The Regional Gender and Development Committee of the Regional Development Council 5 NEDA Region 5, in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), declared to strengthen gender mainstreaming effort in the region as it gathered 114 GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) members in the 1st Bicol Regional GFPS Assembly held last July 29 to 30 at NEDA Region 5, Legazpi City.
With the theme “Strengthening Regional and Local Mechanisms on GAD Mainstreaming” the two-day activity was attended by GFPS members of 23 regional line agencies, seven local government units, and four state universities and colleges in the region.
In her message, Maria Kristine Josefina G. Balmes, PCW Deputy Executive Director for Operations, highlighted the responsibility of GFPS members in implementing the Magna Carta of Women or MCW (RA 9710) down to the barangay level so that more women will be benefitted. She said, “I encourage everyone to network with their fellow GFPS members as potential partners and technical assistance resource providers at the regional and local levels.” She assured the participants that PCW will continue to work with the RGADC to strengthen and sustain GAD efforts in the region.
Meanwhile, RD Agnes E. Tolentino of NEDA 5 urged the GFPS members “to go beyond compliance and take with them the information learned from the assembly to contribute to achieving regional and national development with a gender perspective.” She reiterated RGADC’s commitment to strengthen the capacities of GAD Focal Point System members and ensure top-level support to pursue gender and development mainstreaming and the localization of the Magna Carta of Women in the region.
The assembly highlighted lessons and good practices on gender mainstreaming as a strategy in implementing the MCW. It also tackled GAD-related concerns, including human rights, maternal mortality, gender issues in disaster response, human trafficking, and migration.
Capping the activity was the signing of commitment pledge where the participants concretized their plan of actions to further strengthen gender mainstreaming in their respective offices, including priority interventions, and technical assistance they need from the Bicol RGADC.
(L) RGADC Chairperson, RD Agnes E. Tolentino, welcomes 114 GFPS members and (R) PCW DED for Operations Ma. Kristine Josefina G. Balmes on her message to the participants.
(L) Mr. Michael A. Del Rosario of DepEd sharing the agency’s best practices in gender mainstreaming and (R) Ms. Aldo Niño I. Ruivivar sharing lessons and good practices of Naga City Council for women.
(L) RD Arlene Alangco discusses GAD in the context of human rights and (R) PCW Commissioner for Education and Academe Cristita C. Triunfante moderates the open forum.
(L) Acknowledging the participation of men and (R) Unfreezing of participants.
Participants from different Regional Line Agencies