Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bicol’s “orange Cagsawa” showcases campaign to end violence vs. women

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY., Nov 29 (PIA) -- It may not seem a good start as heavy rain poured on but it didn’t stop the Bicolanos from joining the call to support the advocacy to end violence against women (VAW) through the "Orange Your Icon for 18 days" campaign launched November 25 in the Bicol region at Cagsawa Park in Albay.

Despite the bad weather, representatives from various government agencies, organizations, sectors and stakeholders from the region convened for the kick-off ceremony of the 18-day campaign to end VAW and ceremonial lighting of the Cagsawa ruins led by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Bicol and Philippine Commission for Women.

DOT undersecretary and guest of honor Alma Jimenez noted the potential of everyone to stop VAW citing the need to respect oneself and others especially the women.

Jimenez said VAW victims have the choice to be free and stay away from violent environment that will compromise their safety and well-being, further urging them to speak up and seek help from concerned organizations and government agencies.

“VAW victims have the choice to say no and enough to violence. I am urging them to speak up or else it will become a vicious cycle that can put their life at risk. Our government and various concerned organizations have programs and services readily available to help them be free from violent environment and situations,” Jimenez said.

In the tourism sector, Jimenez furthered that policies and programs are likewise in place to protect welfare of women wherein 60-70% of the workforce are women.

“Although the industry has created economic opportunities especially for women, tourism has also posed negative effects on women’s human rights. Women can be vulnerable and may fall victim to sexual exploitation and trafficking which is part of the larger social issue under VAW,” she said.

Also with Jimenez during the opening program are DOT Bicol director Maria Ravanilla and representatives from various sectors who led the pledge of commitment to support VAW in the workplace and the community.

Ravanilla has earlier called on the communities to find major landmarks or icons in their respective areas, which can be historical places, statues, monuments or buildings and light them up with orange to signify support to the campaign which has shifted to positive advocacy messaging to encourage more people support, participations and commitment.

For Bicol region, the Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga town was decorated with orange spotlight and banners to showcase the said campaign.

The “Orange your Icon” campaign was launched in solidarity with the United Nation’s Unite to End VAW Campaign with the idea to stimulate public’s curiosity about the “orange” landmarks or icons nationwide and be an opportunity to tap new audiences to join the cause.

The color orange was chosen to represent hope and a future free from violence against women and girls. (MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571480408087/bicol-s-orange-cagsawa-showcases-campaign-to-end-violence-vs-women#sthash.IS9nv9NK.dpuf

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