As the policy-making arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) has been fostering partnership between the public and private sector, empowering the Filipino farmers and fisherfolk. and consistently protecting the safety and overall welfare of its employees.

Through PCAF’s Gender and Development (GAD) Committee, a series of activities were conducted to improve employees’ well-being and work productivity.

A Webinar on Nutrition, Wellness and Food Safety amidst the CoViD-19 Pandemic was conducted on December 10, 2021 in time for promoting healthy celebrations during the holiday season.

Dr. Cecile Leah Bayaga of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition of the University of the Philippines Diliman discussed the importance of following and attaining good nutrition to prevent illnesses.

“A lot of diseases can actually emanate from unhealthy diet and lifestyle. If we would want to delay the onset of that or if we would want to prolong our life then the first thing we would have to do is really to eat nutritious food items, to have a healthy diet,” Dr. Bayaga said.

Employees were also reminded of having at least 150 minutes of exercise in a week and food safety practices when eating out and receiving deliveries. Tips on de-stressing were also given to help the employees take care of their mental health.

Meanwhile, in support of the 18-day campaign to end violence against women, a Webinar on Protection against Sexual Harassment through the Law was held on December 15, 2021.

Atty. Eric Paul Peralta, Human Resources Development Office Director of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, elaborated on the different laws that help safeguard everyone towards any indecent advances which included the:

  • Republic Act No. 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995;
  • 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (RACCS);
  • and Republic Act No. 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act.

He also discussed where to report such incidences depending on the situation/location as well as the penalties for perpetrators.

Aside from these, the agency’s Operating Units presented their video entry on the pledge of ensuring safe spaces.

“We, at the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries, vow to ensure that we are protecting safe spaces. We have posted copies of the law and informed all our officials and personnel on this. We are also strengthening our Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) to investigate and address complaints of gender-based sexual harassment. We will also work with other government agencies and private stakeholders in any effort that contributes to ensuring safe spaces.”

Short spoken word films were also shown to encourage everyone in promoting and upholding safe spaces and anti-sexual harassment in the work place and all public places. | JCL