Monday, June 10, 2024

The Regional Development Council 2 – Regional Gender and Development Committee (RDC2 RGADC) held a four-day summit on June 3-6, 2024 at the Conference Hall of Batanes State College (BSC) in Basco, Batanes. The said summit headed by the Regional GAD Research Learning Center located at Isabela State University (ISU) was attended by several State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), National Government Agencies (NGAs), and Local Government Units (LGUs).

The event aimed to develop a Sex and Gender Disaggregated Database and Gender Statistics, review the commitment levels of member agencies in implementing RGADC2’s GAD agenda, and benchmark gender mainstreaming initiatives with the LGU of Batanes and BSC. Furthermore, the summit aimed to integrate gender concepts into the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 2.

Commitment to Gender Equality and Gender Mainstreaming

The first day of the summit covered topics related to GAD. Workshops addressed crucial areas such as data collection, legal frameworks, gender mainstreaming, gender analysis, and the attribution process to the GAD budget. Presentations showcased the accomplishments of various agencies, providing valuable insights into gender disparities and underscoring the importance of gender-responsive initiatives. This day highlighted the region’s dedication to promoting gender equality and empowering women.

The focus of the second and third days was on the practical aspects of implementing gender mainstreaming through the development of a Sex and Gender Disaggregated Database. These sessions covered data collection, database design, statistics generation, and knowledge management. Participants addressed privacy concerns and received guidance on creating effective tools for monitoring and evaluating gender-related initiatives.

 Cultural Immersion in Chavayan

The fourth day was dedicated to the benchmarking of the Chavayan Village on Sabtang Island, known for its centuries-old stone houses and traditional Ivatan weaving. The Sabtang Weavers Association, consisting of local women, plays a vital role in preserving this cultural heritage. Participants of the summit explored the challenges faced by these rural women weavers, such as limited access to raw materials, financial constraints, and market limitations. Opportunities for growth were also discussed, including expanding market reach, utilizing digital platforms, and fostering government support.

Moving Forward

Alongside the summit, a total of eight (8) individuals were acknowledged and celebrated for their successful completion of the Regional Pool of Gender Resource Persons (RPGRP) program in the presence of all RGADC2 Members and Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Executives. The following are the new regional GAD trainers:

  •       Ms. Aileen Constantino Gonzales
  •       Ms. Rowena Aquino Guzman
  •       Mr. James B. Rodrigo
  •       Ms. Ludivina Taguiam-Potot
  •       Atty. Cecilia Melad Lazaro
  •       Ms. Johanna Mercy Cils Gabriel
  •       Dr. Emma D. Aspiras
  •       Dr. Raquel R. Geronimo

The RDC2 RGADC Summit was a significant step towards enhancing gender statistics and mainstreaming gender concepts in various initiatives. The event not only reinforced the commitment of member agencies to the GAD agenda but also provided practical tools and insights for effective gender mainstreaming. Moreover, the cultural immersion in Chavayan offered a unique perspective on the lived experiences of rural women weavers, contributing to the sustainable development of their craft and the broader goal of achieving gender equality.