PCW, LGA forge partnership towards more gender-responsive local governance

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the Local Government Academy (LGA) sign a three-year partnership agreement which aims to elevate the gender responsiveness in local governance. In a virtual signing ceremony on October 20, 2021, the two institutions expressed commitments to work together in amplifying the advocacy for gender equality and women’s empowerment that can translate to better and inclusive public service and sustainable development in the localities.

In her commitment message, PCW Executive Director (ED) Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves shared the rationale behind the deal and its role in eliminating gender discrimination in the programs, activities, and projects of the local government sector.

“The delivery of a gender and development (GAD) capacity building program for LGUs, to be jointly spearheaded by the LGA-PCW partnership will scale up the quality of public service and cultivate a culture of excellence in local governance; as well as strengthen LGA’s institutional capacity on gender mainstreaming… We also hope to learn from the LGA as the capacity development arm of the DILG in the effective delivery of technical assistance to our LGU stakeholders. ” Yuzon-Chaves said.

For their part, LGA Executive Director Thelma T. Vecina, vowed to see this partnership to fruition with the end in mind: a gender-responsive institution that can influence gender-sensitive local governance, benefiting communities.    

“We commit to ensuring that our programs and services for local governments will not invite discrimination of any kind and leave no one behind. We commit to work in unity with the national government to ensure that our local government units become exemplars of women empowerment and gender equality and we will ensure that our local leaders will become champions of gender mainstreaming,” Vecina enthused.

ED Yuzon-Chaves and ED Vecina signed the partnership, as witnessed by PCW Deputy Executive Director for Operations, Ma. Kristine Josefina G. Balmes, and LGA Assistant Director, Esmeralda Daphne N. Purnell.

Equality in the locality

Beyond a black and white document, this agreement’s core is in ensuring that the gender needs and concerns of constituents are addressed. Indeed, development can only be made sustainable if all genders are treated equally in the localities.

PCW and LGA endeavor to achieve the the objectives of the deal, which includes supporting the efforts of each party in cultivating gender-sensitive and gender-responsive organizations, amplifying advocacy for gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) within the local government sector, mainstreaming GAD in the delivery of capacity development programs for the local government sector, and harmonizing GAD-related capacity development for LGUs, at the national and local levels. The key areas of cooperation entail technical support on GAD mainstreaming in LGA and in its capacity development for LGUs and DILG personnel as well as the co-development and implementation of gender-responsive learning modules and programs for LGUs, DILG, and other stakeholders.

Mainly, PCW is set to assist the LGA in the capacity development of the local government sector on GAD by providing proactive and responsive technical assistance, monitoring support for the activities under the partnership, as well as assisting LGA in its efforts to become a gender-sensitive and empowered workforce.  While LGA is responsible to facilitate GAD-related technical assistance of PCW to LGUs and DILG personnel, allocate resources for capacity development and other GAD-related activities, and assist PCW in marketing its programs intended for LGUs, among others.

The agreement is anchored on gender mainstreaming – a strategy being implemented pursuant to the Magna Carta of Women, aiming to eradicate gender discrimination in the policies, plans, procedures, programs, and structures of government organizations. It stemmed from a series of talks with the technical staff of the LGA and the PCW, notably the Local Governance Training and Development Division (LGTDD) and the Technical Services and Regional Coordination Division (TSRCD). The LGTDD approached TSRCD for the conduct of a two-hour webinar session to be attended by the Local Chief Executives and the development of a Specialized Local Governance Module on Gender and Development for Local Government Units (LGUs). 

With this newly-inked pact, PCW and LGA can work hand in hand in promoting, protecting, and fulfilling women’s rights, especially those in the marginalized and vulnerable sectors in the grassroots.