LOS BAÑOS, Laguna (PIA) — The Philippine Information Agency CALABARZON, as part of its Gender and Development-aligned programs and initiatives, conducted a benchmarking activity with the Municipal Government of Los Baños on September 23, 2022 to know their best GAD practices and how it is being applied to the day-to-day operations of the local government unit.
Karen Lagat-Mercado, Head of the Gender And Development Office led the benchmarking activity. Lagat-Mercado said that their office is utilizing an active database consisting of constituents and beneficiaries that were given services being provided by the local government.
During the demonstration, the database can easily identify the sex, age, and address of each constituents that may be used for generating reports and to properly identify those who are in more need of government interventions.
Lagat-Mercado believes in the importance of having an accurate set of statistical data for all of the LGU’s offices so they can grasp the situation on the ground.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Baños LGU implemented a QR code system to easily track the whereabouts of those who tested positive on the virus and for authorities to conduct a precise contact tracing strategy.
Now that mobility restrictions have been lifted, Los Baños continues to make the most out of the QR code system, but in the aspect of GAD.
Through the said technology, the municipal government can assess whether men or women’s needs were given sufficient attention when it comes to day-to-day transactions in the town. Whether on visiting their municipal hall, going to schools, shopping at the market or malls, the GAD Office makes sure that the initiative is well-integrated into the town.
Based on their statistics, more women are coming to the municipal hall than men. As a response, Lagat-Mercado said that their office built a functioning children’s playroom and a breastfeeding room inside the municipal hall to suit the needs of mothers and their kids.
In 2017, Los Baños received the award for being the Best GAD implementer in CALABARZON, as recognized by the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC).
The new municipal administration, headed by Mayor Anthony Genuino, affirms its full support for GAD. He believes in the project’s importance, and made sure that during his term, he would support and enact more programs for the cause.
Genuino said that for 2023, they are planning to tie up with more national government agencies based in Los Baños so they can collectively spearhead more gender-sensitive and appropriate projects for their constituents. (CH/PIA-Laguna)