DAGUPAN CITY – The local government of Dagupan through the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) – Women’s Center conducted a basic self-defense and first aid training for women at the Dagupan City People’s Astrodome on March 20.

The training-seminar was held in conjunction with the National Women’s Month Celebration this March, with at least 90 women comprising of LGU employees and barangay officials attending.

The one-day training included hands-on exercises and lectures from PNP Dagupan and City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO).

Led by Social Welfare Assistant Trizia Dela Cruz, the activity was geared at empowering women who are considered to be vulnerable in society by teaching them how to protect themselves against the harassment that they are exposed in their everyday life.

Police Senior Inspector Maria Theresa Meimban, chief of the PNP Dagupan – Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD), Police Community Relations (PCR) and Family Juvenile Gender and Development (FJGAD), led the basic self-defense training for the women.

The PNP demonstrated on how to disarm a gun-wielding attacker as well as on how to escape a chokehold and sexual assault and rape situations, with volunteers personally engaging in the simulated situations.

Meimban stressed the importance of women learning and on how to defend themselves as they are  perceived to be weak and defenseless, saying: “Kailangan nating ipagtanggol ang mga sarili natin.”

She also added that teaching women on how to protect themselves would also help stop the prevalence of abuse and lower the cases of domestic violence.

Women’s rights and RA 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 were also discussed during the training.

Women’s Center House Parent Gladys Gonzales, one of the volunteers who learned how to escape a chokehold, thanked the local government’s focus on women’s protection and welfare.

She considers the activity as an opportunity for battered wives and women to learn self-defense tactics which they could apply if they are attacked.

Meanwhile, the CDRRMO demonstrated first aid techniques and emergency responses such as the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to prepare the women in emergency life-saving scenarios.

According to Administrative Officer David Chua of CDRRMO Research and Planning, health emergencies due to hypertension are common in every community that is why mothers and women must learn to prepare for situations that may require first aid response.

“First aid is pang-unang lunas. Dapat nilang malaman on how to do it properly,” added Chua.

Facilitators expressed hope that those who attended the training will be able to share what they learned to their fellow women in their barangays.

In line with the city’s focus on women’s welfare, Social Welfare Assistant April Cueno urged all women seeking protection from all forms of abuse to visit the Dagupan City Women’s Center.

“Any time of the day, pwede nilang bisitahin ang aming office.” said Cueno. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO/Mar. 22, 2018)