Batangas City – The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) conducted the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Sensitivity Training and Planning Workshop on 05 to 07 July 2023 at the Pontefino Hotel in Batangas City.  The said event brought together the BLGF Central and Regional Gender and Development (GAD) focal persons to tackle gender disparities within the Local Governance Reform Project (LGRP), in support to advocating for gender mainstreaming and inclusivity. 

BLGF Executive Director Niño Raymond B. Alvina, in his opening message, acknowledged the ADB’s commitment to addressing vulnerability issues, empowering women and promoting equitable development in programs and government projects. Director Alvina also emphasized the importance of GESI principles and their association with fairness and social justice, highlighted the need for equal employment opportunities, discussed the impact of biased language, and called for an end to discriminatory practices. He also underscored the creation of a safe and inclusive environment by mainstreaming the policies of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the integration of GESI into local finance guidelines and program of the BLGF.  

During the session, GAD specialists from the ADB and Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) conducted a series of interactive sessions, discussions, and practical exercises on Philippine laws and policies, ADB’s Social Safeguard Policies on Gender, Development, and Vulnerability, and reporting gender-based violence in communities and in the workplace.  

In addition, the workshop served as an inclusive platform for participants to share experiences, brainstorm, and foster collaboration in the planning and development of applicable gender frameworks.  

Moving forward, the key stakeholders committed to developing a comprehensive framework that will serve as a guiding document, outlining the specific actions, timelines, and accountability mechanisms to ensure the effective integration of GESI across all project activities.  

The recently concluded GESI Sensitivity Training and Planning Workshop is part of the requirement of the national government for offices like the BLGF to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in its projects and operations.