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Capitol realigns P20M for GAD program to COVID-19 response

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the provincial government realigned more than PHP20-million for gender responsive-intervention programs to COVID-19 responses.

Lacson announced the move during the Appreciation Ceremony for Gender and Development (GAD) Champions and Companions of the 2020 Provincial Gender Journey at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol on Thursday.

The governor said the capitol purchased 8 negative pressure machines for the delivery and operating rooms of three hospitals.

He also said that the GAD budget also supported and provided food and hygiene kits for various healing centers. It allocated financial assistance to 100 distressed OFWs and to the families of 9 OFWs who died of COVID-19.

“The road we took last year was rough, and as of now, we are still trudging such road.  But of course, we are not without hope. By GOD’s grace, we just might be on the last miles, on the last stretch, of this difficult path,” the governor said.

He also said that “challenges are supposed to bring out the best in most people, and I am just glad that this was our shared experience with regard to our GAD advocacy.”

Lacson also said that it is undeniable that COVID-19 made women more vulnerable due to existing gender inequalities and magnified some more gender-based concerns adding that “our champions and companions persevered and took the steps necessary to protect the Negrense women and children, in the furtherance of empowerment and justice.”

“For the previous year, our GAD Budget supported programs for scholarships, trainings, health, livelihood and income generation, social services particularly assisting victims of violence, and advocacy for the elimination of VAW, and promotion of responsible parenthood,” he further said.

The governor also said that “while our offices adjusted and adopted protocols of the New Normal in implementing the GAD projects, those which required face-to-face activities were deferred.

Lacson said the GAD budget this year was increased.

Money was also set aside for technical/vocational trainings and academic scholarships of various sectors, including PWDs, IPs and children of non-returning Overseas Filipino Workers.

“We will also prioritize the improvement of 5 Women and Children Protection Units in hospitals, HIV-AIDS Control Program, the livelihood programs and entrepreneurship, the programs for migrant workers, including the establishment of the provincial migrant resource center,” the governor said.(Dolly Yasa via tdg, photo by tdg)

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