The Regional Gender and Development Committee agreed to conduct more gender and development budget fora at the provincial level for 2020. The committee met on January 17 for its first meeting of the year to look back at the accomplishments and strategize plans in advancing gender equality and development in the region.

In 2019, the RGADC implemented the first provincial GAD Budget Forum for the 27 municipalities of Abra. The forum provided a chance for local budget officers and gender and development focal persons to properly allocate for GAD programs, projects, and activities. The participants expressed their appreciation for the event as there was a need to clarify various gender-responsive guidelines for budgets, audits, and implementation. The committee agreed to identify the next potential province to conduct a GAD budget forum after Abra.

Committee Co-Chair Ferdinand Gonzales of People’s Organization for Social Transformation (POST) said that while it is basic, a gender sensitivity training is much-needed and in demand among government offices. DOH-CAR Director Amelita Pangilinan underscored the need to level-off knowledge on basic gender and development principles and initiatives in government. Pangilinan also stressed the importance of evidence-based policy and offered the services of the Cordillera Regional Health Research and Development Consortium headed by DOH-CAR.

The Regional Gender and Development Committee is a support committee of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR). DepEd-CAR Director May Eclar serves as Chair with RDC Private Sector Representative Ferdinand Gonzales as Co-Chair and PopCom-CAR Director Magdalena Abellera as Vice-Chair. The committee is composed of Cordillera regional line agencies, local government units, civil society organizations, and state universities and colleges.