VAWC Law Through the Lenses of the Community Elders and Leaders of Ifugao, Benguet and Mountain Province



With the over-all aim of coming up with a new law-making model that is more comprehensive, inclusive and gender-sensitive, a study on the 13 year old law on Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) was undertaken. A portion of the study was made by personally interviewing the community elders and representatives of the Ifugao, Botoc and Benguet tribes from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Philippines, between February - March 2018. Secondary data were gathered from journal articles and electronic resources.
The study established whether the elders are aware of RA 9262 (VAWC Law) and whether they are implementing the law in the process of settling domestic issues in the community. Permission to enter the communities and conduct interviews was obtained from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples’ (NCIP) CAR Regional Office. The assistance in entering the communities was provided by the Provincial Officers of NCIP. Issues on security, distance and finances limited the conduct of the study to Ifugao, Benguet and Mountain Province only.
At the end, representatives and elders from the tribes positively stated their knowledge of the law; however, they disregard the provisions of the Act in favor of their customary practices in resolving issues on violence against women within their respective communities. One recommendation is to adapt these traditional mechanisms of avoiding and settling domestic violence and to integrate them in the mainstream process of law-making in order to produce laws that are genuinely comprehensive, inclusive and gender sensitive.

Keywords: RA9262, VAWC Law, Indigenous Women, Violence against Women.

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