By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has urged the immediate activation of girl scouting movement in the cities and municipalities to inculcate proper values among young girls and harness their potential to become future leaders in their communities.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año directed the local government units (LGUs) to designate local Girl Scout coordinators to be on top of organizing Girl Scout programs for girls and young women in their respective localities.
“Girl scouting is important in instilling the spirit of volunteerism and love for public service among girls and young women in the country. It will prepare them to be change agents and participative in both local and national governance through community involvement activities,” said. Año.
“Girl scouting is a good training ground for young women to become future leaders. It will help them build camaraderie and rapport with other girls their age, teach them life skills, and make them more confident about themselves and what they can contribute to society,” he added.
Recently, the DILG signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) that mobilized the LGUs to designate local Girl Scout coordinators and form GSP community-based troops for girls and young women aged four to 21 years old.
Under the MOA, the LGUs’ respective Girl Scout coordinators will undergo an orientation to be conducted by the GSP council trainers for them to know their roles and responsibilities in organizing community-based Girl Scout Troops and in helping monitor the implementation of the Girl Scout program.
Aside from mayors of cities and municipalities, the DILG is enjoining all provincial governors and punong barangays to support the GSP by providing institutional support for the development of girl scouting in their communities.
Año said that LGUs are also urged to grant financial assistance to their respective Girl Scout Council counterpart which may be chargeable against local funds subject to the availability of funds, or access Sangguniang Kabataan funds for the implementation of Girl Scouting Program at the barangay level.
The DILG has also encouraged women leaders, legislators, and wives of government officials to become members of and promote membership to the GSP.
The DILG Chief designated Assistant Secretary Marjorie N. Jalosjos to be the Department’s focal person who will handle the partnership with the GSP.
“I can attest that the early leadership experiences I had as a patrol leader and the jamborees I had attended while growing up had been very instrumental in the many leadership roles I had as politician and now as an official of the DILG. I am a staunch believer that every GSP is a G.I.R.L. — Go-getter, Innovative, Risk-taker, and Leader — and that we can help change the world,” Jalosjos said.
She added that the closer partnership between the DILG and GSP is one of the ways that the Department is institutionalizing people’s participation in local governance as well as mainstreaming women empowerment at the early age of childhood and adolescence.
“We are moving in the same direction, to make the country a better place for everyone. As public servants, it is expected from all of us in every working day of our lives. Let us formalize our trusted partnership,” she told the GSP representatives.
Susan R. Locsin, National President of the GSP, welcomed the DILG’s partnership with the GSP.
“We are overwhelmed with the idea that the GSP is now a partner of the DILG.
“Both the DILG and GSP agree that less is more; less talk, more action,” she said.
During the MOA signing between the DILG and GSP, an investiture ceremony was done pronouncing Año and the other DILG top officials as honorary members of the GSP.
Joining Secretary Año among the ranks of honorary GSP members from the DILG are Undersecretary Martin Diño, Undersecretary Nestor Quinsay, Jr., Undersecretary Bernard Florece, Jr., Assistant Secretary Manuel Felix, and Assistant Secretary Jalosjos who is a member of the GSP.