6th GAD Convention
Left photo: NEDA Regional Director and RDC Vice-Chairperson Luis G. Banua gives the Rationale and Objectives of the 6th GAD Convention. Right photo: Civil Service Commission Chairwoman Alicia dela Rosa-Bala gave the Keynote Message in the first day of the convention.

The Calabarzon Regional Development Council (RDC) convened the 6th Calabarzon GAD Convention with the theme “Preparing for the Effects of ASEAN Economic Integration through Stocktaking and Scaling-up of Gender and Development (GAD) Mainstreaming Initiatives in Calabarzon”. The three-day event held from September 5-7, gathered 375 participants from the government and the private sectors at Camp Benjamin, Barangay Taywanak-Ilaya, Alfonso, Cavite.

During the convention, best practices and strategies on GAD were shared to ensure that the ASEAN Economic Integration will benefit women and men in the region. Some of the important topics presented in the convention are: GAD dimensions of ASEAN integration; women economic empowerment in Calabarzon; GAD mainstreaming in the education sector; GAD mainstreaming process enhancement in terms of policies, people and mechanisms; and inclusion of sexual orientation and gender orientation trainings to empower the LGBT community as a non-discriminated sector in Philippine society.

Civil Service Commission Chairwoman Alicia dela Rosa-Bala graced the 6th Calabarzon GAD Convention which also served as the regional kick-off activity of the 116th Civil Service Anniversary to underscore the government’s commitment towards gender mainstreaming. In her keynote message, Chairwoman Bala shared the highlights of the ASEAN Blueprint 2025. She emphasized the need to constantly address gender issues in the areas of development and promotion of MSMEs, use of e-based business platforms, advancement of good governance, and adoption of green technology, among others.

In his closing message, NEDA Regional Director and RDC IV-A Vice-Chairperson Luis G. Banua called on participants to make GAD a way of life in pursuit of equality among men and women. He also emphasized the need to make policies, programs and projects responsive to gender concerns as embodied in various GAD plans. With the collective efforts from the public and private sector, he expressed hope that Calabarzon will be gender responsive to the needs of women, men, LGBT, children and the elderly.

The 2016 Search for Outstanding GAD Implementer was also launched during the convention while the inputs gathered during the event will be used in crafting the regional GAD agenda in the context of the ASEAN Economic Integration.

The participants expressed admiration on the roster of resource persons which included former DG Cielito Habito of NEDA, Dir. Marilyn Ogaya of POPCOM, Dir. Marcelina Alcantara of DTI, Engr. Pablo Del Mundo, Jr. of Laguna, Dir. James Ponce of DAR, Ms. Ofelia Palayan of Quezon, Dir. Francis Bringas of DepEd, Ms. Imee Sigua of TESDA, Dir. Emmylou Yanga of CHED, Ms. Nharleen Millar of PCW, Dir. Janet Nacion of COA, Dir. Annie Mendoza of DSWD, Ms. Victoria Wieneke of Kabisig ng Kalahi, Dir. Annaliza Bonagua of DILG, Dr. Ruby Brion of LSPU, Mr. Alberto Bay of Quezon and Atty. Jazz Tamayo of Rainbow Rights Philippines. The participants also admired the moderators composed mostly of Regional Directors and Assistant Regional Directors.

The Regional GAD Committee of the RDC organized the event through a technical working group composed of representatives from CHED, DAR, DepEd, DILG, DOH, DOLE, NEDA, PCW, POPCOM, BatStateU, CvSU, LSPU, SLSU, URS and the provincial government of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal. The NEDA Region IV-A served as the GAD Convention Secretariat.

Theresa Jane Cajarte, NEDA Region IV-A | Tuesday, September 13, 2016