Women’s Commission Awards GAD Champions in Government, COA Bags Two Golds
The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) recognized national government agencies (NGAs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) for their outstanding performance in gender and development (GAD) mainstreaming, on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710 or MCW)
In a ceremony held on August 14, 2023 at the Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City, PCW Executive Director and Officer in Charge Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon Chaves together with the GADtimpala Selection Board conferred the GADtimpala for Outstanding Gender-Responsive Government Agency to 18 NGAs and GOCCs. GADtimpala is the official GAD incentives and awards system of the PCW as mandated under the MCW. It stands for GAD Transformation and Institutionalization through Mainstreaming of Programs, Agenda, Linkages, and Advocacies. The awardees were given a glass marker and a “Liwanag” trophy created by renowned Filipino artist and sculptor Ms. Julie Lluch.
Meanwhile, 16 exemplary GAD Focal Point Systems coming from the agency awardees also received the GADtimpala AlaGAD Award. They received a glass plaque as well as a tablet device sponsored by SM Supermalls, which also hosted the venue for the event.
Addressing the awardees, PCW’s Atty. Yuzon-Chaves commended all participating government offices and expressed hope that other agencies will join the next GADtimpala.
“We thank you for accepting the challenge and participating in the arduous validation process. Your dedication and innovative ways of integrating GAD into your systems are truly laudable and will serve as an inspiration to others,” she said.
PBBM, First Lady join the celebration, call for inclusiveness
His Excellency President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. congratulated the awardees and greeted the participants through a pre-recorded video message.
“As we celebrate the 14th anniversary of the enactment of the Magna Carta of Women, I gladly join the Philippine Commission on Women in recognizing exemplars in promoting gender equality and equal opportunity in our society,” President Marcos said.
He added that in honoring the efforts of this year’s GAD champions, he welcomes the inspiration and challenge that this will bring to public servants. He also commended the GAD initiatives of several NGAs and GOCCs for demonstrating the ingenuity, sincerity, and integrity that Filipinos can and should expect from the government.
“It is admirable to see various government entities taking the lead in upholding the rights and welfare of our citizens. It fills me with great joy to congratulate all the nominees and awardees of the GADtimpala Awards 2023,” he noted.
In her video message, First Lady Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos lauded the agencies for protecting women’s rights.
“This, in itself, is an important achievement because you chose your continued commitment in protecting the rights of the Filipino women,” the First Lady noted.
Meanwhile, President Marcos also expressed hope that the example shown by the GADtimpala 2023 awardees will inspire all public servants in their unending efforts for the empowerment of people no matter their gender.
“Let the success of our colleagues be a reminder of our power to continue making our nation more inclusive for the present and succeeding generations,” President Marcos concluded.
COA bags two golds
The Commission on Audit (COA) emerged as the first agency to receive the GADtimpala Gold Award for both the Outstanding Gender-Responsive Government Agency category and the GADtimpala AlaGAD for Exemplary GAD Focal Point System category.
COA Chairperson Atty. Gamaliel A. Cordoba said, “these two prestigious GADtimpala Awards represent the hard work and commitment of everyone in the Commission to successfully mainstream GAD into COA’s mandate and be a role model agency in gender mainstreaming. It is a result of more than two decades of conscious GAD advocacy in the Commission.”
Chairperson Cordoba added that COA had issued Memorandum No. 2009-020 providing for guidelines in the conduct of the audit of GAD funds and activities in government agencies three months before the MCW was signed into law on August 14, 2009. He also said that even the agency’s GAD focal point was created and institutionalized as early as 2001.
“Since then, past and present assistant commissioners, directors, and personnel of the Commission have diligently worked to implement various programs, activities, and projects to promote GAD with the full support of every member of the Commission proper,” Chairperson Cordoba shared.
Through the years, COA has been a strong and indispensable strategic partner of the PCW and the government in advocating for gender-responsive governance.
“The Commission was able to further boost and intensify its mandate to audit GAD funds and programs and build capacity for its auditors in this area in compliance with the implementation and monitoring of the GEWE Plan 2019-2025,” Chairperson Cordoba stated.
The GADtimpala Gold for Outstanding Gender-Responsive Government Agency is the highest award given to exemplary models for gender mainstreaming.
As a Level 5 agency, COA is recognized for its noteworthy GAD achievements and has enhanced the following four entry points in the Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework (GMEF) Organizational Assessment Tool: (1) policies, (2) people, (3) enabling mechanisms, and (4) programs, activities, and projects.
Eight Silver and Nine Bronze Awardees
Eight NGAs and GOCCs were also conferred with GADtimpala Silver for Outstanding Government Agency (in alphabetical order):
1. Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
2. Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)
3. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
4. Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
5. National Housing Authority (NHA)
6. Philippine Air Force (PAF)
7. Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)
8. Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC)
Capping the list of the 2023 GADtimpala for Outstanding Government Agencies are nine Bronze Awardees (in alphabetical order):
1. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
2. Department of National Defense (DND)
3. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
4. Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)
5. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS RO)
6. Philippine Army (PA)
7. Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)
8. Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech)
9. Privatization and Management Office (PMO)
Ten Silver and Five Bronze GADtimpala AlaGAD
Joining COA in the roster of 2023 GADtimpala AlaGAD awardees for Exemplary GAD Focal Point System are 10 silver awardees:
6. MWSS RO
Meanwhile, the five GADtimpala AlaGAD Bronze Awardees are:
2023 GADtimpala Selection Board
The GADtimpala 2023 awardees were carefully selected by the members of the selection board composed of: Assistant Secretary Elizabeth N. Lopez De Leon from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Undersecretary Goddes Hope O. Libiran and Director Vivien V. Labastilla from the Department of Budget and Management, Undersecretary Antonio A. Morales and Atty. Marianne I. Bringas from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Undersecretary Lilibeth C. David and Director Frances Rose Elgo-Mamaril from the Department of Health, Assistant Secretary Elaine F. Fallarcuna from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and OIC-Undersecretary Maria Monica P. Pagunsan from the National Economic and Development Authority.
The entire process for selection of awardees followed PCW Memorandum Circular 2022-06 entitled Guidelines on the Implementation of the GADtimpala 2023.
Recognizing MCW implementation progress
With the theme “MCW@14: Strengthening and Recognizing Government Gender Mainstreaming Initiatives towards Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls”, this year’s awarding ceremony is the third time that NGAs and GOCCs were recognized under this MCW-mandated awards and incentives system.
Introduced in 2013 by the PCW, the GADtimpala has since become the beacon of recognition for national and regional government agencies, programs, and mechanisms for gender mainstreaming. In 2015, GADtimpala Awards for Media was also conferred in partnership with the Media and Gender Equality Committee (MGEC). Similar to the GADtimpala Awards itself, MGEC was established as part of the implementation of the MCW.
Working with the Private Sector
The PCW also sealed an agreement with SM Supermalls to jointly conduct advocacy and information dissemination activities on the Safe Spaces Act, Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act, and other laws protecting and affecting women and girls through a ceremonial Memorandum of Understanding signing during the event.
In a message conveyed during the program by SM Vice President for Corporate Marketing Ms. Grace Fornier Magno, SM Supermalls President Mr. Steven T. Tan shared that “SM is the largest homegrown company to sign the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and since 2021 we have shown our commitment to gender equality, dimensions of the 2030 agenda, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by signing and promoting the UN WEP in our organization.”
Mr. Tan congratulated the PCW for its endeavor in empowering women and girls whom he collectively called as “ang kababaihang lakas ng sambayanan”.
Working not only for, but with women
Other government officials who graced the event with their presence and personally received the award and gave the acceptance message on behalf of their agency were the following: DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr., CFO Secretary Romulo V. Arugay, PA Commanding General Lt. Gen. Roy M. Galido, PAF Commanding General Lt. Gen. Stephen P. Parreno, SHFC President and CEO Federico Agustin Laxa, DND Undersecretary Irineo C. Espino, DPWH Undersecretary Maria Catalina E. Cabral, Ph.D., CESO I, DOLE Undersecretary Atty. Benjo Santos M. Benavidez, PMO Chief Privatization Officer Atty. Maan Vanessa L. Doctor, MWSS RO Chief Regulator Atty. Patrick Lester N. Ty, COMELEC Chairperson Atty. George Erwin M. Garcia, PAGASA Officer-In-Charge Nathaniel T. Servando Ph.D., NHA Group Manager of the Housing Support Services Group Atty. Maria Magdalena D. Siacon, and PhilRice Deputy Executive Director Dr. Karen Eloisa T. Barroga. Meanwhile, BIR Commissioner Atty. Romeo D. Lumagui Jr., GSIS President and General Manager Jose Arnulfo ‘Wick” Veloso, and PhilMech Director Dionisio G. Alvindia Ph.D. delivered their respective acceptance and commitment speech through a video message shown at the awarding ceremony.
In their respective messages, the agency top officials recognized the dedication of the women and men members of their GAD Focal Point Systems, as well as various partners from both government and private sector who worked with them in their GAD mainstreaming journey.
Notably, the MCW is the product of a long and arduous, but meaningful engagement of the women’s sector with the government in lobbying and putting in their collective voices in co-creating the law. Thus the law was aptly named as the Magna Carta of Women, with the preposition “of” emphasizing women’s ownership of their rights under RA 9710. This same spirit of women’s active participation and leadership in matters affecting their lives finds its way in governance through the GAD mainstreaming strategy which is being implemented at the national and local level of the government.