The production team and selected members of PCAF GAD FPS initiate talkback with PCAF employees to share their reactions and insights of the play.

Two gender-responsive activities were organized by the Gender and Development Focal Point System (GAD FPS) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) at the Apacible Conference Room A, Diliman, Quezon City on October 18 and 21, 2019.

These activities, a theater play on mental health and bullying and a forum on gender equality, were in line with the initiatives of PCAF in mainstreaming gender and development in the agency.

On the first day, the play entitled “Weight of Words” was screened in two separate groups. It was conceptualized and performed by Abner Delina Jr. of the children’s show Batibot and exclusively distributed by the Black Canvas Productions, Inc.

The play, a solo devised theater performance, rediscovered the power of words and tackled themes on mental health and bullying and explored how words can renew hope, destroy, or inspire people.

After the screening, a talkback followed. PCAF officials and staff and the invited guests from the Department of Agriculture (DA) GAD FPS shared their personal experiences, learnings, reactions and reflections to Delina and Rowella Jane Lopera, the production team’s guest psychometrician.

“The best thing that we can do to help individuals with mental health issues or suffering from bullying is to allow them to share their problem and to listen without judgement,” pointed out by Lopera.

“Maraming salamat po sa ating lahat at naging matagumpay po ang kakaibang activity na ito. Napakaganda po at talagang nakaka-relate ako dun sa mga eksena,” said by PCAF Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona.

On the following day, women leaders and members of the National Sectoral and Strategic Concerns Committees and representatives from the DA GAD FPS were invited to a forum on gender and equality.

Resource persons from the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) were invited to discussed GAD-related matters, issues and concerns.

PCW’s Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Plan 2019-2025 was presented through an audio-video presentation. Meanwhile, PCW’s GAD Specialist Armando Orcilla reported the Women’s Priority Legislative Agenda (WPLA) for the 18th Congress of the Philippines.

PCW GAD Specialist Armando Orcilla presents the proposed WPLA during the GAD forum.

Ten sets of WPLA were crafted by PCW for submission to the 18th congress. These agenda will be lobbied to the lawmakers and will seek to amend or repeal discriminating provisions of existing laws.

“Not only that, the PCW also advocates for the formulation and passage of new laws that would promote women’s empowerment and gender equality,” explained by Orcilla before presenting the list of proposed WPLA.

On the other hand, PCW’s Senior GAD Specialist Silayan Kintanar updated the participants on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action or BPfA+25 Philippine Progress report to be submitted to the United Nations (UN) Women and UN Regional Commission.

Afterward, CSC’s Senior Human Resource Specialist Vincent Niño Fabella oriented the participants on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act No. 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Act.

Before closing the forum, DA GAD FPS Coordinator Lorna Villegas presented the draft DA GAD Agenda for the year 2020-2023 that would serve as reference for its bureaus and attached agencies in mainstreaming GAD activities.

PCAF GAD FPS Chairperson Julieta Opulencia concluded the activity by thanking all participants for their cooperation and support to the agency’s activities. | JD