The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has signed a partnership agreement with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) to mainstream gender and development (GAD) programs and capacitate officials and employees to promote gender equality in all aspects of work within the DENR.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the agreement will bring great strides in the GAD implementation as it raises awareness about the role of women in the environment sector.

"We at the DENR are honored to have this partnership with PCW to promote the role of women in the environment sector and spread more awareness about their significant role," Cimatu said.

According to the DENR chief, the recent addition of the GAD courses in the agency’s Environment and Natural Resources Academy (ENRA) also serves as "another avenue for DENR personnel to be more equipped in the changing society and times."

"With the recent launch and conclusion of the special course on enforcement at ENRA, another specialized course—this time on GAD—will make men and women more sensitive and more prepared to interact with their colleagues while keeping in mind the lessons in gender and development," Cimatu added.

Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, who serves as the chairperson of the DENR's National Gender Focal Point System, said that the agreement serves as "an anticipatory and thorough planning for mainstreaming gender and development concerns in the department, rather than the as-the-need-arises basis."

"Partnership is bound to change the way we in the DENR team can go about assessing the state and requirements of gender-based training in the Department, prioritizing carefully those that need attention on both sides," Rebuelta-Teh said.

Meanwhile, PCW Executive Director Kristine Rosary Yuson-Chaves said the Commission has "high hopes that this endeavor will bring clarity as well as new insights to DENR’s mainstreaming journey."

According to Yuson-Chaves, PCW "has identified the environment sector to be prioritized for the provision of the GAD-related technical assistance."

"PCW commits to support DENR in this gender mainstreaming journey so that implementation will go beyond near compliance but, more importantly, to achieve gender responsiveness of the agency’s programs, projects, activities and services, and realize positive impacts in the lives of its duty-bearers and clients, especially on women and girls," said Yuson-Chaves.

Under the agreement, the DENR will take the lead in organizing GAD-related activities, including preparation of GAD Plans and Budgets, and Enhanced Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework.

Meanwhile, PCW will provide resource persons to guide and support the capacity development program of DENR in its ENRA’s supervisory and management courses and extend the necessary technical assistance in other related activities.

The PCW serves as the national machinery for gender equality and women’s empowerment and is mandated to capacitate national government agencies to effectively implement Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.

Witnessing the signing of the partnership agreement were DENR Climate Change Service Director Elenida dR. Basug, also the concurrent Director for DENR GAD Office, and PCW Chief GAD Specialist for Sectoral Coordination Division Macario T. Jusayan. ###