Via her cellphone, Megs S. Lunn - president, Aklan Press Club, Inc., asked the candidates for provincial governor of Aklan this question:
“What steps will you push to lower the violence against women and minors in conflict with the law aside from closing and erecting building?”
Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores, a candidate for provincial governor for the May 13, 2013 election did not respond.
Makato Mayor Ramon S. Legaspi, Jr. answered which is quoted below:
As one of the political leaders in Aklan, I highly recommend the following measures to eliminate all forms of violence against women and juvenile delinquency:
1. The Provincial Government through the Provincial Gender and Development Council should provide women and minors in conflict with the law with access to Gender Code of Aklan and they should provide opportunities to pursue justice against perpetrators of violence through the formal public legal system.
2. In cooperation with the Department of Education and CHED, the Provincial School Board should be active in the promotion of gender equality in all private and in all government schools in Aklan. Widen access to education for girls and children. It has been proven time and time again that girls enrolled in school are less likely to be married early and become pregnant. If that weren’t reason enough, girls that obtain higher levels of education are more likely to find employment and become empowered as a result of their financial contributions to the family and community.
3. The Provincial Government through the Provincial Health Office and Provincial Health Board should effectively and efficiently implement health programs that end forced early marriage and premature pregnancy, which are the leading causes of death of girls between 15 to 19 years of age. With more than 142 million girls expected to marry before they turn 18 over the next decade, programs of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, which offers conditional cash transfers to incentivize families to delay their daughter’s marriages, will likely help reduce arranged marriages and allow girls to develop both physically and mentally before marriage and child-birth.
4. Aklan Provincial Police Office and the Provincial Planning and Development Office should show research data that bring greater attention to violence committed by partner or spouse. This information would be vital in crafting a Provincial Strategic Plan on how to mitigate issues concerning violence against women.
5. Recommend through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan the revision of marital and family laws that are institutionally biased against women and children by passing a Provincial Ordinance thereto. /MP