A Philippine Human Rights NGO providing Psychosocial Services and Rehabilitation to Internally Displaced Persons and Survivors of Torture and Organized Violence.

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Stakeholders meet to establish mechanism for rehab program for torture victims in Davao Region

The  establishment of a   mechanism to  implement an integrated  rehabilitation program for torture victims and families of victims of enforced disappearance made progress in the Davao Region in Mindanao  with the convening of an inter-agency forum  in Davao City on May 17, 2017.

The activity was organized by the Social Technology Bureau of the  Department of Social Welfare and Development (STB-DSWD) in collaboration with Balay and FIND, its civil society partners.

Government agencies that sent their regional representatives to the forum include the Department of Health, Department of Justice, Department of Interior and Local Government, Commission on Human Rights, and the officers from the DSWD Field Office in Region XI.

The participants discussed, among others, the rehabilitation services program being developed by DSWD. Known as the PagHILOM Program or the  Healing Intervention Leading to Optimum Management  for Victims of Torture and Enforced Disappearance and their Family Members”,  the program is now being implemented in Region IX (Zamboanga) and Region XI (Davao) in Mindanao and the National Capital Region in Metro Manila.

According to the DSWD, the programs were developed as a model of intervention that seeks to contribute to the healing, rebuilding, reparation and access to justice   of victim-survivors of torture and enforced disappearance. 

A representative from Balay discussed the programs and services of the organization in addressing the health and psychosocial issues facing torture victims. She said that it is essential that rehabilitation be understood  as a right of the victims and that the  services provided by the government is an acknowledgement of its accountability and as a form of reparation  to the victims.

The implementing agencies also discussed the proposed  memorandum of agreement (MOA) among key government agencies and their civil society partners to formalize the standards for coordination, referral, and service delivery for the target group.  Once approved, the implementing partners will create an  inter-disciplinary  pool of  health and psychosocial case managers – to be called as the ‘rehabilitation team’ -at the regional level and in the local government level as well, starting in Region XI.

The MOA also sought to support the organization of survivors association, the provision of therapeutic and reparation services, dissemination of the Anti Torture Act and the Anti Enforced Disappearance Act, and advocating for redress and human rights.

The DSWD and Balay have agreed to collaborate in the holding of capacity development seminars for case managers who will consist the inter-disciplinary pool of service providers once the MOA has been signed by the heads of the implementing agencies.