Lawmaker seeks inquiry on the allocation of GAD budget

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Saturday, April 19, 2014


A LAWMAKER is seeking for an inquiry into the allocation and utilization of the Gender and Development (GAD) budget of different government instrumentalities.

Bulacan Representative Linabelle Ruth Villarica recently urged the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality to find out how many agencies have submitted their GAD Plans and Budgets and turned over their accomplishment reports.

Villarica said there is no recent in-depth study conducted to assess the execution or use of the annual GAD Budget of government agencies and local government units.

“It is imperative that there be an assessment as to its efficiency and effectiveness in addressing gender issues,” Villarica said.

The lawmaker cited the General Appropriation Act (GAA) that stipulates the GAD Plan should be integrated in the regular activities of the agencies, which shall be at least five-percent of the agency’s budget.

“The GAA provides that GAD-related activities currently being undertaken by agencies or those that contribute to poverty alleviation, economic empowerment, especially of marginalized women, protection, promotion and fulfillment of women’s human rights and practice of gender-responsive governance shall be considered sufficient compliance with the said requirement,” Villarica said.

She also noted that the GAA further provides that the utilization of the GAD budget “shall be evaluated based on the performance indicators identified by the agency and that the preparation and submission of the annual GAD plan and annual GAD Accomplishment Report shall be subject to the guidelines issued by the agencies concerned.”

Villarica said a 2010 report of the Women and Gender Institute of the Marian College on the results of a review conducted on the Philippine GAD Budget Policy covering 1995 to 2009 “found the weakest part of the implementation of the GAD Budget Policy is GAD budget execution and the related tasks of accounting for the gender budget and the linking of the GAD investments to GAD results.

“As State Party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Philippines agreed to pursue a policy of totally eliminating any discrimination against women,” Villarica pointed out.

Villarica said governments, international communities, and civil societies, including non-government organizations and the private sector, were called upon to take strategic action in critical areas of concern, including the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women, inequalities and inadequacies in education and training and unequal access to health care and related services.

“The Magna Carta for Women (MCW) requires all departments, including their attached agencies, offices, bureaus, state universities and colleges, government-owned and controlled corporations, local government units and other government instrumentalities to adopt gender mainstreaming as a strategy to promote women’s human rights and eliminate gender discrimination in their systems, structures, policies, programs, process, and procedures,” Villarica said. (Sunnex)

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