PONTEFINO, BATANGAS CITY – To promote the mainstreaming of HIV responses particularly among key populations in Batangas City, various stakeholders collaborated to establish, and launch, the “HRHIV Equality Desk”.
For this, Batangas-based NGO Wagayway Equality Co Inc. collaborated with the local government unit (LGU) of Batangas City to give flesh to a vision that was also boosted by Mayor Beverly Rose Abaya Dimacuha, Bokala Claudette Ambida, Councilor Oliver Macatangay, City Health Officer Dr. Barrion, Dr. Riah Aguda, and Hon. Jordan Magtibay.
“At Wagayway Equality Inc., we believe in creating a community where everyone’s rights are protected, and where stigma and discrimination have no place. The HRHIV Equality Desk is a crucial step towards realizing this vision,” said Aivan Alvarez, the executive director of Wagayway Equality Co Inc.
The LGU of Batangas City provided a dedicated office space within its premises to house the HRHIV Equality Desk, said to “underscore the government’s commitment to supporting initiatives that promote human rights and provide essential services to all residents.”
The HRHIV Equality Desk aims to:
- Establish a safe and inclusive help desk within the LGU of Batangas City to bridge the gap between HIV-related services and human rights promotion.
- Provide comprehensive referral to HIV and human rights services, including counseling, support, referrals, and other assistance in a non-discriminatory and welcoming environment.
- Reduce stigma and discrimination faced by key populations, thereby fostering a more supportive and accepting community.
- Empower marginalized communities to assert their human rights and access health services.
- Advocate for policy and programmatic changes to strengthen the local response to HIV, promote human rights, and improve access to essential services.