Local government units (LGUs) doing gender mainstreaming need strong leadership and commitment, organized women’s groups, adequate resources — and lots of inspiration — to see things through. In fact, when gender mainstreaming is not explicitly defined in the LGUs’ development plans, Gender and Development (GAD) efforts may not be realized at all. As a form of assistance and in keeping up with the unique contexts and specific needs of LGUs, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) then “localized” its Technical Assistance Blueprint in accordance with gender-related mandates and as provided for by the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) (RA 9710).
In 2014, PCW added the GAD Local Learning Hubs (GAD LLHs) to its LGU-centered technical assistance portfolio, the aim of which is to showcase innovative GAD structures, processes, and programs that have been sustained, if not improved by LGUs through the years. GAD LLHs are meant for sharing and replicating good practices, ultimately giving other LGUs the opportunity to think GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT LOCAL LEARNING HUBS GAD LOCAL LEARNING HUBS Women lead the establishment of the Integrated Gender and Development Division outside the box when implementing GAD initiatives. LGUs seeking to imbibe GAD innovations can learn from the GAD LLHs and get inspiration on how to infuse GAD in local governance and public service.
One of the five PCW-certified GAD LLHs is Naga City. The City Government has successfully fulfilled its GAD mandates by enhancing its crisis facility for VAWC [violence against women and children] survivors. At the same time, the City Government has actively involving women microentrepreneurs in local economic development.
Multisectoral and Community-based Approach to Address Gender-based Violence
Gender-based violence (GBV) can be effectively addressed by providing a strong support system and by setting up facilities for VAWC survivors, essentially showing them that there is a path towards justice and healing.
Naga City’s anti-GBV program is an innovation for the City Government, capitalizing on the idea shared by Bantay-Banay, a network of women’s groups and associations supporting the rights of women in the Visayas.  In 2002, the City Government then institutionalized its anti-GBV program by issuing Executive Order 2002:01, which called for the creation of the Naga City Bantay Familia, Inc.
Bantay Familia gives premium to the importance of addressing GBV from a multisectoral and communitybased perspective. The City Government believes that the concerted effort of LGUs, people’s organizations, the academe, and civil society organizations from the city down to the barangays will result to tighter coordination and implementation of GBV-related programs.
As the name “crisis center” denotes, Bantay Familia intervenes in VAWC cases by rescuing women and children survivors, and immediately providing or referring them to temporary shelters. The intervention also includes assisting survivors bring their offenders to proper authorities. At the same time, Bantay Familia also endeavors to help GBV perpetrators by setting up rehabilitation and treatment centers for them.
For its psychological services, Bantay Familia provides psychological evaluation, individual and marital counselling, and play therapy. For its legal services, the center also offers legal counselling, couples’ dialogue, and family conferences. Where needed, GBV survivors are given medical assistance. Bantay Familia also provides alternative learning and non-formal education to VAWC survivors through the Alternative Learning System.