Saturday, June 15, 2024

United States Earmarks PHP4 Million To Boost PH Women, Children Protection Efforts


United States Earmarks PHP4 Million To Boost PH Women, Children Protection Efforts


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The United States government is providing PHP4 million in funding and technical support to boost the country’s reporting and training on women and children protection, the US Embassy in Manila said Thursday.

The funding, to be coursed through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will assist the Department of Health (DOH) and Child Protection Network Foundation (CPN) strengthen the Women and Children Protection Management Information System (WCPMIS) by streamlining its reporting, data collection and analysis.

The WCPMIS is used to track cases of women and child abuse in the Philippines.

“This will enable more efficient monitoring of abuse survivors’ progress, ensuring timely support from responders,” the US Embassy said.

“Accurate data will also be made available to other organizations and individuals providing services to abuse survivors,” it added.

USAID Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn witnessed the signing of a memorandum of agreement between DOH Secretary Teodoro Herbosa and CPN Executive Director Dr. Bernadette Madrid last April 11.

DOH and CPN also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the online training of healthcare workers on recognizing, reporting, recording and referring (4Rs) abuse cases.

Under the MoU, DOH will now require Women and Child Protection Units in hospitals to report abuse cases to authorities.

“The culture of violence must be stopped. Tight collaboration and solid data can change policies to protect women and children,” Herbosa said.

“We have an ocean of data all around us. We must harness the power of that ocean, organizing information into seas of knowledge with safe harbors that will allow boats of wisdom to dock,” he added.

In announcing the funding, Washburn reiterated that USAID’s work has been guided by the “paramount principle of the child’s best interest”.

He expressed optimism these agreements would allow those charged with identifying and reporting abuse to better their obligations and how to fulfill them.

“Consequently, those agencies and persons charged with preventing, protecting, and providing support to survivors will have the information they need to effectively carry out their own roles in combating child abuse,” he said.

Madrid, meanwhile, echoed Herbosa and underscored the importance of data in preventing cases of abuses.

“This database is important, being one of the missing gaps in preventing and intervening on cases of violence against children,” she said. “Data will tell us what the victims need, the appropriate policies and projects intended for them and where to exert more effort (for the victims).”

USAID supports the Philippine government in integrating gender-based violence prevention and response into its health programming.

Since 2019, it has trained over 3,400 health providers in the 4Rs, along with training on gender sensitivity and gender-based violence prevention and response across its project areas. (PNA)