The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) held the first of a series of the Talk Points webinar for 2024 titled “Beyond Binaries: Understanding SOGIESC through a GAD Lens,” held on April 12, 2024, via the Zoom platform.

Gathering over 150 local government leaders, including local chief executives (LCEs), functionaries, and key technical staff from various localities across the nation, the webinar aimed to equip participants with essential knowledge on gender and development (GAD) concepts, as well as updated terminologies and principles concerning Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC). This initiative empowered local government units (LGUs) to advocate for more robust and inclusive systems in collaboration with women and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Senate President Pro Tempore, Senator B. Loren Legarda, extended a virtual welcome to the attendees via a recorded message, emphasizing the imperative of addressing societal attitudes and norms perpetuating violence and discrimination. She highlighted the significance of education, legal reforms, community engagement, and international cooperation in effecting change.

Guided by resource speaker, Raymond “Ronn” A. Astillas from the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, participants gained insight into the importance of GAD as a foundational step toward ending violence against women and children (VAWC) and engaging citizens in consultations and community planning. Astillas underscored the nuanced nature of gender identity and expression within the broader spectrum of SOGIESC, advocating for integral partnerships with affected communities, normalization of non-binary gender selection options, and championing diversity, equity, and inclusion both within and outside institutions/organizations.

For further information on the Talk Points webinars, inquiries may be directed to