The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has put in place numerous contingencies and measures to protect and promote the welfare women in the Philippines, a government official said in New York Thursday.
Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Margarita Gutierrez said though the Philippines has been confronted with many challenges in terms of providing fast and reliable Internet connectivity, the Marcos administration has been working tirelessly in addressing women’s concerns.
“We support and prioritize women-dominated industries to adapt to the digital economy. A digital transformation tool kit determines their readiness and provides specialized training programs such as the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program,” Gutierrez said in her speech before the 67th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday.
“The National Innovation Council cites learning and education as among its 10 priority areas. The Innovation Fund provides grants for enterprises developing innovative solutions, including those led by women,” the DILG official added.
Gutierrez also cited the Marcos government’s development of the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture for industry workers to avail of public services.
“As of January 2023, 43 percent of the 6.65 million records in the registry are women, and we are targeting to reach 10 million by the end of the year,” she said.
For the education sector, Gutierrez noted that the country’s Digital Rise Program anchors technology in basic education.
The K-12 curriculum includes productivity tools, basic programming, and multimedia concepts, while teachers and learners are provided with equipment, software, and digital skills, Gutierrez pointed out.
By 2025, the DILG undersecretary said the country’s Science Education Institute will pioneer a gender-responsive STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education that will apply a gender perspective in administration of scholarships, advancing specialized training and intensifying programs to provide equal opportunities for women and men.
“We have 2,000 Technology for Economic Development Centers nationwide that promote digital literacy and bring online learning and government services closer to the public, and have benefited women, out-of-school youth, and senior citizens,” Gutierrez said.
“Our ICT Department will be receiving another award from the World Summit on Information Society for their project ‘Cybersecurity Education in the Philippines in the Face of New Normal Adversities’, which taught individuals on cyberthreats, digital parenting, cybersecurity for children and protecting digital footprint,” the official noted.
Gutierrez said as the Philippines strives to provide Internet access nationwide with the Broadband ng Masa (BBM) Program, the government passed two landmark laws– Safe Spaces Act and the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children and Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials Act–to bolster existing laws on violence against women.
The DILG undersecretary also cited that the E-lawyering and e-reporting to the Gender Ombudsman were launched by the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights to process complaints and provide legal assistance as criminals shifted their operations online.
Gutierrez said the Philippine government strongly support the recommendations from the Asia-Pacific region “to ensure meaningful connectivity to close the gender digital divide; and to foster inclusive education in the digital age and promote women and girls’ participation and leadership in STEM education and careers; to implement policies for inclusive digitalization; and to address forms of virtual and non-virtual GBV (gender-based violence) and discrimination.”
Meanwhile, Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo, secured the “chairmanship” of the 68th session of the UN Committee on the Status of Women next year.
This after the Asia Pacific Group endorsed the candidature of the Philippines to chair the 68th session of the CSW which will immediately open after the conclusion of the 67th session on March 17.
The priority theme of CSW68 is accelerating 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. (PND)