“Congratulations to STII! Not all DOST agencies have GAD focal and STII is among those whose GAD focal were selected to be trained last year, because DOST needs GAD speakers to assist all its agencies and regional office. Those who pass the GAD exam and oral presentation will be awarded by the Secretary on March this year. Congratulations too, for being the first among the agencies with GAD Focal candidates, to have conducted this type of orientation!” Maria Fe Singson of DOST-GAD said, addressing the GAD participants and TWG of STII.  

The Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST – STII) conducted an orientation on Gender and Development (GAD) on 7 February 2020 at STII-CAST Room, Bicutan, Taguig to equip STII employees with basic understanding on gender concepts and practices. 

The event titled, “May GAD Be With You!” aims to raise the awareness of GAD employees on gender matters as they continue to support the agency’s programs. 

The event was attended by Director Elizabeth A. Fontanilla, DOST-GAD Director and Regional Support Service and Director IV of Administrative and Legal Service, DOST-STII Director Richard P. Burgos, Arlene E. Centeno, STII Finance and Administrative Chief, Ma. Fe Singson of DOST-GAD, evaluators from Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)Kimberly Teodoro and Psyche Mae Asencio,and some DOST-STII-GAD Technical Working Group members and employees. 

Two STII GAD-TWG members, Geraldine B. Ducusin and Haziel May Natorilla, were invited by DOST-GAD to attend the GAD Focal Speakers’ Bureau Training last November 2019. The recently concluded STII GAD orientation session served as an evaluation ground for STII - GAD focal persons who were evaluated by DOST-GAD and representatives from PCW if they possess thecapability to conduct GAD trainings on their own. 

In his opening remarks, Director Burgos expressed his joy on the inclusion of Gender Mainstreaming in the projects of STII. “I believe it is in the same spirit of delivery of our basic services that we are able to deliver our services with gender responsive approaches,” he said. 

Ducusin, the first speaker and GAD-TWG Chair since 2019, discussed the basic concepts of GAD and its connection to STII’s mandates and policies. Ducusin emphasized that at the heart of SOGIE is gender identity, the respect that one give to another in personally proclaiming his or her gender. “Gender identity is not something that we can label another person. Only the person himself or herself can identify and tell what his or her gender is,” she said. 

Afterwards, Natorilla led the discussion on gender roles, gender biases, and power. Natorilla explored the differences of sex roles and gender roles and how society influences how we attribute characteristics on each gender. 

“Since we are working in a science institute, we should keep an open mind,” Natorilla reminded the attendees. 

Through a short clip titled, “An Impossible Dream,” Natorilla further explained how videos and communication materials can influence how society view gender. “As members of the media, we have the power to change perception on gender,” she said. 

In a data published by the DOST – GAD, Natorilla justified the need for Women Economic Empowerment as a “starting mechanism to address other forms of discrimination against women” which in turn will allow us to achieve gender equality. 

For a short message, Singson commended STII for their eager participation in GAD and pursuing the right track towards Gender Mainstreaming. She also congratulated Ducusin and Natorilla for representing STII in PCW’s speakers’ bureau and hoped for their inclusion for this year’s new batch of accredited resource speakers in DOST. With the way things are going for STII, she hopes that in the near future, they will consider vying for the much coveted GADTimpala award. 

Finally, to close the event, STII Administrative Officer V Ms. Ma. Kristine Reyes thanked all visitors and attendees for their participation and hoped for the emulation of practices that would lead to gender equality and empowerment not only in the organization, but to the whole society. (By Christel Marie R. Castillo, DOST-STII)


1DOST – GAD Director Elizabeth Fontanilla (middle) joins resource speakers Haziel May Natorilla (left) and Geraldine Ducusin (right) for a photo. 2STII Director Richard Burgos welcomes participants of the STII GAD orientation.
3First speaker Geraldine Ducusin, Supervising Science Research Specialist and STII – GAD Chairperson, discussed GAD basic concepts and connected mandates. 4Attendees from the different divisions of STII actively participate during the activity regarding gender and sex roles. Benedict P. Cagaanan (seated) leading the newly hires and contractual employees in an enjoyable “Paramihan Challenge.”
5Second speaker Haziel May Natorilla, Science Research Specialist II and member of the STII GAD TWG, discusses power and how it influences others. 6STII representatives Ma. Kristine Reyes (far right) and Benedict Cagaanan (far left) award certificate of appreciation to resource speakers Geraldine Ducusin (middle right) and Haziel May Natorilla (middle right).
7Ms. Maria Fe Singson of DOST-GAD Focal Office commends STII-GAD for their support to the two in-house speakers and for active pursuing of Gender Mainstreaming. 8STII Participants of GAD Orientation together with Ms. Maria Fe Singson of DOST-GAD Focal Office (third to the left) and PCW representatives Ms. Kimberly Teodoro (fourth to the right) and Ms. Psyche Mae Asencio (fourth to the left).