More than 80 School Heads attend Orientation on Bawal Bastos Ordinance
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As part of its resolute dedication to promote a gender-responsive and gender-accountable governance, the City Government kicked off the “Bawal Ang Bastos sa Lungsod ng Isabela” safe spaces campaign through an orientation on Ordinance No. 22-687 or The Bawal Bastos Ordinance of Isabela City for heads of educational and training institutions, September 28 at ISAWAD Function Hall.

In her welcome remarks, CIO and concurrent GAD Focal Mendry-Ann Lim acknowledged the presence of more than 80 principals and heads from the different public and private schools and training institutions in Isabela City and emphasized the significance of their contribution in the shared responsibility of promoting safe spaces for all.

The participants were geared up through a quick familiarity check on the different basic Gender and Development (GAD) concepts, followed by a thorough discussion on core messages on gender sensitivity including social influencers delivered by Jeanette Rojas of the GAD Unit. The session was ensued by the problem tree analysis workshop wherein gender-issues were identified and presented by the participants as well as their causes, consequences and proposed activities for solutions.

Meanwhile, Chairperson on SP Committee on Women, Children and Family Affairs and Committee on Gender and Development Councilor Karel Annjaiza Sakkalahul gave an inspirational message and reiterated the importance of good governance in development. The author of the Bawal Bastos Ordinance of Isabela City also discussed the salient provisions of the law and addressed queries concerning its features and implementation.

An in-depth discussion on gender-based sexual harassment (GBSH) in educational and training institutions was given by City Legal Officer, Atty. Adzlan Imram. He shed light on the duties and liabilities of school heads and heads of training institutions as enshrined in RA 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act, RA 11313 or Safe Spaces Act and Supreme Court decisions. Situationer on the GBSH cases in Isabela City was also presented by Pcpl Fatimah Salisa of the Isabela City Police Station Women and Children Protection Desk.

Among the highlights of the program were the launching and turn over of the Anti-Sexual Harassment (ASH) hotline to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) and distribution of Bawal Bastos posters. Atty. Imran then administered the pledge of commitment, where everyone vowed to serve as partners of the City Government in ensuring safe spaces and a happy and dignified life for all Isabelenos. Messages of support and commitment were also given by Eduardo Gulang, DepEd Isabela City Chief Education Supervisor and other selected school heads and principals.

The orientation which was initiated by the City Information Office in partnership with the Gender and Development Unit was concluded with everyone chanting the powerful statement “HapIsabela! Bawal Ang Bastos sa Lungsod ng Isabela!” (Words by J. Rojas, GAD/Photos by M. Santos, CIO)