CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Northern Mindanao Regional Development Council Regional Gender and Development Committee (RDC-X RGADC) conducted its first regional Gender and Development (GAD) Budget Forum for Local Government Units (LGUs), 15 November 2021 through video conference.

Said forum was implemented in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) as part of the RGADC Work and Financial Plan for 2021-2022. Participants of more than 230 were a mix of members and non-members of the GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) of various LGUs in Region X.

GAD experts from PCW National GAD Resource Persons (NGRP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Commission on Audit (COA) acted as resource speakers and panelists. The GAD Budget Forum aims to: (1) orient the GFPS members of Region X LGUs on the guidelines in the preparation of the FY 2022 GAD Plan and Budget (GPB) and FY 2021 GAD Accomplishment Report (GAR) based on JMC 2013 and JMC 2016 to address gender issues of clients and  local government, and in the implement of the Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710); (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 its adoption could be attributed to the GAD Budget; (3) clarify issues and concerns encountered in the preparation and implementation of GPB and GAR,  and in the revised guidelines in the audit of GAD funds and activities; and (4) present the revised guidelines in the audit of GAD funds and activities of government agencies.

PCW reminded the participants on the deadline of the GPB and GAR submission through the GAD Plan and Budget Monitoring System (GADPBMS). The ultimate takeaway of the forum is to take the five percent GAD budget allocation of every LGU as the “floor” rather than the “ceiling” to ensure more gender-responsive programs, activities, and projects. 

Section 38 of the Magna Carta of Women mandates all departments, including their attached agencies, offices, bureaus, state universities and colleges, government-owned and – controlled corporations, local government units, and other government instrumentalities adopt gender mainstreaming as a strategy to promote women’s human rights and eliminate gender discrimination in their systems, structures, policies, programs, processes, and procedures.