TACLOBAN CITY- A gender information desk was launched by the regional office of the Office of the Ombudsman where complaints on sexual harassment against a government official or personnel could be lodged. Jennifer Manalili, assistant ombudsman and gender development officer, said that the gender information desk will accept complaint not just from women victims but even from men who claimed to have been sexually harassed or discriminated. The gender information desk, located at the regional office of the Ombudsman, was launched on Monday (July 18). “Gender is not only about women but for all of us. Many (sexual and discrimination) incidents are happening but if it’s not reported or if they don’t have a venue to report it, we will not know it,” Manalili said. “This is our way of telling them to come out and tell us what is really going on, if there are really cases of harassment against women, children and men,” said Manalili. According to Manalili, with men encouraged to file their own sexual or discrimination complaints, this will erase the perception that only women are prone to be victimized of sexual or discrimination harassment. “But we will still need to access it if this will fall into our jurisdiction. If it falls under our jurisdiction, then we will take action on it but if they want other interventions to their complaints, then we will look at ways of how we can help them,” she stressed. Since the desk was launched, the regional ombudsman office has yet to receive any complaint. Manalili said that with the launching of gender information desk, it would now be easy to know the number of cases involving sexual or discrimination complainants perpetrated by government personnel or officials. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)