The COA-GAD Focal Point reports to the COA Chairman. It acts as an advisory body to the COA Chairman on policies and programs for the advancement of women and ensuring gender equality in the Commission. It is mandated to spearhead gender Programs, Activities and Projects (PAPs) in COA.

The gender Focal Point is not a full-time position. COA officials and employees appointed as gender Focal Points have other areas of responsibility. The Chair and members allocate specific percentage of their time for this work.

The COA GAD Focal Point was created and institutionalized in 2001, by virtue of COA Office Order No. 2001-639 dated December 5, 2001, pursuant to Republic Act 7192. Seven officials and employees were appointed by the COA Chairman to constitute the membership of the Focal Point. Director Emma M. Espina of the Management Committee, now Assistant Commissioner and Sector Head of the National Government Sector, was designated as the Chair of the Focal Point. Members include the following: Director Lourdes B. Dimapilis, now Assistant Commissioner and Sector Head of the Finance Sector; Director Flerida V. Creencia (retired as Assistant Commissioner of the Professional Development Center (PDC) of the State Accounting and Auditing Development Office, now Professional Development Sector; Director Erlinda C. Reyes (retired) of the Human Resource Management Office; Maria Paz M. Castellano of the Office of the Chairman; Director Rosemarie L. Lerio (now Director IV of Cluster VI, Corporate Government Sector) of the Office of Commissioner Raul C. Flores (retired); and Atty. Lita E. Diez (now Director IV of Cluster III, Corporate Government Sector) of the Office of Commissioner Emmanuel M. Dalman (retired).

In 2002, upon the recommendation of Assistant Commissioner Espina to the COA Chairman, supplemental Office Order No. 2002-192 dated April 24, 2002, was issued for the creation of the GAD Sub-committees, viz:

  1. Protection of Women
  2. Training and Advocacy
  3. Health and Wellness
  4. Personnel Welfare
  5. Environmental Protection

Cognizant of the need for an additional sub-committee to spearhead the formulation and implementation of gender PAPs related to “gender audit”, the Sub-committee on Gender Audit was established on November 22, 2005, under supplemental Office Order No. 2005-229.

Each Sub-committee is headed by a Liaison Director and/or Chairperson holding third level positions in COA and consisted of members from the different sectors/offices/ clusters holding second and first level positions in this Commission.

The Chief, Personnel Appraisal Division, HRMO (HRMO-PAD), acts as the Secretariat of the Focal Point.

In the first year of its operation, under the leadership of Assistant Commissioner Espina, the GAD plan and budget was focused on the following initiatives, viz:

  • Institutionalization of the GAD Focal Point;
  • Conducting surveys to identify gender issues and concerns of COA employees to serve as baseline data for the implementation of GAD PAPs;
  • Dissemination of information on GAD through training and publication of gender-related articles in the COA Bulletin; and
  • Conducting seminar-workshops on Gender and Development for Trainers and other COA employees.

In the following years of its operation, while continually implementing programs on capacity building and advocacy, the Focal point decided to pursue projects geared towards policy development and support mechanisms, viz:

  • Preparation of the Implementing Guidelines on Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (Republic Act 7877);
  • Conduct of research and analysis of survey results on “gender audit”
  • Full management of the COA Day Care Center;
  • Establishment of the COA Women’s Desk; and
  • Establishment of the Cancer Support Group.

On February 8, 2007, the membership of the Focal Point was reconstituted. The COA Chairman signed Office Order No. 2007-014, designating the Assistant Commissioner of the Administration Sector as the new Chair and the Assistant Commissioner of the Legal and Adjudication Sector as the new Vice-Chairman. Members include the Directors of the HRMO, Accounting Office of the Finance Sector, Chief Executive Staff of the Office of the Chairman and Chiefs of Staff of the Offices of the Commissioners I and II.

With the change in leadership, the new GAD Focal Point reviewed its mandate and decided to sustain the mainstreaming efforts of the previous Focal Point.