Municipality of Cagwait Launches

Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait


Cagwait, Surigao del Sur—In response to the cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the Municipality of Cagwait, the Local Committee Against Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Children (LCAT-VAWC) has established a temporary shelter, serving as a beacon of hope. This shelter provides a safe haven and protective custody to women and children in need of special protection.

Inaugurated in December 2023, Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait has been operational since its establishment, offering solace and support to survivors of GBV. The shelter, with its mission to combat violence against women and children, signifies a momentous step in the local efforts to prevent and manage GBV cases effectively. The formal launching of the shelter was held on May 10, 2024.

LGU Officials, Stakeholders, and Partners during the formal launching of Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait.

The initiative traces its roots to Executive Order No. 29A, issued on June 21, 2021, designating a space within the Half-way House of the Municipal Health Office as a holding area, pursuant to the mandate of the law in establishing crisis centers and temporary shelters. Building upon this policy, Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait was constructed with a budget of 2.6 million pesos, addressing the critical need for a residential care facility in the municipality. Cagwait is the first 4th class municipality in the Caraga Region to have established a Crisis Center.

“Since its inception, the shelter has already made a profound impact on the lives of survivors. Notably, it has provided refuge to minors who have endured unspeakable acts of violence, offering them a safe space to heal and rebuild their lives,” remarked Janica Lyra Salcedo-Maghunong, SHE Regional Coordinator for Caraga.

“The shelter has extended its protection to adult survivors, empowering them to break free from abusive relationships and pursue brighter futures. Key to the success of Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait is the dedicated team behind its operation,” added Dr. Sherwin Mantilla, Municipal Health Officer.

Led by Cagwait Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer, Ms. Iluminada Corvera, the multidisciplinary team comprises compassionate individuals committed to serving as beacons of hope for those in need. Among them are victim-survivors of violence who have volunteered to become houseparents, offering firsthand empathy and support to those seeking a place of safety.

Ms. Iluminada Corvera leads the tour of the shelter during the launching.

Former Cagwait Mayor Lillian Yu-Lozada, narrated the establishment of the shelter, stating, “The vision for Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait emerged from our collective determination to address the pressing issue of gender-based violence in our community. It was a joint effort involving various stakeholders, and seeing it come to fruition is a testament to what can be achieved through unity and perseverance.”

Former Cagwait Mayor Lillian Yu-Lozada, narrates the establishment of the shelter during the formal launching of the Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait.

Jhpiego, through the Sexual Health and Empowerment (SHE) project, funded by Global Affairs Canada and led by Oxfam, provided technical assistance for improved management and coordination of SRHR and GBV prevention services. Jhpiego’s technical leadership in training health service providers and managers, strengthening youth-friendly and gender-responsive SRH outreach services, and promoting coordination of SRH and GBV services has been instrumental in realizing this initiative.

Dr. Ingrid Magnata, Country Program Manager of Jhpiego, emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts, stating, “Our partnership with the Municipality of Cagwait exemplifies the power of collective action in addressing gender-based violence. Through coordinated efforts and community engagement, we can create lasting solutions and support systems for survivors.”

Dr. Ingrid Magnata talks about the power of collective action in addressing gender-based violence during the formal launching of the shelter.

Additionally, Jhpiego facilitated engagement with key stakeholders, including the Municipal Health Office, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office and the Women and Children’s Protection Desk, fostering collaboration and ensuring a holistic approach to addressing SRHR and GBV issues within the community.

Ms. Corvera expressed her dedication, stating, “Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait is not just a shelter; it’s a symbol of hope and resilience for our community. Together with Jhpiego through the SHE Project, we are creating a safe space where survivors can heal and rebuild their lives.”

Furthermore, she emphasized the importance of partnership and cooperation, noting, “Our success lies in our ability to work together as a team. By uniting our efforts, we can provide comprehensive support to survivors and ensure their voices are heard.”

Current Cagwait Mayor Glenn Batiancila reaffirms the municipality’s commitment to ending gender-based violence, declaring, “Balay Dangpanan sa Cagwait stands as a testament to our dedication to creating a community free from violence and fear. Together, we will continue to work tirelessly to protect the rights and dignity of all individuals, ensuring a safer and more inclusive future for everyone.”

Cagwait Mayor Glenn Batiancila reaffirms the municipality’s commitment to ending gender-based violence and creating a community free from violence.

Photos and Report courtesy of Geri Matthew Carretero, Communication and Knowledge Management Officer, Jhpiego PH.

About Jhpiego
Jhpiego is a nonprofit global leader in creating and delivering transformative healthcare solutions for women and families worldwide. As an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, Jhpiego in the Philippines has worked with the Department of Health (DOH), local government, and civil society to build health providers’ skills and develop systems that save lives and guarantee healthier futures for women and their families for over 40 years.