The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, authorized Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong representing the local government to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Baguio General Hospital (BGH), Child Protection Network Foundation, Inc. and some ten barangays to strengthen the protection of women and children in the city.
BGH aims to provide assistance to 10 identified barangays in the city on matters affecting women and children, especially the abused and those at risk by establishing a procedure or mode so that they can communicate and access the services of the women and child protection unit (WCPU) through electronic or digital means.
On the other hand, the CPNFI shares the aims of the BGHMC-WCPU and provides support in the delivery of medical, psycho-social and legal services to abused women and children and through other means possible.
Under the said agreement, BGHMC shall accept referral of women and children from barangays, provided that their women and children do not manifest any symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); provide medico-legal, psycho-social services to all women and children evaluated as abused victims, either through tele-consultation or within the BGH-WCPU facilities; provide online training to social workers and barangay violence against women and children (VAWC) desk officers managing women and child abuse cases and conduct inspection of the recipient barangay to evaluate the utilization of equipment.
The CPNFI shall deliver to the identified barangays a computer unit, licensed Microsoft Office software, anti-virus of 2 years, auxiliary web camera, noise cancelling head set and tele-medicine program or software and provide the technical and support services for the online training to social workers and barangay VAWC desk officers or focal persons managing women and child abuse cases.
The local government through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) shall ensure the signing of consent of evaluation when a child is brought by a concerned citizen where the child has no accompanying adult relative; ensure placement for protective custody; rescue and assist children in the filing of complaints; assist during court trial; ensure confidentiality of cases endorsed and manage cases endorsed.
Barangays Asin, Aurora Hill proper, Camp 7, East Quirino Hill, Fairview, Irisan, Loakan proper, Pacdal, San Luis Village and San Vicente shall designate the barangay VAWC desk officer as the focal person to assist victims of women and children abuse; use the provided equipment and software solely for conduct of tele-medicine or tele-consulting to BGHMC-WCPU clients and their families, conduct of tele-hearing for the courts, conduct of case conference with BGHMC-WCPU and partner agencies and follow-up consultations with BGHMC-WCPU and schedule appointments of women and children to be seen or examined at the same; ensure internet connectivity for the said purpose; ensure that the provided equipment will be used only for abused women and children; allow children from nearby barangays in the city referred by BGH-WCPU to use the facility; maintain and secure the equipment and guarantee that possession and custody with the equipment shall remain with the barangay; replace the provided equipment in case of loss; maintain and repair the equipment; provide a room where the clients will have privacy; require the focal persons to undergo the needed training for children protection and maintain at all times the rights of privacy and confidentiality of the women and children and their families. By Dexter A. See