Highlighting the theme, “Thank God, There is GAD in Nueva Ecija”, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) spearheaded the first Open Forum on Gender and Development Plan and Budget (GADPB) with live radio broadcast on DWNE 900 kHz. The broadcast was hosted by GAD Advocate-Provincial Planning and Development Office Sonia M. Capio and Jun G. Garcia on May 11, 2015 at the DILG Provincial Office Conference Room, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

The open forum was primarily aimed to discuss and address issues and concerns of Local Government Units (LGUs) regarding the formulation and improvement of GAD Plan and Budget.

Dir. Abraham A. Pascua, Ph D, CESO III of DILG- Nueva Ecija headed the GAD panel. Other members were Regional GAD Focal Person LGOO V Nina Katrina M. Naval, Program Manager LGOO VI Fortunato M. Abraham III, Cluster Team Leaders LGOO VI Vilma C. Domingo and LGOO VI Dennis A. Daquiz.

Meanwhile, selected LGU-GAD Focal Person including CSWDO-Science City of Munoz Myrna Estrada, Budget Officer-Rizal, Nueva Ecija.Rosejoy Montejo and OIC-MPDC- San Antonio, Nueva Ecija Gil De Guzman graced the event and actively shared their insights and raised issues and concerns they encountered regarding the aforesaid topic.

Difficulty in convening department heads as working committee for GAD Plan and Budget; alignment of plan to the LGU’s Annual Investment Plan from the grassroots up to the national level; prioritization of gender sensitive programs/projects/activities (PPAs); and lack of performance indicator/tools for evaluation on the compliance of GAD were some of the issues and concerns raised during the forum.

“We are currently implementing Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) for easily gathering data in the Barangay levels, then cascading the region’s GAD seminar to provincial and municipal level through cluster team leaders, then down to the barangay levels through our field officers,” PD Pascua said during the forum.

The department aims to provide more capability building and training not only in municipal level but also in barangay level so as to align their PPAS in the objectives of GAD and to formulate tools/evaluation system to assess if PPAs are gender sensitive in order to create specific, measurable, attainable and realistic and time-bound objectives for GAD Plans.

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