Underspending of the five percent (5%) GAD budget allocation  has been a perennial problem of the NCMB since the implementation of the program. To finally solve this, the NCMB-Central Office conducted a seminar-workshop on GAD Focal Point System Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) cum GAD Planning and Budgeting   on August 22-25, 2017at the Armada Hotel, Malate, Manila.

“We need to have a common understanding and  interpretation on the  Board’s GAD Mainstreaming Program and come up with a uniform indicator in our GAD targets. With this, we may be able to reach our 5%  target allocation”, NCMB Executive Director Shirley M. Pascual  told the participants.

Mesdames Susan R. Jalla and Minda C. Valencia from the National GAD Resource Pool (NGRP) were invited as the resource speakers. Ms. Valencia comprehensively  imbued the GAD Concepts in shaping gender identity and GAD as a development approach. Ms. Jalla oriented the participants on the features of the Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) and how it is used in GAD projects.

To settle the concerns in budgeting, the participants were levelled-off on how  to do GAD Planning and  Budgeting in accordance with appropriate guidelines. Workshops on how and when to apply the  specific, generic  and Program and Project Implementation Management and Monitoring and Evaluation (PIMME) checklists  and assessment of government programs using the HGDG were experienced.

GAD planning and budgeting is not just a technical process but it is a political tool to push the government address gender issues and  to allocate resources for it.  The speakers then  challenged the participants to reach their 5% goal and to make the entire budget gender-responsive.

Maggie B. Balagtey