A seminar on Gender Equality and Gender and Development (GAD) Legal Mandates was conducted by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region IV CALABARZON on August 30, 2019. The event was organized in coordination with Montalban Millex Aggregates Corporation (MMAC) and Majestic Earth Core Ventures, Inc. (MECVI) at Coco Mountain, Brgy. San Rafael, Rodriguez, Rizal. The seminar was catered to the beneficiaries of the two companies’ livelihood programs in their neighboring communities—namely Brgy. San Rafael, Brgy. Manggahan and Brgy. Burgos—as part of their individual Social Development and Management Programs (SDMP). The beneficiaries were women, and—as mandated in the “Senior Citizens Act” (RA 9994) and the “Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability (PWD)” (RA 10754)—senior citizens and PWD as well. Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Community were also invited. 

Today, with the growing international advocacy for equality, there is a need to educate and update the citizens about the concepts and matters concerning Gender and Development. The resource speaker was Atty. Judie Rose Dimayuga, a Gender and Development Pool Member of the Philippine Commission on Women. According to her, gender roles and discrimination towards certain genders are embedded in different cultures, including Filipinos, worldwide. As long as these exist, gender equality and equal rights will not be accepted, let alone be understood. To conquer this, it is necessary to tackle what are currently considered taboo topics to be able to move on to accept the new age’s ideas and deviating practices today. Some examples of these are the equalization of responsibilities between partners in the Filipino family, and the increasing number of people who are more open about their sexuality. Another is the increasing number of women—some of them mothers—in the workforce of every industry. With this, the mining industry will benefit because of the bigger, more diverse workforce. 

The topics tackled in the seminar were particularly important not only for women, but senior citizens and PWD as well because their roles in society are generally limited. For example, in the traditional Filipino setting, women are expected to only stick to household work and take care of the children, and senior citizens and PWD should not work anymore because they are less capable to contribute in the workforce. This leads to limited career and livelihood options for them and a smaller pool of qualified contributors to national development or “pag-aasenso”. In this modern age, it is necessary to emphasize their equality in the society, that they are equally capable to join the workforce and that they are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. 

Photo 1. Poster for the Seminar on Gender Equality and GAD Legal Mandates.

Photo 2. Atty. Judie Rose Dimayuga shares her knowledge as the Resource Speaker.

Photo 3. Participants of the event: women, senior citizens and PWD from Brgys. San Rafael, Manggahan and Burgos, Rodriguez, Rizal.

Photo 4. The participants’ individual definition of “Gender Equality”

by: Engr. Patrizia S. Benedicto                                  |           30 August 2019