December 14, 2021


As the nation is overwhelmed by another year of the pandemic situation, many women and children in many areas are suffering from violence and abuse. Not everyone is so aware of this gender issue thus, GADC continues to intensify the campaign to end violence and abuse against women and children. In support to the government's effort to eliminate VAWC, the Bulacan State University - Gender and Development Center (BulSU-GADC) annually observes the 18 Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Children where it maximizes efforts to prepare activities that will enjoin the community to advocate anti-violence against women and children.

By Media Relations Office

This year, in relation to the campaign, a Convocation Program was facilitated by GADC with the theme "Filipino Marespeto: Safe Spaces, Kasali Tayo!" It emphasizes awareness on the Safe Spaces Act of 2019 or the RA 11313. Interestingly, the program began with a very meaningful Opening Remarks by Prof. Maria S. Bulaong, Dean, College of Arts and Letters. She cited three important points in the theme, "marespeto," the need for safe spaces and everyone's inclusion in the protection of the law. Likewise, the Executive Vice President and Vice-Chair, GAD Executive Committee, Dr. Teody San Andres, impressed in his greetings that respect is earned because it is deemed appropriate and not just because the law dictates.

More wisdoms and insights on respect to people and their spaces were imparted by the University President Dr. Cecilia S. Navasero-Gascon. She pointed out that changes and shaping of character and morale should begin within the individuals. She appealed to the BulSU Community to stand up and grow a VAWC free particularly in this current pandemic when everyone needs each other more. She strongly urged the community to be a springboard in fulfilling a harmonious community with VAWC zero tolerance.

The listeners were poured with more insights and information by the keynote address delivered by Commissioner Asliyah M. Limbona, Al Haj, Commissioner on Culture, Philippine Commission on Women (PCW). She highlighted in her address how women are discriminated and violated in different forms, their causes and how the government is responding to this proliferating social concern.

Adding to the enormous encouragement to be conscious of everyone's safe environs is a short but challenging Closing Remarks from Dr. Elizabeth A. Chua. She reminded the audience that the responsibility of ending VAWC is not only of the government but also of the community and shall commence within the bounds of our own homes.

During the program, GADC presented Certificates of Recognition to nine pioneer members of the GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) who had been of service to the causes of the Center for more than five years. These GFPS members steadfastly propelled the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects, activities and programs as reflected in the BulSU GAD Plan and Budget. Their unwavering initiatives, insights, and whole-hearted support had made GADC more relevant and responsive to the mandates of the Magna Carta of Women. They were Dr. Cecilia A. Geronimo (Former Chair, GAD Exe Com), Ms. Isabelita C. Benedictos (Former Vice-Chair, Exe Com), Ms. Leilani M. Lizardo (Member, Exe Com), Ms. Hermogena A. Bautista (Member, Exe Com), and five (5) members of the Technical Working Group namely: Dr. Evangelina G. Custodio. Dr. Agnes DR. Crisostomo. Ms. Helen P. Valentin, Ms. Nenita B. Chico, and Ms. Melinda M. Navarro.

The program was also supported by other GADCvocates such Prof. Gerald C. Hilario, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Services - Main Campus (Invocation), Dr. Mary Ann P. Carranza, Executive Director, External Relation and Internationalization (Introduction of the Keynote Speaker), Prof. Jospeh Roy F. Celestino, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs Services - External Campuses(Message of Appreciation / Awarding of Certificate for the Keynote Speaker), Dr. Jamie P. Pulumbarit , VP for Administration and Finance (Recognition of VAW Advocates/GFPS) and Ms. Melinda M. Navarro, TWG Member and NAPA President (Awarding of Contest Prizes). The intermission numbers were courtesy of the Office of Culture and the Arts. It was competently hosted by Ms. Mary Pauline J. Musca-Alincastre.

The more than two hours long virtual engagement was made possible by the CICT Technical Team through the kindness of Dr. Keno C. Piad. More than 350 members of the BulSU community (faculty, students and non-academic personnel) gathered together, watched and listened to this very significant activity. At Facebook live, it garnered more than 2,000 viewers.