Region V Council of GAD focal holds convergence meeting

Bicol University through its Center for Gender and Development hosted the Region V Council of Gender and Development convergence meeting held on August 6, 2018 at the CTE Hall of the BU College of Education. Hon. Cristitata Cervantes Triunfante, Philippine Commission of Women (PCW) Commissioner for Education and Alternate GAD Focal Dr. Jean Salalima of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Region V Office joined the Council officers as resource persons.

PCW Commissioner Triunfante said, “The GAD directions for Education is provided in the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Plan (GEWE) and the Philippine Plan for Gender and Development (PPGD) crafted in 1995 and to end in 2015.”

“During the Aquino Administration, there was the Women's Empowerment, Development and Gender Equality (WEDGE) Plan and now for the current administration, the women's agenda is expected to be enshrined in the GEWE Plan which will be disseminated later this year. PCW conducted a nationwide stakeholders' consultations for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (GEWE) Plan in 2017,” said Comm. Triunfante.

The GEWE Plan is expected to concretize the Philippine Government's commitment to fully implement RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW). Guided by Ambisyon Natin 2040 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly Goal No. 5 on achieving gender equality, and the empowerment of all women and girls, the GEWE plan is also expected concretize the gender-responsive provisions of the Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022.

“The GEWE Plan focuses on the strategic goal areas of Gender-Responsive Social Development, Gender-responsive Economic Development, Gender-Responsive Participatory Governance, Gender in Justice, Security and Peace, Gender in the Environment and Climate Change, Gender-Responsive  Infrastructure and Technology and Transforming Gender Norms and Culture,” reveals Comm. Triunfante.

“The GEWE Plan is expected to have a compendium of indicators which can be used in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of our GAD activities so when we craft our Regional GAD Agenda, we can use the GEWE Plan as our guide,” Comm. Triunfante further elaborates. The GEWE Plan, once finalized and disseminated shall serve as a guide for formulating Gender and Development (GAD) Plans and Budgets of national agencies, local government units, higher education institutions, and the gender-responsive government policies, plans and projects.

Meanwhile Dr. Jean Salalima Go provided the rationale for the existence of the Region V Council of GAD Focals. “CHED expects the Council to craft an Action Plan on GAD initiatives for its institutionalization in Higher Education Institutions based on CHED Memorandum No, 1, Series of 2016. Moreover, the Council will serve as organizer and /or coordinating body for GAD-related activities in Region V and identify and share good practices on GAD in terms of school practices, curriculum, research programs and services,” said CHED V Education Specialist II Dr. Go. “The Council will also serve as sounding board of HEIs (to CHED and PCW) relative to GAD issues and concerns and be represented in the Regional GAD (RGADC) currently headed by NEDA V. Dr. Alban and I will extend our utmost support and assistance to the officers and members of the Region V Council of GAD Focals in all your activities,” said Dr. Go.  

For Higher Educational Institutions, CHED Memorandum Order No. 1 Series of 2015 on “Establishing The Policies and Guidelines on Gender and Development in the Commission on Higher Education and Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs)” provides for enabling mechanisms that CHED and HEIs shall establish, such as the GAD Focal Point System or GFPS, and the integration of the principles of gender quality in the trilogical functions of higher education : (1) curriculum development, (2) gender-responsive research programs, and (3) gender-responsive extension programs.

In Region V, there are 32 state universities and colleges, 112 private higher education institutions and 18 local universities and colleges which provides tertiary education to 59,723 males and 81,131 females based on CHED data for AY 2017-2018.  In the Bicol Region, there are 3,987 male faculty and 4,468 female faculty, based on CHED's data for AY 2016-2017.      

Officers of the Region V Council of GAD Focals were sworn into office by CHED Region V GAD Focal Dr. Ma. Teresa de Alban during the regional meeting attended by over a hundred GAD Focals and Alternates Focals held on July 26, 2018 at the Universidad de Sta. Isabel, Naga City. 

The Council officers include as Chairperson, Prof. Ma. Elaine I Salazar of Bicol University; Co-Chairperson, Prof. Arnel S. Jardinel of Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology; Secretary, Prof. Karen B. Lladones of UST-Legazpi; and Treasurer, Dr. Leni M. Malabanan of Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges.

The Council's Board of Directors are Prof. Herminigilda M. Navera of Daraga Community College, Dr. Emmalyn P. Sirios of ACLC College of Iriga City, Dr. Gehana D. Lamug of Camarines Norte State College, Prof. Vivien R. Laborte of Capalonga College, Inc. in Camarines Norte, Dr. Erlinda F. Tabor of Catanduanes State University, Prof. Richard C. Ching of Cataingan Community College in Masbate, Prof. Maria Corazon S. de las Alas of San Pascual Polytechnic College in Masbate, Dr. Led L. Despuig-Encinares of Sorsogon State College and Prof. Felix J. Gaspi of Solis Institute of Technology in Bulan, Sorsogon.

An output of the convergence meeting was the Council's constitution and by-laws for submission to SEC. A GAD Training in the three core areas of Gender Sensitivity Training, Gender Analysis and Tools, and GAD Planning and Budgeting has also been scheduled in November 21-23, 2018 in Naga City. It is designed to be a leveling session for the Council officers and their alternate GAD Focals to better provide technical assistance on capacity development and gender mainstreaming for the region.  (MEISalazar)