City of Koronadal, South Cotabato. –  An estimated hundred government employees from the Prime Regional Government Center, Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City attended the first-ever PRGC GAD Motorcade on 8 March 2018, in celebration of March 2018 as Women’s Month and International Women’s Day.

As early as six o’clock in the morning, the group assembled near Rizal Park for the motorcade to PRGC. Agency representatives proudly wore their lavender shirts with the theme: “We Make Change Work for Women.” In attendance were the following agencies: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources XII, Bureau of Food and Drug Administration XII, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology XII, Bureau of Treasury XII, Commission on Human Rights XII, Department of Agriculture XII, Department of Education XII, Department of Interior and Local Government XII, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau XII, DENR-Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau XII, and National Economic and Development Authority XII.

The agencies converged at the Barangay Carpenter Hill Gymnasium for a short program, right after the motorcade.  Mr. Michael A. Peñaloza, Chief Investigator, CHR XII gave the welcome remarks, on behalf of Regional Director Erlan T. Deluvio.  Mr. Peñaloza read the message which highlighted the principle that “women’s rights are human rights.”

A part of the program was the physical activity or Zumba led by BFAR XII where the participants enjoyed “sweating it out” to the heart-pumping music. A “salo-salo” followed with the simple breakfast prepared by the agencies.  Staffs gamely participated in parlor games facilitated by DepEd XII. These provided an avenue for PRGC agencies to bond and socialize with partners given the brief period. Prizes were awarded by sponsor agencies to winning groups.

The closing message was given by ARD Noel E. Quiratman of NEDA XII who represented RD Arturo G. Valero.  ARD Quiratman shared briefly the pressing issues on gender and development and the role of governance to address these concerns.  He thanked those present and their heads of offices for joining the activity.

The GAD Focal Persons of PRGC agencies were invited by DA XII in a meeting on 5 March 2018 to organize said activities for the CY 2018 Women’s Month. (Lalaine M. Sajelan, FAD)