PFDA GAD: Dynamic, empowering to equity
In one with strengthening the Gender and Development (GAD) mainstreaming efforts of the government, the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) Central Office and Regional Fish Ports' GAD-Technical Working Groups (GAD-TWG) conducted series of activities in observance of the National Women's Month, and in accordance with GAD's main objective of establishing gender equality and equity among men and women in the country.
The Women's Month was celebrated at the PFDA Central Office, Davao Fish Port Complex (DFPC) and Iloilo Fish Port Complex (IFPC) in March but through different approaches as the Central Office and IFPC focused on providing of knowledge and opportunities for both male and female employees while DFPC conducted an outreach program.
A skills training on meat processing that capacitated employees to apply the knowledge gained for personal and business purposes was conducted by the PFDA Central Office GAD-TWG in commemoration of the Women's Month. The training with the theme "Pangkabuhayan ng Kababaihan" was facilitated by Ma. Salve Chavez, Zenaida Vinculado and Analene Soliven, the resource persons from Animal Development Center, the training arm of the Bureau of Animal Industry; and was attended by 50 employees consisting of male and female representatives from each department. The participants were able to apply the skills learned from the facilitators as there were live demonstrations made after the lecture.
Meanwhile, the GAD-TWG of IFPC, in collaboration with the Bureau of Fire Protection, simultaneously celebrated the Women's Month and the Yearly Fire Prevention Month through the conduct of Seminar on Fire Prevention Safety.
Measures participated in by 50 employees from the different companies operating inside the complex. Aside from the practical lectures on ways to stop destructive fires and what to do in case of fire, an actual demonstration on how to react and evacuate properly (or fire drill) was also performed by the attendees.
Through the seminar-workshop, a Fire Brigade Organization with Port Manager Edgar Deysolong as the chief was created for IFPC, alongside respective committees on Communication, Evacuation, Medic, Security and Traffic, Search and Rescue, and Fire Fighting.
On the other hand, a motorcade participated in by various government agencies including DFPC formally opened the Women's Month Celebration in Davao City. The celebration was made more festive by adding booths, prepared by the Bureau of Plant Industry, offering taste tests to everyone who attended. The highlight of the activity was the outreach program at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Female Dormitory which aimed to visit and mingle with the female inmates to help address gender issues and concerns inside the jail.
It was also through the initiatives of the GAD-TWG of the PFDA Central Office and DFPC that team building activities were organized not only to foster coordination, cooperation and harmonious working relationship among men and women; but also to serve as a venue to tackle GAD related concerns such as health and safety summer tips for the employees.
The PFDA GAD Focal System holds quarterly meetings to ensure that the initiatives of the government on gender and development equity and equality will be strengthened nationwide in the PFDA offices and among its clients. (Amber Alonzo with reports from Aurora Atanacio, Becky Berlin and Christine Angelique Bisquera)
The top five GAD agenda to be prioritized by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) for the next six years were the results of the Agenda ni Juana Crowdsourcing, an initiative of the PCW which was conducted manually and online during the “Sama-samang Pagsulong sa Mga Agenda ni Juana” last year. The participants in the survey were asked to select five issues that need to be resolved. The five issues that garnered the most votes are:
1) Improved education, awareness-raising, and women’s participation in gender-responsive climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction towards building resilient communities (5,821 votes)
2) Improved access to justice of victims of abuse and violence, especially women and girls with disabilities and other vulnerable groups (5,122 votes)
3) Expanded access to affordable comprehensive women’s health care and services (4,053 votes)
4) Improved access to land, water, capital, markets, and enterprise technologies in rural and urban areas (3,488 votes)
5) Improved information dissemination on government programs and services for realizing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and their human rights (3,297 votes)
Improving protective and welfare assistance for distressed female migrant workers came next, proceeded by improving convergence of efforts in building peaceful, safe and violence-free communities. Ranking 8th and 9th, respectively, are increasing women’s participation and leadership in decision-making positions; and strengthening social protection for workers in the informal economy and other vulnerable groups.
This crowdsourcing activity provided the public, in general an avenue to voice their views on the issues most important to them. Though the survey has its limitations, it is an effective way to engage the public stakeholders in GAD concerns and the government to be informed about the issues to be prioritized in programs for women.
Employees of the PFDA Central Office and Navotas Fish Port Complex participated in this event, joining a total of 8,005 respondents from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. (Au DC Atanacio)