The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office bagged the Bronze Award for Gender Mainstreaming during the Department of National Defense (DND) Gender and Development Awards 2022 held at the Tejeros Hall, AFPCOC, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on 12 December 2022. The award is a recognition bestowed to a DND bureau for outstanding achievement in gender mainstreaming, specifically for passing the Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework (GMEF) Tool Score issued by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).

The Bronze Award was conferred to the men and women of PVAO for their passion to better serve the veterans with a gender perspective, which was instrumental in improving the Agency’s system and operational efficiency. For the past two consecutive GMEF evaluation by the PCW, PVAO also managed to consistently attain the Level 3 Status. PVAO also proved that gender perspective and gender mainstreaming are embedded in the core and support functions of the Agency by strongly supporting gender equality, women empowerment, and all initiatives of the Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere and the Gender, Peace and Security.

The first-ever DND GAD Awards, which was rooted from the DND Gender, Peace and Security Awards in 2019, consists of two main award categories. This include the Gender Mainstreaming Awards and the DND GAD, NAPWPS and MOVE Champions. The latter is further divided to three namely, the GAD Champion, the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAPWPS) Champion, and the Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere (MOVE) Champion.

DND Officer-in-Charge Senior Undersecretary Jose C. Faustino Jr., who served as the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the event, commended all the DND bureaus for their efforts in gender mainstreaming and congratulated the first-ever batch of DND GAD awardees.

“I commend all of you for your significant contributions in the gender mainstreaming efforts of the Department. I look forward to more DND Bureaus and individual champions being recognized,” he said.

He also acknowledged both the toils and triumphs of all the DND bureaus in the implementation of NAPWPS. “The small and big victories and challenges you encountered in our NAPWPS localization will certainly inspire more initiatives for women in armed conflict and emergency situations,” he shared.

“Beyond our 18-day campaign to end VAW, let us prove that we have adequate mechanisms to protect all gender from violence everywhere. But let us not stop at aiming for a VAW-free nation, rather, let us aspire for an inclusive world free of discrimination,” he added.

The DND Proper also took home the Bronze Award for Gender Mainstreaming while the Philippine Air Force was the only Silver Award recipient for the same category. Meanwhile, the recipients for the GAD, NAPWPS, and MOVE Champions were: Major General Arthur M Cordura AFP for the GAD Champion; and Atty. Raymund Xenon C. Palmera for MOVE Champion.

Prior to the DND GAD Awards 2022, an Inter-Agency Gender, Peace and Security Forum was also conducted wherein global and regional perspectives on Women, Peace and Security were discussed. Presenters from the different bureaus, including Dr. Pilar Ibarra, Medical Officer V of PVAO and PVAO GAD Coordinator and NAPWPS Focal Person, also shared their Agency’s respective accomplishments on the implementation of NAPWPS.