In view of the upcoming CY 2022 elections and in preparation for a possible Senatorial election protest, a Gender Sensitive and Gender Responsive Negotiation and Assertiveness Skills Training Workshop for selected Tribunal personnel who are part of the Ballot Box Collection and Return Teams was conducted on 27 and 28 July 2021 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Negotiation and assertiveness skills are critical during collection and return activities since the Collection and Return Teams deal with different individuals and encounter various stressful situations that sometimes result in conflicts. Thus, the Team Leaders and Members must be effective negotiators and assertive communicators to avoid tensions and misunderstanding.

Thirty-six Secretariat personnel participated actively in this two-day workshop, consisting of online lectures, interactive sessions with dialogue simulations, role playing activities, and assessments.  With the successful conduct of the said training workshop, the participants gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of their important role in the collection and return of ballot boxes as part of the proceedings in an electoral protest.  In addition, they learned that gender sensitivity and gender responsiveness are essential in assertive, not aggressive, communication and mutually beneficial negotiations.