Davao City, for the third time in a row, was certified by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) as a local learning hub for the Gender and Development (GAD) program for 2023-2026.

PCW Deputy Executive Director Atty. Khay Ann Magundayao-Borlado, during the weekly flag ceremony on Monday, announced the PCW’s re-certification of the city’s four notable sustainable GAD programs and facilities as local learning hubs for GAD programs.

The four programs and facilities highlighted are the Integrated Gender and Development Division (IGDD), which spearheads gender mainstreaming; the IGDD Special Counsel on VAW, which provides free legal assistance to victims of gender-based violence; the Child Minding Center under the City Social Welfare and Development Office, a facility that helps parents perform their roles and avail of Early Childhood Care and Development for their children; and the Ray of Hope Village of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Region 11, a facility that serves female persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) and promotes restorative justice to the PDLs and provides them with formal or non-formal education while training them on income generating activities and livelihood.

“In view of the sustained implementation of your notable GAD programs and as the result of our regular monitoring and assessment the PCW will re-certify all four GAD programs of Davao City for another three years from 2023-2026. We applaud your continued efforts in addressing gender issues and concerns through the implementation of these four programs. We admire the steadfast leadership and commitment of LGU officials in sustaining the gender responsiveness of these programs,” Borlado said in her speech during the flag-raising ceremony, adding that the PCW will remain in the city within the week to validate more GAD programs in Davao.

PCW Chief GAD Specialist Nharleen Santos-Millar, in a separate interview, said that for re-certification, the team from PCW conducted facility visitations, interviews of program implementors, interviews with beneficiaries, and conducted assessments on the sustainability of programs.

Acting City Administrator Atty. Francis Mark Layog, in a speech on behalf of Davao City, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the PCW officials who conferred the certification.

“It is through these helpful gestures that the city government of Davao will be able to move forward as it consistently strives for good governance and acquire more effective avenues to deliver our services to Dabawenyos,” Layog said.

He also thanked the heads of the IGDD and CSWDO, for their support to employees in providing care for their children as they perform their productive roles in the city government. The official also thanked BJMP XI for its dedication to helping female persons deprived of liberty.

“As the Philippine Government’s arm in protecting the social welfare and the rights of its constituents, it is our promise to sustain and enhance the delivery of our GAD-related services, programs, and facilities. It is our hope that through our service to the community, we may be a source of information to everyone who is an active participant in the PCW’s vision to influence development towards gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls,” Layog said.

IGDD Head Lorna C. Mandin, in a separate interview, said that the re-certification not only inspires program implementors but also challenges them to be innovative so as not to “slide back”.

She said that the city is geared toward living up to the status of pioneer implementors of these programs, some of which are already replicated in other LGUs.

Mandin said that it was in 2015 when the city, as one of the pioneer LGUs, received its first PWC LLH certification which was carried until the year 2018. The second certification was awarded for the years 2019-2021. This is the third year that the city was re-certified as a local learning hub for notable GAD programs.
Mandin added that they aim to ensure that in the next three years, these programs will be sustained and the LLH certification will be maintained.

“Padayon mi magbinantayon, padayon mi magtuon, para mas mag-level up (We will continue to be vigilant, we will continue to learn to level up),” Mandin said. CIO