Davao City – The Commission on Population (POPCOM) – Region XI is a steadfast implementer of Men’s Responsibilities on Gender and Development (MRGAD) through various conducts of training-orientations for men in Davao Region.

This initiative is focused on men’s participation to initiate positive actions on gender and reproductive health.  Along the course of implementation, POPCOM – Region XI introduced some innovation to mainstream adolescent sexual and reproductive health to help combat the high incidence of early pregnancy, STI, HIV, and AIDS in the region according to the results of the Young Adults Fertility and Sexuality Study 4 (YAFS 4) in 2013.

Mainstreaming men’s involvement in gender and adolescent development is an innovative strategy to engage men in the community in responding to conditions of adolescent sexual and non-sexual risk behaviors. The program aims to increase men’s participation in adolescent development discourses to clarify misconceptions on adolescent sexual and reproductive health; increase clinic and teen center consultation through referrals on sexually transmitted infections and other health programs; and encourage men’s involvement in advocacy and education work in the community.

MRGAD utilizes the following three methods: Ability to strengthen facilitation skills of the participants through a series of training and awareness-raising activities of selected male leaders and advocates; Advocacy on enhancing of men’s understanding through the provision of an avenue for continued discourses in the school or community; and Accountability were men facilitated adolescent referrals to access psychological and health service and the establishment of an adolescent sensitive and friendly services.

Tungod niini nga programa nahimo kong responsable nga ginikanan og advocate sa MRGAD aron makatabang sa uban (Because of this program, I became a responsible parent and advocate of MRGAD and I was able to help others, as well),” shared Bernie Cruz of Barangay Buhangin, Davao City. Considered as a trailblazer in the conduct of MRGAD, Barangay Buhangin has innovated mechanisms such as developing an efficient barangay referral system to cater to cases of abuses and providing male-inclusive interventions to re-evaluate and re-establish men’s role in the community.