MIMAROPA Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC), in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), conducted the Online GAD Planning and Budgeting (GPB) Forum for the regional line agencies (RLAs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) of MIMAROPA on September 30 through video conference.

A total of 182 GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) members and representatives from the RLAs, GOCCs, and SUCs joined the forum, which aimed to orient them on the guidelines on the preparation of the annual GAD plan and budget and GAD accomplishment report (AR) and on the revised guidelines in the audit of GAD funds and activities. 

In his opening remarks, RGADC MIMAROPA Chairperson and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) MIMAROPA Regional Director Fernando R. De Villa, Jr., highlighted the importance of their participation in the GPB forum to ensure the implementation of sectoral programs that will give equal opportunities to all regardless of gender. 

Ms. Karen G. Dagñalan-Dy of PCW discussed the policy imperatives and essential elements of GAD planning and budgeting, the step-by-step guide in accomplishing the GAD plan and budget and GAD AR templates, and the process of attributing agency major programs or projects to GAD budget using the Harmonized GAD Guidelines. 

Meanwhile, Ms. Anita E. Baleda of PCW highlighted  the use of the Gender Mainstreaming Monitoring System (GMMS) in the process of the submission, review, and endorsement of agency-consolidated GAD plan and budget. Participants were also reminded about the schedule of submission of their GAD plans and budget. 

Former Commission on Audit (COA) Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo tackled COA Circular No. 2014-001, or the Revised Guidelines in the Audit of GAD Funds and Activities in the Government Agencies, highlighting the basic audit requirements and the programs, activities, and projects that can be charged against GAD funds. She also discussed the updated guidelines in the prevention of illegal, irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, and unconscionable expenditures and common GAD audit findings.

Moreover, the three resource persons were joined by Ms. Nharleen Millar-Santos of PCW and Ms. Elizabeth F. Seva of the Department of Budget and Management MIMAROPA as panelists in the open forum to answer issues and concerns raised by the participants. 

Regional Development Council Vice-Chairperson Agustin C. Mendoza who is also Regional Director of the NEDA Regional Office in MIMAROPA  awarded the certificate of appreciation to the resource persons and panelists. Mendoza also emphasized the common aim of RLAs, GOCCs, and SUCs in pursuing equal opportunities for women and men and equal access to resources and development results.

RGADC Co-Chairperson Juvelyn Gumal-in, meanwhile, presented the ways in which RGADC MIMAROPA can move forward. She said that the Committee plans to conduct the mapping and profiling of GAD mechanisms in the region, call for application for the Regional Pool of GAD Resource Persons, and the continuous provision of technical assistance on GAD planning and budgeting and other GAD-related concerns.

PCW Deputy Director for Management Services Cecile B. Gutierrez delivered the closing remarks on behalf of Executive Director Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves.  The message pointed out the significant role of the RLAs, SUCs, and GOCCs in the realization of GAD-related targets not only in MIMAROPA but in the country as a whole.

​​​​​​​The GPB Forum is one of the activities in the RGADC MIMAROPA Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 that aims to increase the number of endorsed GAD plans and budgets in the MIMAROPA region.