Gov’t implementation of Gender and Development budget law examined in new book

A March 3, 2011 press release by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Reviewing the experiences and lessons of the government in its implementation of the Gender and Development (GAD) Budget Policy will help step up resource allocation to promote gender equality and women empowerment, according to a new book titled, “Accounting for Gender Results: A Review of the Philippine GAD Budget Policy.”

Published by the Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) of Miriam College, the book was based on a study that evaluated the government’s 25 years of implementation of the Philippine GAD Budget Policy at the national level.

It was launched on Tuesday during the Advocacy Forum on the GAD Budget held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pasig.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga, Jr., in his opening remarks, said that the study is a very timely effort.

“Specifically, the study intends to examine if support for gender mainstreaming was provided for and whether or not women equally benefitted and participated in the development process,” he stated.

Paderanga mentioned that while there are existing laws, such as Republic Acts (RA) 7192 or the Women in Development and Nation-Building Act, and 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, “having a policy is not enough.”

RA 7192 has been the basis of what is now known as the GAD Budget Policy, which mandates all government departments, bureaus, offices and agencies to allocate five percent of the total budget appropriations on gender and development.

Paderanga related that the study conducted by WAGI has found out that compliance of selected national government agencies with the policy has been “very low,” adding that “there is no operational mechanism to actively promote compliance and performance.”

He said, however, that there have been some results that showed how the GAD budget, where it was made available, has influenced gender mainstreaming in some agencies.

“The value of the book lies not only in providing evidence for continued implementation of the GAD Budget Policy, but, more importantly, in articulating the challenges that we – government, civil society and women’s groups, and the ODA donor community – face in moving the Policy forward, beyond compliance towards what the book calls gender results,” Paderanga stated.

The study was supported by NEDA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Dedicated to Boncodin

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, who also attended the advocacy forum and book launching, represented the late Emilia Boncodin , friend and former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary, to whom the book has been dedicated.

Deles, along with representatives from other agencies, were presented with copies of the book by WAGI Project Director Jeanne Frances I. Illo.

The peace adviser, who is a staunch gender rights advocate, shared how dedicated and hardworking Boncodin had been as a public servant and later as a civil society member.

Boncodin had also been a strong supporter of the Philippine GAD Budget Policy.

Also in attendance were UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer; Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Board Chair Remedios Wikken; Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)Asst. Sec. Maria Catalina E. Cabral; Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK) President Trinidad Domingo; WAGI Executive Dir. Aurora Javate De Dios, among others.