The Committee on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), in its second regular meeting on July 22, 2022, passed a policy resolution recommending to the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture-National Program Management Office (RSBSA-NPMO) the conduct of a massive information, education and communication campaign on the importance of RSBSA.

It aims to create awareness among stakeholders on the requirements and benefits of registration and increase the inclusion of women and other minority groups, such as the youth, indigenous peoples (IPs), and persons with disabilities, in the system and the sectoral interventions of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Furthermore, the Committee recommended that the definitions of “farmers” and “fishers” in the implementing guidelines of RSBSA should be harmonized with that of the Republic Act 9710, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women.

This is in resolution to the concern raised by Amparo Miciano of the National Rural Women Coalition on the registration requirements, specifically land title ownership and registration of only one head per household.

She noted that this particular prerequisite can be restrictive and a form of gender stereotyping if only the identified household heads, who are usually men, can register.

As such, the Committee also suggested to immediately conduct workshops and consultations for the assessment and possible revision of the RSBSA guidelines and tools towards a more gender responsive process.

Based on the report of the RSBSA-NPMO as of July 21, 2022, 2.4 million female farmers, fishers, farm workers, and agri-youth were already registered in the system, accounting for 43% of the total 5.7 million registrants.

According to them, approximately 10 million farmers and fishers are expected to be registered in the RSBSA.

Aside from its continuous dissemination efforts in the grassroot levels and collaboration with other DA Offices, RSBSA-NPMO shared that it also has plans of integrating data from the registry systems of other DA attached bureaus and corporations prior to RSBSA. 

These include the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration or FishR, wherein 2.3 million fishers are registered, and the Philippine Coconut Authority’s National Coconut Farmers’ Registry System, which covers 3.3 million coconut farmers nationwide.

During the meeting, the Body also discussed the Women in Agriculture (WIA) Project of the DA-GESI and its aim of enhancing the access of women and vulnerable groups—Senior Citizens, Differently Abled Persons, and Indigenous People—to services that will provide them livelihood and income towards poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

In line with this, Committee on GESI Interim Chairperson Hazel Tanchuling presented the results and recommended interventions of the study entitled “Women in the Rice Industry: Enhancing Gender Outcomes of Different Rice Related Agencies through Participatory Gender Analysis of Rice Supply Chain and Advocacies”.

A resolution was passed recommending to the concerned DA and non-DA departments/agencies the adoption of the policy recommendations from the study. | JCL