In celebration of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW, a webinar entitled “Orientation on Safe Spaces Act (RA  11313)” was successfully conducted last November 25, 2021. It was held by Cavite State University in collaboration with the Gender and Development Resource Centre that was quite pertinent and relevant in our society. The webinar was held via Zoom platform and streamed through Facebook live with hundreds of participants. The University President, Dr. Hernando D. Robles, delivered the welcome remarks where he acknowledged the resource speaker, university officials, faculty members, employees, students and other Facebook live viewers. Mr. Mark Denver P. Almarez Admin Staff, GADRC, explained the objectives of the webinar and the house rules.

Atty. Eric Paul D. Peralta, an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) who is also the current Director of the Human Resource Development Office in UPLB and a Certified Member of the National GAD Resource Pool of the Philippine Commission on Women shared his expertise as resource speaker. He thoroughly discussed the said law and how it applies to the work environment. He mentioned that, safe spaces are places where people feel physically and emotionally safe where they may freely express themselves without the fear of criticism and violence. These exhibits respect for the dignity of all human beings and complete respect for human right, guaranteeing that both men and women enjoy quality, security and safety not only in private but also in streets, public spaces, online, workplaces and educational and training institutions.  In addition, he explained how crucial it is to comprehend declaration policies, important definitions and general acts punishable in Gender Based Sexual Harassment, revealing that Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) is extremely significant in institutions. Furthermore, a quick demonstration of CSC MC No. 11 series of 2021, ensuring that the Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RACCS) are in accordance with what is provided by RA 11313.

To demonstrate management support for the Gender and Development Resource Centre’s advocacy, the vice president of the University’s several divisions have issued a Statement of Commitment to End Violence against Women. Dr. Ma. Agnes P. Nuestro, Vice President for Academic Affairs, was the first to speak, followed by Dr. Melbourne R. Talactac, Vice President for Research and Extension, Dr. Camilo A. Polinga, Vice President for Administrative and Support Services and Dr. Marilyn M. Escobar, Vice President for Planning and Development. Dr. Mary Jane D. Tepora, Director of Human Resource Development Office, delivered the closing remarks where she ended the event with a statement guaranteeing the faculty members, students, employees, and their stakeholders that the institution can provide a comforting, both physically and emotionally safe environment.

To ensure that listeners understood the talk, Atty. Peralta gave a quiz on TILT – Things I Learned Today, with free one hour or two hours of legal consultation with him as prizes.

Atty. Peralta ended his talk with a quote from former Supreme Court US Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” He also reiterated that everyone has the responsibility to make a safe environment and a secured community free from criticism and harm. A VAWC-free community should start with every individual.

The event was moderated by Prof. Adora Joy T. Plete, Director of Public Affairs and Communications Office. (MCPSioco)

Photos taken during the orientation of Safe Spaces Act

University President Dr. Hernando D. Robles delivers his opening remarks.
Atty. Eric Paul D. Peralta, resource speaker makes the orientation on Safe Spaces Act.
University stakeholders make declaration of commitment to the GAD advocacy.
Group photo of the participants.
Dr. Mary Jane D. Tepora, Director of Human Resource Development Office, delivers the closing remarks.