LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The provincial board approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the gender equality and development (GAD) code of the province in recognition of the various needs of its diversed and multi-ethnic population to make its programs gender sensitive.
The ordinance authored by boardmembers Concepcion D. Balao and Robert Namoro provides that approach to pre-marriage, counseling programs and still adopt character values education to promote the equal relations between women and men.
The ordinance mandates that all health centers shall provide gender sensitive services in the delivery of reproductive health care including the establishment of crisis intervention service units.
Further, Benguet shall observe with appropriate rite and activities International Women’s Day every March 8 and that the provincial government shall endeavor to establish mechanisms to ensure the gender perspectives are integrated and legislations, public policies, programs and projects.
The proposed measure mandates that all municipalities and barangays must support women’s organizations formed by their respective constituents and that a collation of women’s organizations shall be organized and shall be composed of various accredited women’s organizations and federations in the province..
On the other hand, the criteria for recruitment and appointment to decision-making positions to ensure that such criteria is transparent, relevant and not discriminatory against sex and that a reasonable amount and other forms of support shall be extended by the provincial government to non-government organizations and research institutes that conduct studies on women’s participation in and that impart on decision-making environment.
The ordinance also states that the provincial government shall provide immediate comprehensive support to survivors of violence that shall consist of, but shall not be limited to, referrals through pre or low cost services such as legal, medical, psycho-social, shelter and to coordinate other forms of support services provided by non-government organizations.
There shall also be created a gender sensitive family arbitration committee within the Lupong Tagapamayapa of each barangay to resolve cases on family violence and, where necessary, barangay family arbitration members should undergo a special para-legal training on laws related to gender and development.
The provincial government shall encourage the continuous review of local laws and practices with the end and view of detecting gender bias and eliminating all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex.
Benguet shall establish a mechanism to monitor all offices, agencies, establishments and companies operating in the province to ensure their strict compliance with the labor code and other provisions of existing laws, especially those pertaining to children, women and labor.