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PIA Press Release

Ifugao males to take active part against violence

by Vency D. Bulayungan

Lagawe, Ifugao (21 February) -- Taking the lead in the promotion of male involvement in a family particularly in the field of maternal and child health, the provincial government here has organized the Active Males Movement Against Violence (AMMA).

AMMA meaning father, a localized version of ERPAT (Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities Training) and a subsidiary of the AYOD Community Health Team, is a way where the male bonding would open-up their issues and concerns on parenting. It is through experience that Ifugao males gathered together, discuss among themselves without inhibitions topics concerning family matters including reproductive health, said Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO) Joyce Niwane.

Niwane said that regardless of the level of educational attainment, in the future more attention must be given to the laws enacted for the protection and promotion of a family. Correspondingly more attention must be given to males as partners for the barangays in institutionalizing this program.

In a country like ours, fathers are the hardest to reach both inside and outside the home when it comes to childcare and development. "Ama (Ifugao Term for father) however is not at fault here, they simply didn't know how," Niwane said.

Society's predefined roles for the man of the house dictate that he must have to bring home the bacon and win the bread. Beyond that, most fathers are left clueless as to what to do to be more effective and responsive parents.

Effective and responsive parents refers to how a father performs his paternal roles and responsibilities to his family most especially to his children. It also refers to the kind of relationship he maintains with each member of his family; and with this relationship; how he is able to animate each member to perform each one's roles and functions.

Ms Izumi Murakami, the Chief Advisor for Maternal and Child Health of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said that the province has been implementing very unique ideas of organizing the community for health services improvement while deeply considering the existing cultures and practices of its people.

One local initiative is the formation of the Ifugao AYOD Community Health Teams at the barangay level to become partners in health development at the same time increasing male participation in health and social concerns. This is one of its kind in the country and I even see it as one special initiative ever done in this world, Murakami said.

As Ifugao "Male", whether a member of the AYOD Community Health Team, a local official or a member of the community, you are going to play an important role to help improve the health and social status of your families and eventually save lives of the community," Murakami stressed. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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