Philippine Commission on Women

The Philippine Commission on Women (formerly the National Commission on the Role of the Filipino Women), is a government agency run by the government of the Philippines with the intention of promoting and protecting the rights of the Women in the Philippines. It was established on January 7, 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 633.

On August 14, 2009, the Magna Carta of Women was signed into law providing better protection for women. According to the United Nations’ 2009 Human Development Report, the Philippines is 40th out of 155 nations when the gender-related development index is compared directly to the human development index, While the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2009 lists the country at a ranking 9 among of about 130 countries.

On July 4, 2016, PCW was among the 12 agencies, formerly from the Office of the President reassigned to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, based on Executive Order #1 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Philippine Initiatives on Gender-Responsive Governance (Philippine Commission on Women)

In the Philippines, efforts to make governance gender responsive are promoted through legislation, such as the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) which mandates non-discriminatory and pro-gender equality and equity measures to enable women’s participation in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of policies, plans, and programs for national, regional, and local development.

Also, the Philippine Framework Plan for Women (FPW) indicated actions planned for gender responsive governance to be undertaken by government agencies, LGUs and civil society as follows:

On mainstreaming Gender and Development (GAD) in the bureaucracy

On enhancing women’s leadership roles and participation in decision-making

On strengthening women’s role in promoting gender-responsive governance

On strengthening partnership with media in covering various women issues

Significant progress has been achieved in terms of implementing said measures in the FPW.

The Country Gender Assessment (CGA, 2008) has noted that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has issued annual budget circulars since 1997 that support the implementation of GAD budgets at the local level. Currently, the local budget circular on internal revenue allotment requires agencies to apply a minimum of 5 percent of the funds for GAD. In 2001, the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (now PCW), Department of Interior and Local Government, and DBM issued a joint memorandum circular to all local government units (LGUs) containing guidelines for integrating GAD in the local planning and budgeting system.

The CGA (2008) also cited the positive effects of GAD budgets and plans at the local level, such as improved services for women and men, and even reduction in the incidence of gender-based violence. It enumerated less tangible benefits that include increased awareness and advocacy for gender issues and the development of local mechanisms for planning and implementation that increase the involvement of civil society groups in government processes.

Projects that have been implemented under the GAD budget include providing health services, advocating and disseminating information on gender issues, building capacity and providing technical assistance on GAD and other gender issues, establishing or improving service facilities for women, issuing policies on gender, establishing databases and mechanisms for reporting on gender issues, improving awareness of gender issues when undertaking development planning at the national and local levels, and revising textbooks to remove social and gender stereotypes.

Also a notable gain in gender responsive governance is the audit of GAD funds initiative of the Commission on Audit (COA) which:

Results of COA’s audit initiative prompted government agencies at the national and local levels to pursue GAD budgeting in the Philippines in a more proactive manner. Assessing the outcomes of the implementation of GAD plans and budgets, the CGA (2008) pointed out the significance of:

However, several challenges still remain in the promotion of gender-responsive governance in the country such as policy development and implementation, financing and financing capacity and generation of data on GAD monitoring and implementation as well as for gender analysis. The FPW stresses the importance an enabling environment for development wherein the interaction between the Government, the private sector, and civil society is fundamental to achieving social and economic development. The CGA (2008) also underscored the vitality of care for national resources and absence of graft and corruption in good and accountable gender-responsive governance.