The Central Luzon Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC III), in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), conducted a four-day Training/Levelling Session on Gender and Development (GAD) from June 7 to 10  2021 via video conferencing. The event was participated by representatives form  20 regional line agencies, local government units, and state universities and colleges.

RGADC III Chairperson and CHED III Director Maria Teresita M. Semana encouraged the participants to reflect on the learnings as they, too, should advance GAD in their respective agencies. As for the newly-instated RGADC III Vice-Chairperson and NEDA III OIC-Regional Director Gina T. Gacusan, she appealed to the participants to think deeply and understand the “whys” in order to fully appreciate  the GAD concepts and tools in order to truly make a change.

On the first day, Dr. Remigio Musca, GAD Resource Person of Bulacan State University, discussed basic GAD concepts and provided an overview on the gender issues and policies on gender mainstreaming. Thereafter, PCW Senior GAD Specialist Pent Elyria Dawn V. Liongson presented the key points in understanding Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC). He clarified some misconceptions and then emphasized the need to address the issues and challenges revolving SOGIESC, particularly discrimination.

For the next three days, resource speakers from PCW took turns in providing lectures, discussing case studies, and conducting workshops. The topics covered fundamentals, policy imperatives and mechanisms of gender mainstreaming, gender analysis and tools including the use of Harmonized Gender Development Guidelines (HGDG) and PIMME Checklist, and GAD planning and budgeting (GPB).

During the closing program, RGADC III Co-Chairperson and PIA III Regional Director William L. Beltran commended the active participation and commitment of participants in the week-long session. He challenged them that as public servants, they should live up to what is expected of them which is to be unbiased, neutral, and non-discriminatory not only reflected in design, implementation, and review of development plans but also in governance.

The GAD Levelling Session is one of the activities under the RGADC III Work Program for the year 2021. The training aimed to place members on the same footing when it comes to GAD knowledge and technical capabilities before holding more advanced and deepened GAD sessions. (Liezl Joyce V. Mangalindan, NEDA 3-PFPD)