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MRT1 UNCSW68 (1)
NEW YORK CITY, USA — As head of the Philippine delegation at the 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah “Mina” F. Pangandaman delivered the Philippine statement for the first Ministerial Round Table on Tuesday, 12 March 2024, at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City.

The largest annual event on gender equality and women's empowerment, CSW fosters important conversations among governments, civil society organizations, experts, and activists worldwide—dialogues focused on the necessary actions and investments to eradicate women's poverty and champion equal rights for all genders.

Among the activities of the CSW is a series of Ministerial Round Tables, each addressing different topics but anchored on this year’s priority theme of _“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.”_

The first Ministerial Round Table (MRT) tackled the mobilization of financing for gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls, centered on the policies and strategies to end poverty.

The Philippines remains a committed partner in contributing to poverty eradication, acceleration of gender equality, and empowerment of all women and girls, as reflected in our Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028 and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Plan 2019 to 2025,” said DBM Sec. Pangandaman during the first MRT.

In her speech, Sec. Pangandaman underscored the numerous initiatives led by the Philippine government to promote gender mainstreaming. This includes the 1995 Gender and Development (GAD) budget policy or “The Women’s Budget,” established for the implementation of projects and programs focused on GEWE. The law was supported by the Magna Carta of Women and consistent guidelines for developing annual GAD plans, budgets, and accomplishment reports.

The Budget Secretary likewise noted that 24 percent of the Philippine National Government budget in 2022 was utilized to implement gender-responsive initiatives covering women empowerment and gender equality, as well as integrating gender-responsive elements into flagship programs.

Among the specific measures highlighted in the conference was the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), a conditional cash transfer program now benefiting 4.4 million households, advancing access to education and health services, financial inclusion, and empowerment of women and girls.

This [4Ps] has grown from having a budget of only USD 5.37 million in 2008 to USD 1.9 billion this 2024. Graduates of this program also undergo the Kilos-Unlad program to ensure they will not fall into poverty again,” Sec. Pangandaman explained.

Another program emphasized was the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, which supports the vision of a gender-responsive Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.

With a USD 1.33 million budget in 2023, this [Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program] created 3,348 jobs for Filipino women. Relatedly, 68 percent of those who access MSME loans from our Small Business Corporation were women entrepreneurs,” elaborated the DBM Secretary.

This further supports findings that reveal that women in the Philippines are more financially included in account ownership, savings, and credit indicators than men,” Sec. Pangandaman added.

Also touched were the scholarships offered in the Philippines from secondary to postgraduate levels to combat gendered poverty by promoting science-based education. Said grant aims to produce more female graduates pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

In health, Sec. Pangandaman cited a substantial portion of the Philippine budget goes to securing the well-being and nutrition of pregnant and lactating women. The fund is geared towards delivering socio-economic services that are culturally appropriate and sensitive to gender considerations, monitored through a gender budget tagging initiative.

[The Philippine Government] recently signed the 2024 to 2028 United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework that prioritizes joint initiatives for human capital development, inclusion, and resilience building,” she ended.
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