MANILA— The Quezon City local government has launched its own database for cases on violence against women and children (VAWC), as authorities noted the rise in incidents this year.
In a statement Tuesday, the QC government said the database would collate information from the city's 142 barangays, its police stations, and the QC Gender and Development (GAD) Council.
The database can be considered as the first of its kind in the country, the statement read.
This also comes as the city reported a spike in VAWC cases from January to August this year, higher by 66.67 percent from last year's figures, QC Police District Director Gen. Antonio Yarra had said.
Rape cases also rose by at least 21 percent, police said.
"Most of the recorded cases were of physical abuse and psychological abuse. It was also noted that the pandemic played a significant role in the upward trend of VAWC cases," the statement read, referring to long periods that families were locked down together in their homes under the stress of the pandemic.
QC Mayor Joy Belmonte, meanwhile, urged residents to report gender-based violence and seek help from the various programs that they are offering.
Belmonte also tasked the city's police, GAD Council, and its protection center to continue monitoring incidents and "act swiftly" on the cases.
Quezon City is among localities in the Philippines that is leading in ordinances and programs against gender violence.
In 2016, it amended its gender and development code or its anti-cat calling ordinance.
Under the ordinance, cursing, stalking, humiliating or taunting a woman are punishable with a fine of P1,000 to P5,000 and/or up to a month in prison. Those who commit severe violations such us unnecessary touching may end up staying in prison for a year.
Last year, the city opened its protection center for gender-based violence victims, where medical, legal assistance and counseling services are offered.
Its "Bahay Kanlungan" is also open for women, children, and members of the LGBT experiencing discrimination and abuse in their homes.
- With reports from Job Manahan and Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News