ZABIDA Staffers Learn How to Audit Barangays on GAD Compliance

Selected staffers of the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc (ZABIDA) underwent a 2-day facilitators’ training on Gender and Development (GAD) audit last November 6-7.

The training’s goal is to help local barangays to comply with the general provisions of the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) through the current ZABIDA’s community development interventions. Most of ZABIDA’s programs are imbedded with a component that requires the involvement a percentage of the women population in the programs.

With the GAD audit skills, the ZABIDA staffers will help target barangays to improve their good governance practices through the pro-active involvement of women in their projects and activities, ZABIDA executive director Esperancita Hupida said at the opening preliminaries. Good governance is a major plank of the non-government organization to help the barangays achieve total human security, poverty alleviation, disaster risk management and climate change mitigation/adaptation, and interfaith peace-building, she said.

The resource speakers included Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Zamboanga City OIC Prof. Moh. Taha Arakama and Western Mindanao State University Center for Gender and Development head Prof Rose Echem. Barangay Recodo, which has successfully implemented gender-related projects, shared by Kagawad Nestor Yusup, GAD Focal person and Ms. Ernani Fernando, the barangay’s treasurer, also discussed their experiences with the trainees. Arakama’s talk was on “What and Why GAD Audit? – Localizing Pertinent Provisions of the Magna Carta of Women”. He said that five percent of the annual budget of barangays and government agencies is under the law required to be invested in women-related projects and activities. Barangays are required to submit a GAD plan as part of their annual budget allotment. He said only 60 percent of Zamboanga’s 98 barangays have so far submitted their GAD plan for the year 2016 budget.

Prof. Echem gave a general overview of the need for GAD and the gender-related issues encountered by Filipino women. She lectured on the standard elements and mechanics of GAD auditing. Like Arakama, she noted that many barangays do not comply with the provisions of the magna carta although the law was enacted many years ago.

The second day of the training was devoted to workshops to draft a GAD research plan and a GAD audit training for barangay leaders. She also said that through the gender tools, “We can help the partner barangay, with the tools as the guidelines,” she reiterated. Hupida then reminded the participants, in responding to a checklist tool that this can serve to check their own GAD organization to see and relate what is lacking when GAD auditing will be conducted on the partner barangays.

In his message, ZABIDA President Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF said that he understands that when the main objective of the Convenio was set, it was understood its activities will be conducted with gender-sensitive aspects. Fr. Calvo further implied “that this principle is already established but I also urge the staffs to discover, analyze the impact, not only the numbers but also the kind of participation of the partner communities”.   

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