By: S&T Pen 02_Jericho D. Fronda and Jennifer Ibañez

October 22, 2021- The Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC2) of the Regional Development Council (RDC-RGADC2) conducts its first ever Regional GAD Budget Forum for Local Government Units (LGUs) in Cagayan Valley organized and supported by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) via Zoom platform.

The webinar focuses to (1) Orient the GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) members from LGUs in the region, on the Guidelines on the Preparation of the Annual FY 2022 GAD GPB and FY 2021 GAD AR based on JMC 2013 and JMC 2016 to address gender issues of clients and the organization, and implement the Magna Carta of Women (MCW); (2) Level off participants’ understanding on the integration of gender responsive elements in project development process using the Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) and how the results of HGDG could be attributed to the GAD Budget; (3) Clarify issues and concerns encountered in the preparation and implementation of GAD Planning and Budgeting (GPB) and Accomplishment Report (AR) and in the revised guidelines in the audit of GAD funds and activities; and (4) Present the revised guidelines in the audit of Gender and Development (GAD) Funds and Activities of government agencies.

In order to fulfill RGADC’s mission in capacitating its member agencies, Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang, RGADC2 Chairperson, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, emphasized to consider the needs of both men and women when preparing development and budget plans. He also noted the importance of inclusivity in all their programs and projects, making sure that no gender is left behind.

“LGUs are bound to mainstream gender perspective in the local planning, programming and budgeting in local legislation in project development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.” DILG Reginal Director and Co-chairperson, RGADC2, Jonathan Paul M. Leusen in his message.

Moreover, Ms. Ludivina T. Potot, Department of Budget and Management Region 02, Chief Budget and Management Specialist shared DILG, DBM and NEDA’s experience in the Interagency Provincial Cluster roll-out of the said JMC in 2014.

She highlighted the challenges and concerns that adversely affected the implementation of the MCW in the local government such as: Absence or low attendance of Local Chief Executives during the Roll-out; Change in Local Leadership in 2016; Amendment of the 2013 JMC; and the Insufficient Intervention/Technical Assistance provided to LGUs which resulted to this year’s GAD Budget Forum to increase the level of understanding and appreciation of the LGU GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) Members on MCW.

Resource speakers tapped were PCW National GAD Resource Pool Members (1) DIR. DONALD JAMES D. GAWE Executive Director, Philippine National Volunteer Service Agency; (2) MS. VICHEL RSE E. JUGUILON-PANGAN, Independent GAD Consultant; (3) MS. MARIA CHRISTINE DE LEON, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG 03), Local Government Operation Officer VI; and OIC-Supervising Auditor, Commission on Audit Region 02 (4) MS. RAQUEL O. REYES, who discussed the Guidelines on the Preparation of LGU GPB and GAR and Completion of the form, Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG), Submission, Review and Endorsement of GPB and GAR, and GAD Funds Audit respectively.

RGADC2 to monitor compliance of LGUs GPB and GAR, Forum on GAD Mandates, Forum on Gender Analysis GeRL Ka Ba? Assessment Tool, Sharing Experiences or Best Practices on GAD Implementation of LGUs, Leveling and Deepening Sessions were some of the committee’s ways forward to be undertaken in the future presented by Dr. Teresita A. Tabaog, DOST02 – Assistant Regional Director-TOS and RGADC-II, Focal Person.

Nharleen Santos-Millar, Chief GAD Specialist of PCW, Technical Services and Regional Coordination Division lauded the efforts of the RGADC2 specifically USec. Mabborang for giving the urgency to capacitate LGUs in preparation of their GAD related reports.

“We hope that with regular conduct of GAD-related activities such as this, government instrumentalities in the region will continuously be drivers of substantive change towards a more gender equal and inclusive programming” PCW Executive Director Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves exerted as she concluded the activity looking forward for the activity a game changer in formulating LGUs GPB and GAR.