The Bicol Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC), during its online meeting held on September 22, 2020, gave fresh mandate to its officers with the election of Dir. Agnes E. Tolentino of the NEDA Region 5 as chairperson and RDC Private Sector Representative (PSR) for Women Aurora C. De Guzman as co-chairperson for the term 2020 to 2022.
Director Tolentino was elected anew after assuming the position as chairperson in 2016. As chairperson from 2016 to 2020, the Bicol RGADC received the Women Lead Award given by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) as the RGADC with the most number of women as permanent members. Meanwhile, PSR De Guzman, a dedicated gender and development (GAD) advocate, will co-chair the RGADC for the first time. Ms. De Guzman is currently the Sectoral Representative of the Women Sector Council to the National Anti Poverty Commission of the Philippines. Their leadership in the RGADC will be confirmed by the Regional Development Council during its full council meeting in December 2020.
The debut meeting for the female front runners of the RGADC resulted in the approval of the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture as the Bicol Regional Gender and Development Resource Center, the adoption of the online Gender Focal Point System (GFPS) Profile Form, which was established by the PCW, and the approval of the representation of Ms. Jennifer M. Arao for the persons with disabilities.
The PCW’s sharing of the salient features of Republic Act No. 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act prompted the RGADC members to reinforce their commitment to promote equality, security, and safety of every woman in both public and private spaces, including online and onsite workplaces. Strengthening the functionality of barangay violence against women and children (VAWC) desks will provide access to services and thus ensure that the rights of women and children will continue to be protected and upheld.
The participants of the RGADC meeting
The participants during the 2nd Semester 2020 RGADC meeting.