The Commission on Audit (COA) joined the celebration of National Women’s Month (NWM) which highlights women’s participation in battling the COVID 19 pandemic with the additional theme “Juana Laban sa Pandemya: Kaya.” 

The theme adds another dimension in this year’s campaign to focus on gender issues that became more prominent during the pandemic and women who have thrived despite the circumstances, among others. The 2017-2022 theme of the NWM celebration “WE Make CHANGE for Women” aims to inform and engage women as stakeholders making “change” a conscious effort, strengthen the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women through various gender and development (GAD) platforms and promote gender equality and women empowerment.

COA officials and personnel participate in the virtual opening program of the National Women’s Month celebration on 1 March 2021.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo said the challenges brought by the pandemic make advancing gender equality and women empowerment more important especially for the marginalized and vulnerable sectors. “COA has intensified the implementation of various programs to advance women empowerment. We continuously conduct capacity building programs that cater to the needs and concerns of every COA employee, believing that everyone deserves to be given a chance to realize their full potential regardless of gender,” he said.

Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc cited UN Women who called for global action to address the issue of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, which has intensified since the COVID-19 outbreak. “COA has made the campaign to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls an integral part of COA GAD Focal Point System (COA-GFPS). Aside from the establishment of the COA Help Desk, the Commission also established in October 2020 the Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere Chapter in the COA Central Office, a men’s organization that initiates and participates in GAD-related activities,” he observed.

Chairperson Aguinaldo and Commissioner Pondoc with the COA GFPS Technical Working Group Chairperson Assistant Commissioner Fortunata M. Rubico led the opening of the month-long celebration through an online program held on 1 March 2021. The online activities include the launch of Online Women’s Help Desk, conduct of various seminars to discuss the COA Circular on the Guidelines on the Submission in Electronic Format of Reports on the Receipt and Utilization of Funds under Section 14 of Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, safety and security in cyberspace, updates on alternative work arrangements and other personnel matters during the pandemic, as well as various livelihood workshops, seminars on health, wellness and safety concerns during the pandemic and gender awareness and gender sensitivity trainings. #