NEDA DG urges RDCs to strengthen regional GAD mechanisms

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan urged the Regional Development Councils (RDCs) to strengthen their respective regional Gender and Development (GAD) mechanisms during the First Regional GAD Council (RGADC) Summit on August 14, 2014 at the Oracle Hotel in Quezon City.

“Regular sharing of best practices among different agencies that implement gender-responsive programs and projects must also be facilitated. This would significantly help in identifying partnership strategies and convergence mechanisms, and in forging collaboration towards sustainable GAD initiatives at the regional and local levels,” he said.

Secretary Balisacan also lauded the First RGADC Summit as a great opportunity for the RDCs and Regional GAD Committees to discuss their milestones or scorecards and assess how they are faring in terms of gender mainstreaming at the regional and local levels. He added, that hopefully, the participants can also identify the bottlenecks or challenges in the current practices and make sure that specific measures for gender mainstreaming are effectively in place at the regional level.

“Regional Development Councils play a crucial role in integrating these efforts in the regions. First is by providing an important forum to strengthen gender and development planning and policy-making, which includes reviewing and endorsing regional programs and projects that are gender-responsive”

“We should stress, in accordance with the GAD Budget Policy, that the RDCs are mandated to promote and direct the inflow and allocation of GAD budgets and investments in the region to support regional development objectives,” he added.

The NEDA Director General also encouraged RDCs to advocate for the Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) in developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs and projects. “This was formulated to ensure that programs and projects are gender-responsive and that gender equality gaps are addressed,” he added.

Furthermore, Secretary Balisacan highlighted the importance of addressing gender inequalities in the country, which calls for an inclusive development.

“If we are to achieve inclusive development, we must ensure that all of our strategies, programs, projects and activities, are responsive to gender needs. By ensuring that men, women, and LGBTs are able to fully participate in and benefit from the country’s development, we are also ensuring that the country’s growth will be more rapid and sustainable,” he ended.

Reaffirmed commitments

A total of 43 participants composed of two (2) Governors and RDC Chairpersons, eight (8) NEDA Regional Directors, five (5) RGADC Chairpersons and Co-Chairperson, various NEDA Regional Officers, national, provincial and municipal government representatives, and RGADC members affixed their signatures in the document to formalize their agreement and commitment in advocating and pursuing gender mainstreaming at the regional and local levels. It was also recommended that the RGADC Summit Declaration be officially transmitted by PCW to oversight agencies, like NEDA, for appropriate action.

The Summit Declaration recognizes the critical roles of the Regional Development Councils (RDCs), RGADCs and similar GAD Mechanisms in promoting partnership and convergence on gender and development mainstreaming at the regional and local levels.

Signatories to the accord are as follows:

• Mary Anne E.R. Darauay, RDC Acting Chairperson; NEDA Regional Office II Director
• Ms. Consuelo Tessa Sibal, Senior Economic Development Staff, NEDA Regional Office III
• Ms. Naomi J. Estabillo, Economic Development Staff II, NEDA Regional Office III
• Ms. Katherine G. Faustino, from the Provincial Government of Bulacan
• Mr. Luis G. Banua, RDC Acting Chairperson; NEDA Regional Office IV-A Director
• Ms. Lovely S. Mores, Economic Development Staff I, NEDA Regional Office IV-A; SCGAD Secretariat
• Ms. Sheryl B. Sarabia, OIC-Chief, DRD NEDA Regional Office IV-B; SDC Secretary
• Ms. Rosemarie C. Buan, Chief Administrative Officer, Finance and Admin Division, NEDA Regional Office V
• Mr. Noe R. Razho, Supervising Economic Specialist – DRD, NEDA Regional Office V
• Mr. Jose Q. Villanueva, RGADC Co-Chairperson; Capiz-Provincial Administrator/ Acting Provincial Chief Legal Counsel
• Ms. Teresita V. Menguilo, RGADC Chairperson Rep; CSC Region VI
• Mr. Rafael B. Tagalog Jr., RSCGAD Chairperson Rep; Supervising EDS, NEDA VII
• Mr. Dionisio Ledres Jr., RSCGAD Member, NEDA VII
• Ms. Evangeline M. Paran, RGADC Chairperson, Regional Coordinator, PSA-NSCB VIII
• Ms. Elnora C. Quebec, Private Sector Representative from the Province of Tacloban
• Ms. Ma. Victoria Cuayson, RDC VIII Private Sector Representative (PSR) Health Sector
• Ms. Teresita Socorro C. Ramos, RDC Acting Chairperson; NEDA IX Director
• Mr. Ronald Von D. Rivera, OIC Chief, Admin Office, NEDA IX
• Ms. Eleanor M. Reyes, Dev.& Research Div.,NEDA IX
• Mr. Leon M. Dacanay Jr., RDC Acting Chairperson; NEDA X Director
• Ms. Peleta B. Abejo, Technical Secretariat, RDC MacroComm
• Ms. Mary Lou Birondo-Caharian, Region XI RGADCC Chairperson
• Ms. Chareina Joy Gl. Lacuin, RDC XI-SDC; Regional GPBP Focal Person
• Mr. Arturo G. Valera, RDC Acting Chairperson; NEDA XII Director
• Ms. Marylin M. Pintor, GADCC Chairperson; CHR Regional Director
• Mr. Paul A. Abarca, GADCC Member
• Mr. Jeremias C. Gupit, MOVE Regional Chairperson-CARAGA
• Ms. Regina G. Alaan, Provincial Board Member
• Ms. Florian T. Trinidad, Special Coordinator for Provincial Councils for Women and Children, Surigao Del Norte, CARAGA
• Ms. Sittie Jehanne U. Mutin, RSCGAD Chairperson; RCBW Chairperson
• Ms. Corazon T. Jimenez, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager
• Ms. Jocelyn Agnes M. Mateo, Planning Officer V, MMDA
• Ms. Milagros A. Rimando, RDC Acting Chairperson; NEDA-CAR Director
• Mr. Nestor G. Rillon, RDC Acting Chairperson; NEDA-I Director
• Mr. Jomini Calantoc, Administrative Officer IV, Civisl Service Commission (CSC)
• Ms. Yolanda B. Go, LGOO V, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO)
• Mr. Donald James Gawe, SCGAD Secretary & Chief ofPlan and Policy Formulation Division, NEDA Regional Office IV-A
• Mr. Ofelia M. Palayan, Department Head-PGAD Office, Quezon Province & SCGAD Region IV-A Member
• Mr. Edgardo Firmalo, Governor, Province of Romblon & RDC Chairperson, Region IV-B
• Mr. Sol Forcadilla-Matugas, RDC Chairperson; Governor-Surigao
• Ms. Mylah Faye Aurora B. Carino, RDC Vice-Chairperson; NEDA XIII Director
• Ms. Emmeline L. Verzosa, PCW Executive Director; and
• Ms. Remedios I. Rikken, PCW Chairperson