Tuesday, 30 August 2022 05:40

Governor & Ms. Pacquiao bring hope to victims of sexual abuse

ALABEL, Sarangani (August 30, 2022) – Governor Rogelio “Ruel” D. Pacquiao assures victims of sexual abuse “naay gobyerno nagaprotekta sa inyo,” as he and wife Jobelle Pacquiao visit the Sarangani Home for Girls and Women at Barangay Poblacion on August 30.

The Sarangani Home for Girls and Women, formerly known as the Sarangani Lingap Center, is a center-based facility established in 2007 that serves as a temporary substitute home for children, youth, and women survivors of sexual abuse and victims of voluntary and forced prostitution.

The facility provides counseling sessions, case conferences, values development, home skills enhancement, referral assistance for health services, legal assistance, psychological and psychiatric evaluations, and other necessary interventions that will aid in the rehabilitation and reintegration of the victims into their families and communities.

The Pacquiaos paid their visit not only to assess the physical situation of the facility but also the needs of the clients. They even provided school supplies for the children and brought several sacks of rice.

Social Worker and Center Head Evelyn Bascompte took the opportunity to air to the governor the proposal for a new shelter for the children because their current building is “dilapidated and prone to flooding.”

The governor said he is all ears to their concerns and even pledged a laptop and a printer that could help the children in their research and studies. He told them “kung unsa pa inyong mga need, ipaabot lang sa office kay himuan nato og pamaagi.”

When asked by the governor, one of the children only wished for her perpetrator to be apprehended. The governor in return assured them he will help fast-track the apprehension of the offenders, especially those who are still at large.

Ms. Jobelle Pacquiao told the children they are “special” and encouraged them saying “life is like a book” and their past and traumatic experiences are just “a chapter in life” they can overcome.

The girls said they were grateful and they felt truly “special” upon knowing that the governor and his wife took time to personally visit them despite their busy schedule.

“We know naay purpose si God nganong nahitabo ni sa amoa, and we are so thankful nga naay mga tao sa among palibot na tanggap mi ug gimahal mi sa unsa ug kinsa mi,” the eldest among the girls said.

Also present during the visit were Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Raquel Panal, Provincial Information Officer Joana Grace Banting-Lapore, the governor’s Executive Assistant Rozenkranz G. Espartero, and staff from the Local Youth Development Unit of the province.

Sarangani LYDU head John Oliver Tablazon said the visit is part of the celebration of the Buwan ng Kabataang Sarangan, to also provide an opportunity for the children and the youth inside the facility to experience the celebration as well.

Presently, the facility caters to 15 clients coming from all the municipalities of Sarangani, ages 8-21 years old, who are all having active cases of rape and incest against their predators. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

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