By Jeffrey D. Raya, CDS II

Jacinto P. Elpa High SchoolEmployees Multipurpose Cooperative, or JPEHSEMCO for short, adheres to the Authority’s (CDA) issuance of Gender-Responsive Education Policy in line with the Gender and Development (GAD) mandate as stipulated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Gender and Development  refers to the development perspective and process that is participatory and empowering, equitable, sustainable, free from violence, respectful of human rights, supportive of self-determination and actualization of human potentials. It seeks to achieve GENDER EQUALITY as a fundamental value in development choices and contends that both men and women are active agents of this country’s journey to progress.

The Executive Order (EO) 273 which was signed on September 8, 1995 by then President Fidel V. Ramos, adopted the Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development (PPGD 1995 – 2025). The PPGD 1995-2025 is a 30 – year perspective plan that outlines the policies, strategies, programs and projects that the government must adopt to enable women to participate in and benefit from national development.

EO 273 directs all government agencies, departments, bureaus, offices and  instrumentalities, including government owned and controlled corporations, at the national level, sub-national and local levels to take appropriate steps to ensure full implementation of the policies/strategies and projects/programs outlined in the plan.

To institutionalize Gender and Development (GAD) in the cooperative, as spelled out in the plan, the JPEHSEMCO conducts a yearly joint activity with Jacinto P. Elpa National High School Teachers on GAD related matters to ensure that gender issues and responsiveness of the cooperative members and school employees are properly understood and observed.

The whole JPEHSEMCO family enjoyed the recent GAD activities conducted last  September of 2019. As part of the Family Day Celebration, there were GAD learning sessions, workshops and parlor games prepared. In fact, the 2- day activity built  “camaraderie” among the members. The  evening social-gathering was the highlight of the activity. It was well participated by the members where they were divided into competing teams  vying for the title of Mr & Ms GAD and Ms Gay-GAD for the occasion.

This yearly GAD Seminar and Family Day is looked forward by the members because of these memorable events. Everytime, members would be all smiles as they come home happily from this program. Besides, the insights and experiences they have gained were worth beyond measure.

JPEHSEMCO vows to support the economic empowerment of women. It recognizes the crucial role that women play in running a healthy and growing cooperative. At present, the coop is generally run by women, since 6 of its 8 employees are women. Similarly, in the 7 member – Board of Directors, 6 are also women. It is interesting to note that majority of the members that benefitted from the cooperative’s various economic enhancing loans are women.

Truly, JPEHSEMCO supports and will continue to advocate GAD policies and programs in the actualization of human potentials especially in the context of the cooperative.