Speech

Addressing the Achievement of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of All Women and Girls by Addressing Poverty and Strengthening Institutions and Financing with a Gender Perspective

Department of Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman delivered the country statement of the Philippines in the Ministerial Roundtable at the Commission on the Status of Women yesterday, March 12, 2023. Photos from: Department of Budget and Management

CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE EXPERT PANEL,

I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO INTERVENE AND OFFER INSIGHTS ON BEHALF OF THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT.

CENTRAL TO THE PHILIPPINES’ STRATEGY TO ERADICATE THE POVERTY EXPERIENCED BY WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE SOCIAL PROTECTION PROGRAMS. THIS YEAR’S PRIORITY THEME RESONATES WITH US BECAUSE IT HIGHLIGHTS TWO IMPORTANT GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT STRATEGIES FOR THE PHILIPPINES: FIRST IS ADDRESSING POVERTY, WHICH IS ENCAPSULATED IN OUR SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES. SECOND IS STRENGTHENING INSTITUTIONS AND FINANCING WITH A GENDER PERSPECTIVE, REFLECTED IN OUR LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS.

OUR SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES TARGETED FOR POVERTY ERADICATION PRIORITIZE THE CRITICAL ISSUE OF HUNGER. THE PHILIPPINE MULTISECTORAL NUTRITION PROJECT IS A COMMUNITY-BASED NUTRITION PROGRAM WITH DAILY SERVICE DELIVERY DESIGNED TO ADDRESS WOMEN AND GRILS’ LIMITED ACCESS TO FOOD, ESPECIALLY PREGNANT WOMEN WHO ARE ‘NUTRITIONALLY AT RISK.’

THE PHILIPPINES ALSO IMPLEMENTS A FOOD STAMP PROGRAM, WHICH PROVIDES MONETARY ASSISTANCE IN THE FORM OF ELECTRONIC FOOD CREDITS THAT BENEFICIARIES CAN USE TO PURCHASE FOOD FROM PARTNER MERCHANTS. THIS PROGRAM ALSO TARGETS HOUSEHOLDS WITH PREGNANT AND LACTATING WOMEN TO SUPPORT THEIR NUTRITIONAL NEEDS.

MOREOVER, SINCE 1995, THE PHILIPPINES HAS BEEN IMPLEMENTING A ‘WOMEN’S BUDGET,’ WHICH MANDATES ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICES TO ALLOCATE A MINIMUM OF 5% OF THEIR TOTAL ANNUAL BUDGETS FOR GENDER EQUALITY MEASURES.

TO PROMOTE WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT, OUR SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD PROGRAM, CAPACITATES WOMEN THROUGH A FIVE-YEAR SUSTAINABILITY PLAN THAT TAKES THEM FROM STARTING A BUSINESS TO EXPANDING AND GROWING THEIR BUSINESSES INTO FORMAL ENTERPRISES. IN 2023 ALONE 113,961 WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS BENEFITED FROM INCUBATION SERVICES, CAPACITY BUILDING, AND LIVELIHOOD GRANTS UNDER THIS PROGRAM.

OUR TARA! BASA PROGRAM, WHICH TRANSLATES AS: “COME! LET US READ” PROGRAM, IMPROVES THE READING AND COMPREHENSION SKILLS OF FIRST-GRADE STUDENTS WHO FACE DIFFICULTIES WITH READING WHILE ALSO PROVIDING COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO SERVE AS TUTORS INCOME-EARNING OPPORTUNITIES. IN 2023, 17,314 GIRLS AND 4,289 FEMALE COLLEGE STUDENTS BENEFITED FROM THIS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.

BY IMPLEMENTING A SPECTRUM OF SOCIAL PROTECTION INITIATIVES, FROM SHORT TO LONG-TERM SUPPORT, THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT EFFECTIVELY ADDRESSES THE DIVERSE NEEDS OF FILIPINO WOMEN AND GIRLS LIVING IN POVERTY IN LINE WITH THE PHILIPPINES’ STRONGLY HELD POSITION THAT WOMEN AND GIRL EMPOWERMENT REDOUND TO A STRONGER, MORE RESILIENT NATION FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

THANK YOU.