by Arbil SR Bucatcat
On January 16, Thursday, the Gender and Development (GAD) Office called for a Reorientation Meeting of GAD Focal Points and Lady Kagawads at the Workshop Room of the new Los Baños Municipal Building. This is in line with the municipality’s goal to make Los Baños a gender-sensitive municipality.
Los Baños GAD Officer Karen Lagat Mercado explained that the annual 5% GAD fund is currently not being utilized for GAD projects and activities in the barangay level. Instead, it is being added to the barangay general fund.
The Federation of GAD Focal Point was created during the meeting to ensure that GAD projects will be implemented this year. According to Mercado, the formation of a federation is a great help in establishing contacts in the barangay level. Concepcion DV. Lobos of Brgy. Bambang was elected president of the federation.
For 2014, GAD will employ the grassroots approach, in cooperation with the barangay contacts, to ensure that women and the LGBT community are represented and can participate in various GAD projects. This involves the proper allocation, disbursement, and utilization of the 5% GAD Fund to respond to various needs of all genders in Los Baños community. With this new approach GAD aims to equip and empower officers in planning and evaluating GAD programs and activities in the barangay level.
The GAD office presented their plans for 2014 during the meeting. These projects include Damay sa Kapwa, Responsible Parenting, Kasalang Bayan, Livelihood Trainings and Seminars, Cooperative Development, Women’s Month, Health Cervical Cancer, Buntis Day, and Operation Bukol.
The DAG Office is one of the newly established municipal units under the Republic Act 9710 Magna Carta of Women that “mandates all government offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units to adopt gender mainstreaming as a strategy for implementing the law and attaining its objectives. It also mandates (a) planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation for gender and development, (b) the creation and/or strengthening of gender and development focal points, and (c) the generation and maintenance of gender statistics and sex-disaggregated databases to aid in planning, programming and policy formulation.”