A village chief’s mission to protect women and children

When Diomedes Golosino was elected as a village chief in a rural town in Bohol, Philippines, it became his personal mission to safeguard the welfare of all of his constituents especially the women and children.

Golosino started leading his village in 2018 when he won the local elections. Previous to his chairmanship, he already served as a village secretary.

Months after he was elected, he made sure to focus on children and youth projects. Along with his local community partners, he organized a social activity among the youth where they can practice proper grooming and social etiquettes.

In 2019, he was also invited to a World Vision workshop where they underwent a refresher about the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC). The said council is mandated by the national government to promote the welfare of the children and youth.

In the workshop, Golosino learned the importance of the council and the steps on how to reactivate it under his leadership. After the workshop, he immediately called a meeting among his members including the representatives from the youth, academe, and health sectors, including the child monitoring volunteers.

“As the village chief, it is my job to take the lead to cater the welfare of the children, especially the abandoned, battered, and others who are abused. The first step is to reactivate the BCPC,” shares Golosino.

During their meetings, they discussed the activation of the BCPC and they set a regular meeting schedule. They also agreed to establish a siren that will sound at 9AM, their implemented curfew for minors. The siren will also sound during emergencies.

The council also agreed to strengthen the capacity of their village peacekeepers to monitor the community, especially at night. They also discussed the process on how to handle Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) cases.

When the pandemic happened, council also enforced stricter measures to protect the children and monitor their situation at home. The curfew has been upgraded to all residents and moved to 10PM. Minors are also not allowed to stay outside their homes.

One incident that happened when a group of teenagers would gather together at dawn to jog and exercise were dispersed by the peacekeepers. It was also explained to them the health and protection risks they may encounter when they go out as early as 3 in the morning.

Golosino also making an effort to make his village drug-free by partnering with government agencies. He also conducted efforts to rehabilitate drug surrenderees such as tree planting and sports activities.

“As the village captain, I am the umbrella in our community. My role is to cover them and to protect them. I try to cater all of the needs of our residents especially the children,” he shares.

World Vision has been working in Golosino’s community for almost 10 years already. Aside from supporting different development programs in the area, the organization has also put child protection at the core of its work, working alongside village leaders to strengthen BCPC, capacitating community and child leaders on child protection.