The Other Priority Program Committee (OPPC) on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) pushed for the institutionalization of the Department of Agriculture’s Gender and Development (GAD) service towards more effective planning and implementation of DA GAD-related programs.
During a blended Small Group Meeting on January 18, 2023, the Committee discussed a proposal calling for the establishment of a DA GESI-GAD unit/office with plantilla positions, emphasizing the creation of a permanent unit with permanent employees would ensure the continuity of the Department’s GAD-related initiative.
In 2020, DA established a GESI unit that oversees the realization of its GAD plans and targets. However, employees assigned to the GESI Unit are either holding another position with non-GAD related functions or Contract of Service personnel.
According to the Program Head of the DA-GESI Program, Director Anray Rivera, “hindi madali ang trabaho ng GESI, hindi lang ito tungkol sa babae at lalaki, dahil kasali din ang Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at Indigenous Peoples (IPs). Lahat ng vulnerable sectors ay hina-handle ng GESI”.
The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) is currently considering commissioning a policy study on the institutionalization of a GESI-GAD unit/office, which would look into strategic measures and supporting legislation to justify its creation.
Following the provisions of Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta for Women, the DA and all its offices, units, bureaus, and attached agencies have established their respective GAD Focal Point Systems. This move ensures mainstreaming of GAD across DA and access of women, youth, and other vulnerable groups to much-needed services are enhanced.
The Committee also discussed the upcoming consultation and writeshop activity on February 1 and 2. The DA’s Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) National Program Management Office will conduct the activity.
The consultation and writeshop activity will be attended by PCAF, OPPC on GESI, and other private organizations representing the sectors of rural women, differently-abled persons, and Indigenous Peoples groups to ensure a socially-inclusive and gender-responsive RSBSA registration process.
A more socially-inclusive and gender-responsive RSBSA registration process would conform with the DA Policy Reform Agenda, which includes women and youth engagement as a key strategy.
This key strategy involves the continued mainstreaming of a gender perspective in all of DA’s Banner Programs and special projects and engaging more women and youth organizations as beneficiaries and participants of DA’s programs, activities, and projects.