Q & A on Gender and Development Budget

Question and Answer on the Implementation of the
Gender and Development (GAD) Budget

Executive Order 273, which approved and adopted the Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development (PPGD) – 1995-2025 directs all government agencies at the national, regional and local levels to:

• Take appropriate steps to ensure that policies, programs, projects and strategies outlines in the PPGD are fully implemented;
• Institutionalize GAD efforts by incorporating gender concerns when agencies formulate, assess and update their respective annual plans and their inputs to the medium and long term development plans; and
• Include GAD in the annual budget proposals and work and financial plans of agencies and local government units.

The GAD Plan

Before the GAD budget is formulated, there must first be a GAD Plan. This plan determines how much pesos and centavos would make up the GAD Budget.

What is a GAD Plan?

A GAD Plan is a systematically designed set of programs, projects, and activities carried out by agencies and LGUs over a given period of time to address gender issues and concerns in their respective sectors and constituents. The GAD Plan must be consistent with the agencies’ or LGUs’ mandates and their medium-term and local development plans and must take its direction from the PPGD.

Basically, agencies and LGUs draft two kinds of GAD plans:

The Gender-Responsive Medium-Term Plan and the Annual GAD Plan.

What is a Gender-Responsive Medium-Term Plan?

An agency or local plan is gender-responsive if it explicitly aims to address the needs and concerns of its women clientele and constituents and respond to the social, economic, political and cultural issues that affect their lives. It translates the country’s commitments to such international contracts as Beijing Platform for Action (BPA) and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (UN-CEDAW) into concrete actions. Its agenda advances the objectives of such national policies as the Women in Development and Nation-Building Law (RA 7192), the PPGD, and other presidential directives on gender issues like domestic violence, sexual harassment and the low percentage of women in decision making positions in government.

The Gender-Responsive Medium-Term Plan articulates the vision, mission, goals and strategies for gender equality and women’s empowerment of an agency or LGU for the medium-term term, usually covering six years. It is the agency’s or LGU’s medium-term plan that was formulated by:

• Determining the gender issues which the agency or LGU has to address;

• Determining the dimensions and extent of the gender issues among the clientele of the agency or the LGU’s constituents;

• Prioritizing the identified issues and drawing up the objectives, targets and strategies to address them; and

• Estimating resources needed and who are responsible in implementing the plan.

What is an Annual GAD Plan?

An Annual GAD Plan translates the agency’s or LGU’s Gender-Responsive Medium-Term into goals, targets, activities and budget for the year.

Agencies or LGUs that are starting their GAD efforts may include start-up activities for gender mainstreaming in their Annual /GAD Plan such as:

• Issuing policies that express the agency’s or LGU’s support for GAD;

• Organizing a core group of GAD advocates or GAD Focal Points to steer and oversee gender mainstreaming in the agency or LGU;

• Conducting seminars on gender sensitivity and gender-responsive planning;

• Preparing the Gender-Responsive Medium-Term Plan; and

• Seeking external assistance from sectoral, regional or local GAD experts to help integrate gender in planning and budgeting.

Agencies or LGUs shall include their Annual GAD Plan existing programs, projects and activities that have been made gender-responsive, and any or all of the following activities to facilitate or sustain their integration of GAD:

• Creation or strengthening of mechanisms for a gender-responsive database system;

• Collection, processing and dissemination of gender-responsive data;

• Setting up linkages to facilitate coordinated planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of sectoral or regional gender concerns;

• Capacity building on GAD down to the field level; and

• Integration of GAD in the agency’s or LGU’s regular monitoring function.

What if an agency or LGU does not have a GAD Plan?

Agencies or LGUs without Plan shall use part of their GAD budget in drafting their Gender-Responsive Medium –Term Plan and their Annual GAD Plan.

What activities can make the implementation of an agency or local plan gender-responsive?

Activities that may be undertaken to make the agency or local plan gender-responsive may be in the following areas:

Advocacy Training. These are activities that develop awareness and support for GAD, equip development workers with skills required for gender mainstreaming, and sustain interest and concern for gender issues and gender-focused undertakings. Lead unit for these activities is the agency’s or LGU’s human resource development unit.

Program Planning. These activities provide planners with skills, guidelines and instruments to ensure that gender-responsive programs and projects are drafted and implemented. They also see to it that government resources are allocated equitably and efficiently for their intended targets. Specific units expected to provide leadership and inputs are the agency’s or LGU’s planning, monitoring, and field operations unit.

Development of a Gender-Responsive Data and Information System. These activities makes available data and information needed for designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating GAD efforts. They involve reviewing and reformulating specific indicators to assess how programs and projects address gender issues. Specific units expected to provide leadership and inputs are the agency’s or LGU’s monitoring unit or the unit in charge of their Management Information System (MIS).

Setting up of GAD Focal oints and other Institutional Mechanisms. These activities set GAD mechanisms in agencies and LGUs such as Focal Points, Technical Working Groups, and Trainors’ Pool tasked to guarantee that GAD concerns are recognized and addressed. Ideally, the FP should be lodged with the planning unit and chaired by the highest official in-charge of plans and programs or field operations.

Who prepares the GAD Plan?

The GAD Focal Point, coordinating with the agency’s or LGU’s planning unit, initiates the preparation of the GAD Plan. The substantive inputs like identifying the gender issues, prioritizing, goal setting and formulating the strategies would come from the different units of the agency or LGU.

Is preparing the GAD Plan an additional work for the agency’s or LGU’s staff?

Additional work is required only at the beginning of the process of mainstreaming gender into the agency‘s or LGU’s operations. Once the agency or local plan becomes gender-responsive and the people who implement it are gender-sensitive, then GAD mainstreaming becomes a regular, day-t0-day function of the agency or LGU and its personnel.

What is the responsibility of the agency head and the local chief executive in this?

The agency head and local chief executive approve the implementation of the GAD Plan and include it as a key result area of her/his performance commitment to the President.

The GAD Budget

Once the GAD Plan has been finalized, the next step is to draw up the GAD budget that would allot substantial funds for carrying out the programs, projects, and activities outlined in the plan.

What is a GAD Budget?

A GAD budget is the portion of an agency’s or LGU’s yearly general appropriations that is allocated for the implementation of its annual plan for gender and development, or its annual GAD Plan.

What is the legal basis for the GAD budget?

Section 28 of the 1998 General Appropriations Act (RA 8522) and the Local Budget Memorandum NO. 28 dated 15 June 1997 are the legal basis of the GAD budget. They direct all departments, bureaus, offices and agencies, instrumentalities and LGUs to “set aside a minimum amount of five percent out of their 1998 appropriations to be used for programs, projects and activities designed to address gender issues in accordance with Republic Act 7192,” or the Women in Development and Nation Building Law.

Why does the GAD budget have to be at least five percent of the agencies’ or LGUs’ total appropriations?

In 1995, the first year that the GAD budget was implemented, the General Appropriations Act allowed agencies to determine how much of their regular budget would be allotted to it. However, legislators noted that few agencies were able to actually come up with their GAD budget. To guarantee that all agencies comply with this section of the GAA, the five percent minimum was specified by legislators.

Is the five percent allocation for the GAD budget too much?

The five percent GAD budget may be too much if its funs activities that are not strategic and relevant in making the agency or LGU plans programs and projects gender responsive.

The GAD budget is the cost of the Annual Agency or LGU GAD Plan. Before going through a GAD budgeting process, agencies or LGUs are expected to have gone through a planning process intended to systematize and rationalize their GAD activities, including those at the field level.

What can be the sources of the GAD budget?

The GAD budget may be sourced from the agency’s regular budget for the current year and its special project fund, and from the Priority Program/Project Fund (PPF). However, this latter source applies only to new GAD projects or investments and proposals have to be submitted to the DBM. Examples of new GAD investment include:

Baseline research to identify gender-issues;

Counterpart fund of the Philippine government for gender-responsive foreign-funded projects; and

Expansion of such GAD activities as advocacy and technical assistance down to the local levels.

What budget items could the GAD budget support?

The GAD budget may be used by the following budget items:

Personal Services, for example, the salaries of workers directly engaged in GAD programs, project and activities;

maintenance and other Operating Expenses for the cost of managing a women’s shelter, a women’s health project, training of women in non-traditional occupations, and training of field workers in GAD, among others; and

Capital Outlay such as building of and providing equipment for women’s shelters and training centers for women.

Can agencies or LGUs use their GAD budget to fund in-house activities for their women workers?

The GAD budget fund prioritizes programs, projects and activities that meet the goals of the GAD Plan. While activities such as ballroom dancing and livelihood skills training for the agencies’ or LGUs’ women workers may benefit women, they may not respond to the priority gender issues being addressed by the agencies or LGUs. Funding support for them are, therefore, discouraged.

However, agencies and LGUs with existing gender-responsive programs, projects and activities for the welfare of their women and men personnel may include these in their Annual GAD Plan and Budget

Who puts the GAD budget together?

GAD budgeting is a collective effort. Among those who should be involved in preparing it are the agencies’ or LGUs’ budget officers, representative3s of concerned divisions, and the agencies’ or LGUs’ GAD Focal Points.

Ideally, the agencies’ or LGUs’ planning units are tasked to prepare the GAD plans, which should include the budget estimates or annual resource requirements to carry them out. Units responsible for implementing specific programs, projects, and activities in the GAD plan identify the sources of the five percent allocation from their regular appropriations. The budget officers then prepare the GAD budget. The Focal Points ensure that the GAD plans have provisions for the GAD budget.

Are the agencies or LGUs required to set aside an amount from their Official Development Assistance (ODA) to fund GAD programs projects, and activities?

RA 7192 directs agencies and LGUs to mobilize up to 30 percent of their ODA to fund GAD programs, projects and activities. This is on top of the five percent GAD budget provided for by the 1998 General Appropriations Act.

What are the other possible sources of fund for the agencies’ or LGUs’ GAD Plans?

Funding support for the GAD Plan may come such sources as the countryside development fund (CDF) of legislators, the asset privatization fund, ODA , and the Internal Revenue Allocations (IRA) for local government units.

What happens when agencies or LGUs are not able to use their GAD budget?

The general rule for unused budget allocations also applies to the GAD budget. The GAD budget is also not to be used for purposes other than for gender programs, projects and activities.

Are there sanctions if an agency or LGU is not able to use its GAD budget?

The agency head or LGU chief executive is responsible for ensuring that her/his agency implements its GAD Plan and the accompanying GAD budget. An agency or LGU that is not able to do this has to justify its non-compliance during the reporting periods for RA 7192.

Who will monitor the agencies’ or LGUs’ compliance to the GAD budget compliance?

Monitoring and evaluation of agencies’ or LGUs GAD plans, budget and accomplishments are initially done by their GAD Focal Points. The monitoring takes into account the actual accomplishments vis-a-vis the performance commitments of the agency heads or local chief executives.

Agencies attach their Annual GAD Plan and GAD budget proposal for the succeeding year and their GAD accomplishments report for the previous year to their annual agency budget proposals. These documents are submitted to Congress, DBM and NCRFW on the third week of March of the current year. The review panel refers to these documents during the technical budget hearings and the budget deliberations in Congress.

Agencies may submit to NCRFW their Annual GAD Plan for the current year to help them determine the kind of technical assistance they need in implementing GAD.

Where can agencies or LGUs get more information and assistance about the GAD budget?

Agencies and LGUs may seek assistance on GAD planning and budgeting from any of the following:

National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women
Program Development Division
1145 J. P. Laurel Street
San Miguel 1005 Manila
Tel. No. 735-1655

Department of Budget and Management
Training and Information Service
4th Floor, PMS Building
Arlegui Street, Manila
Tel No. 733-3626, Fax # 734-6884