Left to right: Mr. Edwin Estrada, Ms. Liezhel Jamilano, Ms. Jurgette Honculada, Ms. Marichu Liwanag, Ms. Rowena Villanueva, Ms. Gladys Yuson, and Mr. RJ Parcon

Ms. Jurgette Honculada, a member GPH Peace Negotiating Panel with CPP/NPA/NDF of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), paid a visit to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) to conduct an interview on how the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (NAP-WPS) of the Philippines positively affects the work of the Institute and its clients.

Acting Director-General Julio S. Amador III affirmed that the Institute is a frontrunner in the promotion of gender sensitivity in the Philippine foreign service and it recognizes the importance of gender and development (GAD). He also underscored the various programs and activities spearheaded and joined in by the Institute to further fulfill its commitment to mainstream and emphasize the importance of GAD and WPS.

Meanwhile, Ms. Marichu Liwanag, Head of the Carlos P. Romulo School of Diplomacy (CPRSD), enumerated the various activities of CPRSD that are related to GAD-WPS, including Pre-Departure Orientation Seminars (PDOS) and the Foreign Service Officers’ Cadetship Course (FSOCC). She noted that these programs of the CPRSD have been in place even before NAP-WPS was instituted and that the action plan enhanced the programs of the CPRSD.

Ms. Liezhel Jamilano, a training specialist from the CPRSD, confirmed the impact made by WPS and GST trainings and courses on the training participants as they have become more open and knowledgeable on gender concerns and issues.

On the other hand, Mr. Edwin Estrada and Mr. RJ Parcon, research specialists from the Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS), explained the role played by CIRSS in the WPS discourse. CIRSS has produced several research papers focused on GAD through its CIRSS Commentaries and FSI Insights. Gender sensitivity and WPS have also been mainstreamed in all research published by CIRSS. CIRSS has also initiated several fora focused on WPS through its Mangrove Forum on International Relations and Mabini Dialogue Series.

Ms. Rowena Villanueva, Head of the Institute’s Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS), mentioned the various activities spearheaded by the GAD Secretariat and its positive effects on the employees of the Institute and the Philippine foreign service corps. Ms. Villanueva outlined the objectives, outcomes, and future projects of the GFPS. She also pointed out that FSI GFPS has been collaborating with the GAD Secretariat of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), especially in the recent series of Trainers Training Program.

The interview conducted by Ms. Honculada will be part of a publication by OPAPP that draws the big picture of how NAP-WPS and its programs affect government agencies.

ADG Amador (left) and Ms. Honculada
Ms. Honculada with the officers and staff of the Institute