Capping off this year’s celebration of National Women’s Month, the Department of the Interior and Local Government – National Capital Region (DILG-NCR) conducted the webinar entitled “SOGIESC 101: Cultivating a Culture of Inclusion and Diversity in DILG-NCR” on March 31, 2023 held via Zoom Teleconference.

The webinar aimed to deepen the knowledge, appreciation, and awareness of DILG-NCR personnel on matters involving Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) and Gender Sensitivity issues, as well as to provide attendees with a more profound understanding of the situations and realities each individual faces day-by-day, especially those who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Regional Director Maria Lourdes L. Agustin, CESO III delivered the opening message stating that the regional office must focus on the well-being of its human resources, a big part of which is to foster a safe and healthy workplace. For this purpose, the Local Governance Regional Resource Center (LGRRC), through its Capacity Development Facility, deemed it necessary to support the foregoing objective by conducting the webinar.

Mr. Pent Elyria Dawn “Don” V. Liongson, an Independent Gender Specialist, discussed the SOGIESC as an inclusive term that refers to characteristics common to all people. He also went over the issues and recent experiences of people of diverse SOGIESC involving: discrimination in employment and education, prejudices shown by some law enforcers, and the limited impact national policies have had in establishing the legal basis for addressing such discriminatory practices.

Mr. Liongson also underscored the need to disprove misconceptions that hamper the achievement of gender equality and women empowerment (GEWE) in society at large and the imperative to appreciate how SOGIESC-related issues may be addressed through Gender and Development (GAD) mainstreaming and the GAD Plan and Budget (GPB) process.

In closing, Assistant Regional Director Atty. Ana Lyn R. Baltazar-Cortez, CESO V expressed her sincerest gratitude and appreciation to the resource speaker for leading the relevant discussions on SOGIESC. “Understanding what SOGIESC means has allowed us to understand ourselves even more as well as other people,” Atty. Baltazar-Cortez added.

She further enjoined the whole of DILG-NCR to move forward as an institution and strive in creating a safe and inclusive environment and to contribute in advancing inclusion, equity, and diversity in the Department.