundred women, aged 21 and above, were rescued through the Task Force Magdalena after they were forced to work in spa or massage parlors that offer extra services)," Belmonte said.
In 2022, the city government launched Men Against Violence Everywhere (MOVE) and Cycling to End VAW (Violence Against Women) as it received more than 2,000 reports of various kinds of abuse against women even at the height of the pandemic.
Belmonte said that in terms of violence committed against women and children, "any number other than zero is simply unacceptable."
The city government also expanded the services of QC Helpline 122 to respond to VAWC (Violence Against Women and Children) reports and mental health concerns.
Belmonte also established the QC Protection Center, a one-stop shop crisis center that she plans to expand to every district in the city, and the "Bahay Kanlungan," a temporary shelter for VAWC victims.
To help working women save more for their families while helping reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, the city has also provided an initial 600 bicycles to women workers to encourage them to use bike in going to work.
Barangay health centers have also assisted over 17,000 women in QC with hypertension through its free laboratory testing, giving of maintenance medicines, regular blood pressure monitoring, and follow-up care.
In partnership with the Philippine Cancer Society for its ACT NOW Prime Care for Breast Cancer Program, about 20,000 women are set to receive free breast cancer assessment and laboratory tests at its pilot site in Barangay Commonwealth.
Meanwhile, the city government has provided financial assistance to women sari-sari store owners through its Small Income Generating Assistance (SIGA) Program.
Phase 2 of Pangkabuhayang QC has given P20,000 cash aid to more than 18,000 women to help them start their own small businesses.
The "Tindahan ni Ate Joy" program gave a sari-sari store to around 2,700 beneficiaries who are single mothers and have experienced abuse, while around 13,000 women received regular income through the QC urban farming program.
To assure their reintegration into society, Belmonte also assured that the welfare of Women Deprived of Liberty (WDL) and teenage mothers are also being prioritized through the city's "No Woman Left Behind Program" and "Batang Ina Program,"respectively.
Other activities lined up for the month-long celebration include free PAP smear testing from the Quezon City Protection Center (QCPC) while the Small Business and Cooperatives Development and Promotions Office (SBCDPO) will organize the POP QC-Women's Month Bazaar at the Quezon City Hall grounds and provide livelihood training for women entrepreneurs.
Seminars on sexual harassment, women's rights, and mental health, as well as an essay writing and poster-making contest, were also organized by the city's Gender and Development office.
The Public Affairs and Information Services Department (PAISD) will hold a photo contest while the QC Public Library will provide free coffee and tokens for its first 500 women clients.
Zumba sessions, medical missions, free cervical cancer screenings, and ultrasounds have also been lined up by various departments as well as the Quezon City Council. (PNA)