By Roi Lomotan
The City Government of Dumaguete rolled out programs for the women residents here in time for the observance of National Women’s Month (NWM) this March.
Dumaguete City Local Council of Women (LCW) Chairperson Rosalinda Abellon disclosed that the City Health Office (CHO) offers free Visual Inspection using Acetic Acid (VIA) to all women residents in the city aged 40 years old and above.
VIA is a cervical cancer screening tool similar to Pap smear.
The free VIA screening will be held throughout the entire month.
Also happening throughout March is the capability building activity for initial responders of Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) or VAW desk officers in 30 barangays in the city.
Abellon said a team of service providers from LCW will conduct orientations and capability development activities to enhance their skill on handling women survivors of gender-based violence.
On March 19, members of LCW will visit the female inmates inside the city jail for its Women Inmates Day.
“Ni-spend ta ug usa ka adlaw na gigahin para sa women inmates. Dapat pod sila gahinan ng oras ug budget ug naa assurance na wala ta kalimot nila (We will spend one day with the women inmates. We should also spend time with them and assure them that they are not forgotten. We should also allocate budget for their needs),” Abellon said.
Abellon shared that last year, the city government was able to allocate budget for the improvement of facilities inside the women’s correctional facility, particularly the construction of a function room for skills training activities after the LCW together with City Councilor Lani Ramon who chairs the Committee on Women, Children, and Family Life after they had a consultation with female inmates to discuss their needs.
The LCW chair also announced that the council will also spearhead a skills training event in cooperation with the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).
In line with this, LCW held a Women’s Summit on March 8 at the DCCCO Multi-Purpose Cooperative Function Hall where different women’s group presented their programs and also their livelihood projects for women residents of the city.
The activity also featured talks on women empowerment.
On the other hand, female employees at the City Hall can avail of free beauty, massage, and other wellness services on March 14 at the Women’s Center Building along Rizal Boulevard for the “Pag-amuma” Activity.
“Ato nang gigahin sa mga empleyada na babae. Kanang adlawa magrelax-relax sila (We have set that date so that female employees of the City Hall can relax),” Abellon said.
Apart from the said services, the city government will also hold contests and sports activities this week and later this month.
On March 12, there will be a Luto ni Nanay at the Women’s Center and on March 16 the city government will hold a Contest for Most Segregated Plastic.
Abellon also invited the women to participate in the zumba activity dubbed “Zumba ni Mama” on March 22, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Pantawan II along Rizal Boulevard.
There will also be an all-women beach volleyball on March 26-27 at the beach volleyball area at the Rizal Boulevard.
Meanwhile, Ramon assured that the City Government will continue to support and implement initiatives that will promote the welfare of women.
Some accomplishments of the city government in terms of advancing the welfare of women include the improvement of Casa Esperanza which is the city’s only crisis center for females who are victims of abuse and the improvement and capacitation of the Women and Children’s Protection Desk of the City Police Station.