SPARK a Partner of the Office of the Vice President for Women’s Empowerment


The Office of the Vice President organized a knowledge exchange workshop for 50 grassroots women entrepreneurs. SPARK! attended the Solidarity Night which served as an avenue for the women entrepreneurs to build partnerships with individuals and businesses on product development, financial services and market linkages.


SPARK! is proud to be a partner of the Office of the Vice President’s Angat Buhay program and other partnerships that concretely uplift the lives of Filipino women.


SPARK launches REMAI through Likhang Pilipina; in-line with the celebration of Small and Micro Enterprise (SME) Month


In line with the celebration of Small and Micro Enterprise (SME) Month, Rizal Exporters and Manufactures Association, Inc. (or REMAI) launched “Galing Rizal, Henyong Rizaleño Trade Show” a collective project of social enterprises from Rizal.

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This project is in collaboration with Department of Trade and Industry Rizal, AliMall, Araneta Center, J. Amado Araneta Foundation, Likhang Pilipina; a women marketplace, by and with the SPARK! Philippines.

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Make sure to visit them from July 1-31, at the Likhang Pilipina Booth, located at the Bay3, Level 2 of AliMall, The Araneta Center.

SPARK Project Officer, Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr., certified by Philippine Commission on Women as member of the National Gender and Development Resource Pool (GR Pool)

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Ninety-six of the growing number of Gender and Development (GAD) Resource Pool members was certified by the Philippine Commission on Women last June 28-30, 2017 at the Hive Hotel and Convention Center in Quezon City.

One of those recognized GR Pool members is Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr., SPARK Project Officer.

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With the theme “The GAD Resource Pool as CHANGE Agents: Moving from Tokenism and Compliance to Gender-Responsiveness,” the Assembly consisted sessions that helped develop the commitment of the members to their advocacy and enhance the knowledge of the members as a community of advocates and output-driven role models of Gender Equality.

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The GR Pool is one of the components of the National GAD Resource Program (NGRP), which is the over-all technical assistance blueprint of the PCW and is dedicated towards the provision of strategic, appropriate and effective technical assistance to NGAs and LGUs. As certified GR Pool member, Ham will be tapped by PCW in providing GAD technical assistance and will serve as sectoral experts in the crafting and updating of tools and customized training packages for different clients.

SPARK joins the Equality Makes Sense forum hosted by the Embassy of Sweden and co-hosted by Ateneo de Manila University


SPARK joins the Equality Makes Sense forum hosted by the Embassy of Sweden and co-hosted by Ateneo de Manila University which was held last June 30, 2017.


Equality Makes Sense is a forum on Empowering Women which brought together women influencers from various fields to talk about topics related to the ‘Three Rs’—Rights, Representation and Resources for women—and to present an integrated gender equality perspective that relays a simple message: Equality makes sense.

#SwedeninManila #FeministForeignPolicy #EqualityMakesSense



Quezon City Towards a Gender-Responsive Governance

SPARK in partnership with Seaoil Foundation Inc. (SFI) and the Quezon City Office of the Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte conducted the LIPAD Pinay (Local Inclusiveness Project for the Advancement and Development of Filipino Women) Module 1: Bridging Leadership x Gender and Development last June 21-22, 2017 at the Quezon City Hall.


Module 1 commenced with a short program that aims to reinforce and enhance the commitment of the beneficiaries towards achieving the project goals. Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed her delight over the support of the project partners and encouraged her constituents to make use of this opportunity for progress and development. Ms Victoria Garchitorena, SPARK Founding Trustee and Gender and Development Champion, highlighted the economic empowerment objective of the program. She mentioned that LikhangPilipina! SPARK Women’s Marketplace is open for the women’s group in their barangays, a platform where they can develop and market their products. Mr Randy Cacho, Program Manager of Seaoil Foundation Inc. (SFI), reaffirmed the foundation’s commitment in ensuring the success of the program and will provide assistance to the best they can.

32 barangay officials from 8 barangays in Quezon City working together towards a gender-responsive leadership and governance and women’s economic empowerment in the grassroots level. The 32 participants are members of Barangay Gender Focal Point System (GFPS) that serve as governing body when it comes to Gender and Development (GAD).


Module 1 is facilitated by Dr. Sherwin Pontanilla, SFI Program Manager. He began the training with the session on Establishing Inequities, it identified problems specifically on gender disparities that are existent in their communities and the acknowledgment that these problems hinders growth and therefor in dire need of solution.

The 2nd session delved into self-awareness and introducing the concept of ownership; developing a sense of personal Ownership of a societal problem and the response to it. The concept of Theory U was introduced; a change management method that will be vital in their roles as public servants to break through past unproductive practices and behaviors that cause development to stagnate.


In the 3rd session, participants were asked to write their leadership journey through their life story which seeks to discover their personal motivation through understanding their own stories. They were able to share it with their groupmates and incite a fruitful discussion about themselves and journey. Their life story articulates their life purpose and what makes them authentic leaders.


The last session of Day 1 gives emphasis on Systems Thinking. Based on real-to-life case shown by Dr. Pontanilla, the participants are made to realize that the issue is not a result of a simple cause and effect relationship but there are contributory factors that leads to the inequity.


Day 2 of Module 1 commenced with a workshop on demystifying and deconstructing Sex and Gender facilitated by Anwedda Navarra, SPARK Project Officer. An introductory session using the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) as the guiding document.


The workshop led to 5th session on Understanding Gender and Development (GAD) through the Roadmap and Scorecard, facilitated by the Program Manager of LIPAD Pinay: Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr. The roadmap will be the guide to achieve gender-responsiveness of the barangays based on 3 main blocks: Leadership and Governance, GAD Education, and GAD Project, Activities, and Programs (PAPs). A scorecard was developed to assess the development of their GAD, it was loosely patterned after the Philippine Commission on Women’s Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework (GMEF) and the Department of Interior and Local Governance (DILG) health scorecard.

Coming off from the session on Theory U, Kimberly Tiburcio, SFI Project Coordinator of LIPAD Pinay, facilitated the succeeding session on current reality and preferred reality. The roadmap is colored red, yellow and green to depict the current reality of the barangay when it comes to Gender and Development. The barangay leaders were able to identify where the greater need is.

To concretize the theories and principles of Bridging Leadership, the last session is directed towards Action Planning facilitate by Dr. Pontanilla. The concepts of Equality vs Equity, Bridging Leadership’s Ownership Theory U, Systems Thinking, and GAD were all synthesize and integrated to their Leadership Development Plan.



The participants were given “assignments” to be accomplished in the next 4 weeks of practicum which will lead to the 2nd module of LIPAD Pinay which is set on 26-27 July 2017.

SPARK supports the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT)


SPARK joins the Embassy of Netherlands in the Philippines and the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in celebration of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT)

IDAHOT is the worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities. The celebration raise awareness of LGBTI rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBTI rights work.

#IDAHOT #outinbusiness #diversity #LGBTI

Don’t Let Harassment Fade Into The Background: Senate Bill 1326 “Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017”

Written by: Friah Danisca L. Pagaduan


An overwhelming 88% of women aged 18 to 24 years old experience sexual harassment in streets and public spaces every day. Street harassment is a daily reality for a tremendous number of Filipino women and LGBTs. It is inherent in the modern Filipino culture when you’re a woman or a transvestite, streets are dangerous. Street taboos, over the years, has somehow turned into a norm that one cannot easily avoid; it has always been there, along with the busy streets of the country, instilled in the mind of the people trying to ignore such disquieting advances. There are no laws or bills that distinctively address this concern, until recently, it has been recognized as ‘harassment’ and an infringement of the women and LGBTs’ rights (or human rights for that matter); Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros- Baraquel specifically addressed this malaise: the Senate Bill no. 1326 or the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017 is an act predominantly for the safety of women and LGBTs in streets, public spaces and other areas stated in the sections.

It is the duty of the government to protect and value the dignity of every citizen and guarantee full respect for the right of every Filipino, recognize the role of women in nation-building and secure fundamental equality for both men and women before the law. There are numerous cases of sexual harassment all around the country, 58% of these cases happened along the streets, alleys, public vehicles and washrooms, schools, workplace and other public areas. Many Filipinos are oblivious about the effects of street taboos to the victims; the United Nations Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Program stated that harassment in public spaces indubitably reduces the victims’ ability to participate in school, work and public life. It also blocks the victims’ access to essential services and their enjoyment, and causes unfavorable impact to their health and well-being.


Street harassment impedes the freedom of movement of Filipinas and LGBTs, and thus it affects their daily productivity. Common cases of street harassment are wolf-whistling and cat-calling, which ‘normally’ happens along the streets and public areas. Other forms of harassment are lascivious language, stalking, rubbing and touching, indecent gestures, exhibitionism and public masturbation. All these disrupt the sense of security in every woman and LGBT, but the promulgation of the act would end these taboos.

Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017 is an act defining gender-based street and public spaces harassment, providing protective measures and prescribing penalties therefor, and for other purposes. This is mainly for the benefit of women and LGBTs who are the most vulnerable to these threats. The bill provides penalties against gender-based street and public spaces harassment such as undesired comments, gestures and actions constrained on a person in a public place. It includes but not limited to cursing or name calling, wolf-whistling, cat-calling, sexist, homophobic and transphobic innuendos, leering, insistent requests of the person’s name, phone number and destination even after refusal, persistent sharing of sexual jokes, use of sexual names, demands, following and/or stalking, flashing, groping, public masturbation and all resembling cases of sexual harassment and/or assault.


The specific acts and penalties are stated in section 4. There are three levels of violations; light, medium and severe violations.

Under the light violations are cursing or name calling, wolf-whistling, cat-calling, sexist, homophobic and transphobic innuendos, leering, insistent requests of the person’s name, phone number and destination even after refusal, persistent sharing of sexual jokes, and using of words intended to ridicule a person of actual or perceived gender. The first offense shall be punished by a fine of Php 1000.00 and/or community service for eight hours inclusive of Gender Sensitivity Seminar conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW). Second offense shall be punished by 6 to 10 days arresto menor or a fine of Php 2000.00. The third offense punishment is 11 to 30 days arresto menor or a fine of Php 3000.00

The act of offensive gestures, exposing private parts for the sexual satisfaction of the offender, with the effect of demeaning, harassing, threatening, or intimidating the offended are all under the medium violations. The first offense shall be punished by a fine of Php 3000.00 and/or an eight hour community service also inclusive of Gender Sensitivity Seminar. The perpetrator shall pay a fine of Php 4000.00 on the second offense or an arresto menor of 11 to 30 days. On the third offense, the perpetrator shall be punished by a fine of Php 5000.00 or 1 to 6 months arresto mayor.

Severe violations include stalking, all light and medium violations if accompanied by touching, pinching or brushing against the body of the offended, or any analogous acts on the sensitive and private parts of the offended even when not accompanied by the light and/or medium violations. First offense shall be punished by an arresto menor for 11 to 30 days or a fine of Php 4000.00, provided that it includes attendance in Gender Sensitivity Seminar by the PNP and PCW. The second offense punishment is 30 days to 6 months arresto mayor or Php 5000.00. Arresto mayor for 1 to 6 six months or a fine of Php 10,000.00 on the third offense.

Authorities will apprehend perpetrators of gender-based street and public harassment. Local units of PNP all over the country will deputize enforcers as Anti Sexual Harassment Enforcers (A-SHEs). They will serve as the deputies that will receive complaints on the street and will immediately apprehend the offenders. A-SHEs may immediately issue orders for community service or impose the fines for light and medium violations. Women and Children’s Desk of PNP stations will keep a ledger of these offenders to determine the number of offenses done.

This act shall be effective 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette, and the streets will never be dangerous any longer. Filipino society should leave androcentrism behind, public areas should be safe for everyone.