The National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office (NRO) XII concluded the CY 2015 women’s month celebration with an orientation on the Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) facilitated by Ms. Sandra J. Alido, Senior EDS of the Policy Formulation and Planning Division (PFPD), on April 6, 2015 at Viajera Dine and Café, Brgy. Morales, Koronadal City.

Ms. Alido explained that the HGDG was formulated to ensure that the development plans are not only aware of or sensitive to gender issues faced by women and men, girls and boys, but will also address key, relevant gender-related issues or concerns to promote women’s empowerment and achieve gender equality through programs, projects, activities and services. The HGDG, including its checklist on development planning is anchored on Republic Act (RA) Nos. 7192 and 9710 and on the priority thrusts of ODA Donors.

Ms. Alido also elaborated the four principles of HGDG based on the framework, namely: (a) equality between women and men as a key women’s human right; (b) participation in development which is crucial to the empowerment of women and men; (c) gender equality that means promoting equal participation of women as agents of economic, social, and political change and (d) achieving equality between women and men that may involve the introduction of specific measures designed to eliminate gender inequalities and inequities. She also discussed the different elements of a gender-responsive development plans for appreciation of the staff on different development plans, programs and projects identification, formulation, budgeting, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation.

Ms. Julie Esperanza B. Chung, Chief Administrative Officer of the Financial and Administrative Division, delivered an inspirational message giving emphasis on the various role and importance of women in the family, governance, politics and economy.

The activity was also highlighted by a video and song tribute of the gentlemen of NRO XII for the ladies of NRO XII. The gentlemen delivered heartwarming messages for the ladies by answering the banner question, “what is the essence of a woman?” Their messages affirmed the unconditional love of women and their ability to lead and make things happen.

In behalf of the ladies of NRO XII, Ms. Ma. Lulu E. Valencia, Chief EDS of Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division, gave a response. She expressed heartfelt appreciation for the effort of the gentlemen to bring success and happiness in the lives of the NEDA XII women and in return, she also asked a banner question, “what is the essence of a man?” and it was unanimously responded by the ladies as, “the men sets the standard for the women to surpass and go beyond the line”.

Mr. Romel Patrick E. Tanghal, Supervising EDS of PFPD gave the closing message. He thanked everyone who shared their talents and make another mark in the memory of the NRO XII staff. He also saluted the twenty-seven (27) dedicated ladies of NRO XII who the gentlemen always considers as their partners in accomplishing the tasks assigned for the NRO. (Gwyneth Grace B. Collado, NEDA XII-DRD)