MANILA – As part of the Agency’s Gender and Development (GAD) efforts, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), through its Planning and Policy Service (PPS), hosted a webinar in celebration of the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women entitled “Violence Against Women (VAW) Behind the Shadow of the Pandemic: Women’s Response, Recovery & Resilience” today, 25 November 2021.

As violence against women appears to be one of the most widespread violations of human rights with long term devastating effects on the lives of women, their communities and wider society, the MARINA upholds its commitment to put gender equality at the heart of the industry’s plans and programs. The Agency also supports the Philippine government’s goal of protecting the human rights, particularly for women and girls, by maintaining the country’s commitment to address all forms of gender-based violence as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

In his welcoming remarks, PPS OIC-Director Mr. Luisito U. Delos Santos acknowledged the participation of several MARINA officials and personnel, and the presence of the resource speakers. He said that this day, with this event, is the day of learning and renewing the commitment to fight for women’s rights and violence – especially with the help of the topics discussed, particularly the relevant provisions of RA 11313 Safe Spaces Act, the impact of COVID-19 to women in maritime, as well as the incidents of domestic violence in the onslaught of the pandemic.
MARINA OIC-Deputy Administrator for Planning Atty. Jean Ver P. Pia emphasized in her inspirational message that it is important to remember that trauma is not a competition of who has it worse or better. “All abuse is abuse, and all trauma is trauma,” she highlighted.

“Survivors of violence are speaking out more than ever before, and everyone has a role to play to ensure that they (women) can have justice. Don’t say why didn’t she leave. Do say, we hear you, we believe you, we stand with you. Let us empower our women in the maritime industry, in the public sector and even in each and every homes,” Atty. Pia added.

As for the important topics discussed, Independent GAD specialist Ms. Ronalyn V. Hufancia tackled the topic “A Glimpse on the Relevant Provisions of RA 11313: Safe Spaces Act (Bawal Bastos Act).” WIMA Asia/WIMAPHIL President Ms. Merle Jimenez-San Pedro also discussed “Through Her Lens: The Impact of COVID-19 on Women in Maritime,” while Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Executive Director Ms. Jean Enriquez talked about the “Incidents of Domestic Violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Also present to speak about the perspective from the domestic shipping, and women and perils of COVID-19 was WIMAPHIL Vice President Ms. Mary Ann Pastrana.

Lastly, MARINA Management, Administrative and Financial Service (MFAS) Director Ms. Nenita S. Atienza delivered her closing remarks, stating that the webinar was very timely as it showcased women’s response, recovery and resilience against violence in the shadow of the pandemic. “Today, we have been reminded of what women suffer throughout their lives, and of the terrible consequences they have experienced. Let us remember what we have learned in this webinar and include it in every agenda. All women and girls deserve lives free from violence.”