The Bureau of Customs (BOC) participated in the World Customs Organization – Gender Equality and Diversity Network Conference held last 8 March 2022 in celebration of the International Women’s Day 2022.
The said event highlights the virtual launch of the WCO’s Network for Gender Equality and Diversity in Customs, which was established to further advance its agenda.
Over 200 participants joined the conference, including BOC representative Ms. Marilou A. Cabigon, Collector of Customs V, and Vice-Chairperson, Technical Working Group of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) Gender and Development Focal Point System.
Cabigon shared the Philippine Bureau of Customs’ efforts to further advance gender equality and diversity which include (1) the establishment of a Gender Focal Point System (GFPS); and (2) the programs and activities implemented by the GFPS, highlighting BOC’s annual allocation of at least 5% of its approved budget for gender and development initiatives.
Under the Philippine Magna Carta of Women, all agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall establish a Gender and Development Focal Point System or the GFPS, which is responsible for leading the mainstreaming of gender perspectives, policies, plans, and programs. It is also in charge of planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating gender and development programs and activities.
“We need to look at gender equality and diversity not just in the lens of policies, but also as an issue of resources. The 5% budget appropriations required of all government agencies in the Philippines aims to ensure the implementation of programs advocating gender equality and diversity. We may have the best framework, plans, and programs, but without enough resources to execute them, they remain rhetoric,” Cabigon said.