Memorandum Circular No. 2011-01: Guidelines for the creation, Strengthening, and Institutionalization of the GAD Focal Point System
To provide guidelines and procedures for the establishment, strengthening, and institutionalization of the GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) in constitutional bodies, government departments, agencies, bureaus, SUCs, GOCCs and all other government instrumentalities; and To clarify the roles and responsibilities, composition and structure of the GFPS to enable it to function as a mechanism for catalyzing and accelerating gender mainstreaming in the agency towards the promotion of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
2. POLICY GUIDELINES
Pursuant to Section 36 of Republic Act No. 9710, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women (MCW), all government departments, including their attached agencies, offices, bureaus, state universities and colleges, government –owned and –controlled corporations, local government units and all other government instrumentalities shall 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; Section 37-C of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the MCW provides that all concerned government agencies and instrumentalities mentioned above shall establish or strengthen their GFPS or a similar GAD mechanism to catalyze and accelerate gender mainstreaming within the agency.
3. DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the purpose of this circular, the following terms are defined:
a. Gender and Development (GAD) – refers to the development perspective and process that is participatory and empowering, equitable, sustainable, free from violence, respectful of human rights, supportive of self-determination and actualization of human potentials. It seeks to achieve gender equality as a fundamental value that should be reflected in development choices and contends that women are active agents of development, not just passive recipients of development;
b. Gender Analysis – refers to a framework to compare the relative advantages and disadvantages faced by women and men in various spheres of life, including the family, workplace, school, community and political system. It also takes into account how class, age, race, ethnicity, culture, social and other factors interact with gender to produce discriminatory results;
c. Gender Audit – refers to a form of “social audit” or “quality audit” which determines whether the organization’s internal practices and related support systems for gender mainstreaming are effective, reinforcing each other and are being followed. This tool or process assists organizations in establishing a baseline, identifying critical gaps and challenges, and recommending ways of addressing them;
d. Gender Equality – refers to the principles asserting the equality of women and men and their right to enjoy equal conditions realizing their full human potentials to contribute to and benefit from the results of development, and with the State recognizing that all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights;
e. GAD Focal Point System – is an interacting and interdependent group of people in all government instrumentalities tasked to catalyze and accelerate gender mainstreaming. It is a mechanism established to ensure and advocate for, guide, coordinate, and monitor the development, implementation, review and updating of their GAD plans and GAD-related programs, activities and projects (PAPs);
f. Gender Mainstreaming – refers to the strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies, programs and projects in all social, political, civil, and economic spheres so that women and men benefit equally. It is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programs in all areas and at all levels;
g. GAD Plan and Budget – is a systematic approach to gender mainstreaming, carried out by all government instrumentalities, through the annual development and implementation of programs, activities and projects and addressing gender issues and concerns in their respective organizations, sectors and constituencies by utilizing at least 5% of their total budget allocation;
h. Performance-Based Budgeting – is an approach to budgeting which involves a review of the agencies’ existing budgetary programs and projects to ensure that these support their core mandated functions and produce the targeted outcomes and outputs;
i. Rights-Based Approach – refers to the recognition of every human being both as a person and as a right-holder. It strives to secure the freedom, well-being and dignity of all people, everywhere, within the framework of essential human rights standards, principles, duties and obligations;
j. Women’s Empowerment – is a goal of and an essential process for women’s advancement. It is the process and condition by which women mobilize to understand, identify and overcome gender discrimination so as to achieve equality in welfare and equal access to resources. In this context, women become agents of development and not just beneficiaries enabling them to make decisions based on their own views and perspectives.
4. GENERAL GUIDELINES
a. The heads of agencies shall issue appropriate directives to institutionalize the creation of the GFPS in their respective agencies;
b. Agencies with existing GFPS or similar mechanisms shall reconstitute and strengthen said mechanisms based on the provisions of RA 9710, its IRR and this Memorandum Circular;
c. The tasks and functions of the members of the GFPS shall form part of their regular key result areas and work plans and shall be given due consideration during performance evaluation;
d. Agencies shall develop GAD capacity development programs that support continuing gender education, updating and enhancing skills customized according to the functions of the GFPS, to be integrated in the regular agency Human Resource Development Plan. These capacity development programs may include gender sensitivity, gender analysis, gender-responsive planning and budgeting and gender audit, among others;
e. Agencies shall conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation of their GFPS and shall undertake measures to address possible issues hindering the performance of their functions in accordance with the MCW and other GAD-related laws, policies and plans; and
f. Funds shall be allocated for programs, activities and projects to support the organization, management and operations of the GFPS, to be charged to the agency’s GAD budget.
5. SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
a. Structure and Composition of the GFPS
i. The GFPS shall be composed of the Agency Head and Executive Committee (ExeCom), and a Technical Working Group (TWG). (Refer to Figure 1). The head of agency may designate an Undersecretary or its equivalent to head the GFPS Executive Committee. The existing executive committee or its equivalent highest policy making body may concurrently serve as the GFPS executive committee. In this case, the head of agency may designate an alternate Chair.
The Technical Working Group (TWG) may be chaired by a member of the ExeCom; or the head of the agency may designate a Chair outside of the ExeCom. The TWG shall be composed of representatives from various divisions or offices from both operations and support units within the agency, such as but not limited to planning, finance, human resource, senior technical officer from each bureau/division/office and where feasible, the statistics and management information office and/or whichever is applicable in the organization. The Technical Working Group may designate a secretariat.
ii. The structure and composition of the GAD Focal Point System may be modified based on the organizational structure of the agency or office. When necessary, the membership may be reconstituted in accordance with item (a) above.
iii. Regional Offices, bureaus and attached agencies may follow the structure of their mother agency or have a modified structure, which may, at a minimum, be composed of a TWG headed by a director or its equivalent.
iv. For SUCs, the GFPS shall create a TWG composed of the heads or deans of the different colleges or other campuses, policy and planning, budget, finance, human resource, research and extension offices and representatives from the students and the faculty. The GFPS shall be chaired by the highest official or her/his designate.
b. Functions of the GAD Focal Point System
The GFPS shall perform the following functions:
i. Lead in mainstreaming gender perspective in agency/department policies, plans and programs. In the process, they shall ensure the assessment of the gender-responsiveness of systems, structures, policies, programs, processes, and procedures of the agency based on the priority needs and concerns of constituencies and employees and the formulation of recommendations including their implementation;
ii. Assist in the formulation of new policies such as the GAD Code in advancing women’s status, such as in the case of LGUs;
iii. Lead in setting up appropriate systems and mechanisms to ensure the generation, processing, review and updating of sex-disaggregated data or GAD database to serve as basis in performance-based gender responsive planning;
iv. Coordinate efforts of different divisions, offices, units of the agency and advocate for the integration of GAD perspectives in all their systems and processes;
v. Spearhead the preparation of the agency annual performance-based GAD Plans, Programs and Budget in response to gender issues of their constituencies and clients and in the context of their agency mandate, and consolidate the same following the format and procedure prescribed by the PCW, DBM and NEDA in the Joint Circular 2012-1. The GFPS shall likewise be responsible for submitting the consolidated GAD Plans and Budgets of the department/agency, and as needed, in responding to PCW’s comments or requests for additional information.
vi. Lead in monitoring the effective implementation of GAD-related policies and the annual GAD Plans, Programs and Budget;
vii. Lead the preparation and consolidation of the annual agency GAD Accomplishment Report and other GAD Reports that maybe required under the MCW;
viii. Strengthen the external link with other agencies or organizations working on women’s rights and gender and development to harmonize and synchronize GAD efforts at various levels of governance;
ix. Promote and actively pursue the participation of women and gender advocates, other civil society groups and private organizations in the various stages of the development planning cycle, giving special attention to the marginalized sectors; and
x. Ensure that all personnel of the agency including the finance officers (e.g. accountant, budget officer, auditors) are capacitated on GAD. Along this line, the GFPS will recommend and plan an appropriate capacity development program on gender and development for its employees as part of and implemented under its regular human resource development program.
c. Roles and Responsibilities
i. The GFPS Chairperson or Head of Agency shall:
i. Issue policies or other directives that support GAD mainstreaming in the policies, plans, programs, projects and activities, budget, systems and procedures of the agency including the creation, strengthening, modification or reconstitution of the GFPS; and
ii. Approve the GAD Plan, Program and Budget of the agency as duly endorsed by the Executive Committee, with the assistance of the Technical Working Group, and ensure its implementation.
ii. The Executive Committee shall:
i. Provide direction and give policy advice to the Agency Head to support and strengthen the GFPS and agency’s GAD mainstreaming activities;
ii. Direct the identification of GAD strategies, programs, activities and projects based on the results of the gender audit, gender analysis and according to the identified priorities of the agency in response to the gender issues faced by its clients and employees;
iii. Ensure the timely submission of the agency GAD Plan and Budget, Accomplishment Report and other GAD-related reports to the PCW and to DBM;
iv. Ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the agency GAD programs, activities and projects and the judicious utilization of the GAD Budget;
v. Build and strengthen the partnership of the agency with PCW, GAD experts, advocates, women’s groups and other stakeholders in pursuit of gender mainstreaming;
vi. Recommend approval of agency GAD Plans and Budgets and GAD ARs; and
vii. Recommend awards or recognition to outstanding institutional GAD programs, activities and projects and /or GAD FP members.
iii. The Technical Working Group (TWG) or Secretariat shall
i. Facilitate the implementation of the gender mainstreaming efforts of the agency through the GAD planning and budgeting process;
ii. Formulate agency GAD Plans, Programs and Budget in response to the gender gaps and issues faced by their clients and constituencies, women and men employees, following the conduct of a gender audit, gender analysis, and/or review of sex disaggregated data;
iii. Assist in the capacity development of and provide technical assistance to the agency, and as needed, to officers in the other offices or units. In this regard, the TWG shall work with the human resource development office on the development and implementation of an appropriate capacity development program on gender equality and women’s empowerment for its employees, and as requested or deemed necessary, for other offices under the Department or Agency, as the case may be;
iv. Coordinate with the various units of the agency including its regional and attached agencies and ensure their meaningful participation in GAD strategic and annual planning exercises. The TWG of the GFPS of the central agency shall coordinate with the GFPS of its attached agencies, bureaus and regional offices especially on the preparation, consolidation and submission of GAD Plans and Budgets;
v. Lead the conduct of advocacy activities and the development of IEC materials to ensure critical support of agency officials, staff and relevant stakeholders to the activities of the GAD Focal Point System and GAD mainstreaming activities;
vi. Monitor the implementation of GAD-related programs, activities and projects in their respective offices and suggest corrective measures to improve implementation of GAD PAPs and GFPS activities;
vii. Prepare and consolidate agency GAD accomplishment reports; and
viii. Provide regular updates and recommendations to the head of agency or ExeCom on the activities of the GFPS and the progress of agency GAD mainstreaming activities based on the feedback and reports of the various units of the agency.
6. The Philippine Commission on Women shall:
a. Serve as the over-all monitoring body and oversight to ensure the implementation of the GFPS Policy and call for the compliance of such;
b. Develop a database and profile of all GFPS in the Philippines;
c. Recognize deserving and good performing agency GFPS thru an incentives and awards system ;and
d. Support capacity development of GFPS through training, technical assistance, and or referral of agencies to gender experts, advocates, practitioners and institutions on gender sensitivity, gender audit, gender analysis, gender-responsive planning and budgeting, project design and implementation and institutional strengthening, among others.
All existing GFPS shall henceforth be guided by the provisions of this Circular effective immediately.
By Authority of the Board,
(SGD) REMEDIOS I. RIKKEN
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