The Regional Development Council (RDC) Subcommittee on Gender and Development (SCGAD) conducted the 5th Calabarzon Regional gender and development (GAD) Convention recently at the Splash Oasis Resort in Los Baños, Laguna. The Convention was organized by the RDC in partnership with the League of Population Officers and Workers of the Philippines Laguna Chapter and the Laguna Association of Planning and Development Coordinators.

Three hundred participants attended the convention, with 67 percent of the delegates from local government units, 24 percent from regional line agencies and 9 percent from state universities and colleges and other higher education institutions.

With the theme “Challenges on Mainstreaming Gender and Development in the Context of ASEAN Integration,” the convention aimed to understand how mainstreaming gender would situate within the economic integration framework. Regional Director  Luis G. Banua of the NEDA Regional Office (NRO) IV-A in his opening remarks stated that ASEAN Integration offers opportunities that the country can work on for its benefits.

However, he also sees that the full implementation of the integration may pose challenges in achieving the goal for greater gender equity and women empowerment not only for Calabarzon but for the whole country. Thus, it must be ensured that the fulfilment of the requirements of the integration should not be compromising the gains of the country from the GAD initiatives, Banua added.

At the Convention, the Search for Outstanding GAD Implementer was also introduced.  This aims to recognize efforts of regional government agencies and instrumentalities in the implementation of gender mainstreaming in their regular programs and projects.

The following were the topics tackled at  the convention: (a) background of ASEAN Integration; (b) CSO Perspective on the Implication of ASEAN Integration and its Impact  on  the  Informal Sector, Women and GAD; (c) Mainstreaming  Gender  on Disaster Risk Reduction: the case of Calabarzon, GAD Public Accountability Values Enhancement System; (d) Gender  Mainstreaming  Approach and Strategies on Education; (e) Communication and Gender; (f) Gender Dimensions of Migration and Development; among others.