Belmonte receives gender-responsive governance award for QC
MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government has been awarded as one of the most gender-responsive local government units by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).
According to the PCW, Quezon City promoted human rights, gender equality and women empowerment in its ordinances.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte received the award which highlighted her gender and development (GAD) programs including the Protection Center for Victim-Survivors of Gender-Based Violence and Abuse and the City Social Hygiene Clinics.
“In behalf of the Quezon City local government, I would like to thank the Philippine Commission on Women for recognizing our programs,” Belmonte said in a statement.
Belmonte said Quezon City is the first local government unit to implement a comprehensive gender-fair ordinance and also created the Quezon City Pride Council which is the first of its kind in the Philippines.
The Quezon City Pride Council was created to enforce lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights and programs for the LGBT community in the city.
The QC Pride Council also oversees the integration of all city programs and projects for the LGBT community.
Belmonte also noted that Quezon City continues to address sexual harassment by implementing provisions against catcalling in public places as per the GAD ordinance.
“As a pilot and a pioneer city of the UN Women Safe Cities Metro Manila Program, QC continues to address sexual harassment by implementing anti-cat calling and sexual harassment in public spaces provisions on the amended GAD ordinance,” she said.
GAD policies are promoted at the barangay level through GAD focal persons while the City GAD Council also works and coordinates with the violence against women desks at the various Quezon City police stations, Belmonte noted.
Belmonte also cited the City Social Hygiene Clinics which provide HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing for men who have sex with men (MSMs) and transgenders.
“Our City Social Hygiene Clinics were established to care to men who have sex with men and transgender people providing them with free, safe, non-discriminatory and confidential HIV testing along with free counseling services,” she said.
“The establishment of the social hygiene clinics is part of the city’s HIV response program which has been recognized as a model for other cities by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS or UNAIDS,” the vice mayor added.
Belmonte added that she will still encourage the city government to “sustain and expand implementation” of its GAD programs and facilities
“I strongly support and give my commitment to the implementation of the GAD local learning hubs which will enable all LGUs to share best practices and information on GAD programs and help them build and strengthen their GAD by learning from the experience and technical knowledge of other LGUs,” she said. /muf
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