BAGUIO CITY – The leadership of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) expressed serious concern over the reported rapid increase in rape cases involving the youth, citing that concerned government agencies and local governments must do something to effectively and efficiently address the possible improvement in the values formation of the people to reduce the said problem.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, who chaired the recent joint RPOC and Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting Friday at the Mansion House, said it is important for both the government and the private sector formulate and implement interventions to reducing the number of rape cases being reported regionwide.
“We are alarmed at the increasing number of rape cases in the different parts of the region. We urge concerned government agencies, the local governments and the private sector to do something about improving the values formation of today’s youth to help reduce the rape cases,” Domogan stressed.
He pointed out the increase in the rape cases involving the youth is a sign that parents are not doing their job to be the first teachers of the children that is why appropriate interventions must be in place to address the said problem.
Based on the report of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera, rape cases registered the highest number of cases among index crimes with Ifugao having the highest number of rape cases at 20 from January to May this year.
Further, Mountain Province recorded 9 rape cases while the other provinces recorded high rape incidents during the same period.
On her part, Janet Armas, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-CAR), describes the increase of rape cases in the region as alarming although there is a consistent drop in the number of index crimes.
According to her, social welfare and development officers in the different parts of the region have been instructed to work double time in catering to the needs of rape victims while working out the needed interventions for the families of those involved in the rape incidents.
Armas admitted based on the agency’s data, the rape cases were mostly committed by younger suspects and committed against younger victims who are residents of the communities where they live.
The DSWD-CAR official proposed to the local chief executives to reactivate their gender equality and development (GAD) councils and designate their GAD focal persons to provide adequate measures that will protect the children from the criminal motives of their neighbors and their family members.
Apart from the reactivation of the GAD councils and designation of GAD focal persons, Domogan emphasized various sectors have a lot of homework to do to help in addressing the alarming social problem that is why everyone must work together to spare the younger generations from being involved in such crimes. /By Dexter A. See