DA-PCC holds weekly mental health wellness program

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center continues to uphold its employees’ well-being by launching the Mental Health Wellness Program last May 12 alongside Physical Health Fitness and Sports Programs under the leadership of the Human Resource Management Section and the Management Systems Audit Office.

The mental health wellness program specifically aims to provide a safe space for those who may be experiencing mental and emotional stress or anxieties and establish a support system in the spirit of carrying each other’s burdens. Furthermore, this program is expected to help break the stigma attached to acknowledging and taking care of one’s mental health.

Scheduled every Tuesday, mental health activities were conducted since May 17 and were attended by employees from different sections.

“Isa sa mga malalaking tulong ng programang ito sa akin personally ay ‘yung malaman ko na sa mga nararanasan ko, generally in life and particularly in the workplace, ay hindi naman pala ako nag-iisa. Dahil dito, nagkakaroon ako ng pag-asa sa anumang sitwasyon na kinakaharap ko dahil nagkakaroon ako ng mga bagong perspective. More than these, ay nagkakaroon pa ako ng pagkakataon na makatulong din sa iba by encouraging them” said Pauline A. Maramag, staff under RDD – Business Development and Commercialization Unit when asked how the program is helping her so far.

Reynaldo E. Bauzon, program chairperson, further stressed that mental health should not be taken lightly and invited all DA-PCC employees to join the activity every Tuesday, 4:00-5:00 pm at the PCC Mini Theatre.

DA-PCC improves 2 database management systems for digitalizing carapreneurship

In line with the Department of Agriculture’s (DA’s) thrust to modernize the agri-fishery sector, the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) recently improved its two database management systems (DMS) for digitalizing carapreneurship and cascaded it to clients and carabao-based and enterprise development (CBED) coordinators last May 31-June 2 at the Richmonde Hotel in Iloilo.

Its enhanced DMS are intensified research-based enterprise build-up (iREB) 2.0 and major final output (MFO) dashboard version 3.

DA-PCC’s Planning and Information Management Officer-in-Charge Alvin David said that the enhancement of the two DMS was the output of the Database Management Enhancement System Project of DA-PCC, as funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research.

“The iREB2.0 is a tool to measure the profitability and productivity of the carabao-based enterprise (CBE) at the client or community level of DA-PCC nationwide, while the MFO dashboard is a tool to measure the output of the DA-PCC as an agency,” David explained.

He added that the system is a good tool for information generation, especially when creating important business decisions and planning for the agency’s targets.

Business Development Commercialization Unit Head Zadieshar Sanchez said that the improved version of iREB1.0 was developed by the DA-PCC following its initiative to give value for money to all its research-based enterprises.

In her opening remarks, DA Assistant Secretary for Planning and Regulations Dr. Liza Battad said that the iREB 2.0 corroborates the programs of DA-PCC in CBE. She also added that the said system is a good tool for showcasing how competitive the CBEs of DA-PCC’s clients are.

DA-PCC’s Science Research Analyst Pauline Maramag and Project Evaluation Officer Catherine Alyssa Licudo, meanwhile, shared the improved features in the iREB 2.0 and MFO dashboard version 3.

“Our iREB1.0 has several limitations in terms of usage. But with the improved version or the iREB2.0, we resolved these issues and even improved its database user requirements, graphic user interface, farmer cooperative accounts, and loading time rate,” she explained.

She added that encoding is simplified in the iREB2.0 since a user no longer needs to encode everything in the DMS and that it now contains a data privacy feature where the user is given the rights of privacy and security on his/her account.

“The DA-PCC’s MFO Dashboard version 3 system improved in terms of adding some important functionalities and modifications,” Licudo said.

Such were the creation of a computation tab, modification regarding the showing of the status of submission of performance commitment reviews (PCRs), adding of exporting functions and other administrative functions,” Licudo further explained.

Hands-on sessions were also conducted for the participants to appreciate and get familiar with the two DMS. They were also given the opportunity to present their experience of using the said systems.

“Through the iREB2.0, we can now easily assess the performance of our farmer-members since we can easily check based on their profile and data the areas where we can provide them immediate help in case they need it,” Bohol Dairy Cooperative General Manager Herbert Joseph Tan Puracan said.

He added that the system is very helpful for their cooperative and he thanked the DA-PCC for doing such a great job in improving the iREB.

Baclay Multipurpose Cooperative General Manager Richard Hidalgo, another participant, happily shared that through the iREB2.0, they can now monitor and check if their business is profitable with just one click from their computers.

Meanwhile, Maramag also shared other plans related to the iREB2.0.

“In the future, the iREB2.0 will have a mobile app version, which can be used offline for data gathering purposes and report-generating abilities. Clients will also be given an overall guideline or manual on how to use the system and how often they should encode data to the DMS,” she added. The same cascading workshop will be conducted by DA-PCC in Tagaytay for its clients and CBED coordinators in Luzon come first week of July 2022.

DA-PCC kicks off employee wellness program

Employees of the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) buckle down to stay fit and healthy by actively participating in the agency’s Virtual Walkathon Challenge and Jump for Health physical fitness activities.

The DA-PCC, through its Management Systems Audit Office (MSAO) and Physical Health and Mental Wellness Program Committees, organized such activities to create a healthier workforce, increase productivity, and decrease employees’ risk of developing chronic diseases.

The Virtual Walkathon Challenge, which started on June 1, gives the participants 90 days to complete the 50km challenge using a pedometer or step counter app. Prizes will be awarded to those who finish first and walk the longest. “Suportahan po natin ang ating programa para sa kalusugan ng bawa’t isa. Health is wealth,” encouraged DA-PCC OIC Executive Director Dr. Ronnie Domingo, who also took part in the activity by uploading a screenshot of his walk to the Balik Sigla Program Facebook group of the agency.

The Jump for Health, which started its first session today, is an exercise that uses a jump rope to help lose weight and improve one’s cardiorespiratory fitness. Participating PCCeans’ body weight, height, and waist circumference measurements were taken and recorded prior to the program to determine improvements after six months. This activity is scheduled every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Apart from the physical health fitness program, the committee also offers mental health wellness activities every Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“The overall program created an opportunity for us to realize that focusing on our health, along with our work, is actually possible. We can really do both things,” Nomilyn Gonzales, one of the PCCeans, asserted.

DA-PCC’s ‘Cara-Ugnayan’ underscores farmers’ success stories in Region 1

“Nakita mi ti kinapintas na!”

This Ilocano phrase, which means, “Nakita namin kung gaano kaganda!” was how farmers in the recent Cara-Ugnayan regarded the Carabao Development Program (CDP) of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) of which they are active participants.

Cara-Ugnayan is a knowledge management platform of the DA-PCC’s Knowledge Management Division (KMD) that aims to strengthen the agency’s reportage by engaging with the local media and LGU-SUC partners.

“We see a very important role that the local media takes on when it comes to not only disseminating information that could benefit a multitude more of our farming communities but also helping our progressive farmers tell their stories of success,” Dr. Eric Palacpac, KMD Chief, said.

The identified farmer representatives were Rolly Mateo, chairperson of the Bantog Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative; Annalyn Tade, manager of the Rosario Dairy Farmers Cooperative; and Freddie Ledda, vice-president of the Team Naguilian Dairy Raisers Association.

Mateo shared how the dairy enterprise multiplied their co-op’s capital from 10,000 to a million pesos. BSNMPC is actively engaged in sustainable enterprise with its participation in the milk feeding program led by the Department of Education. Similarly, Tade said that the income generated by their cooperative’s dairy business enabled them to purchase a site to expand their operation. The same story applies to Ledda, who attested to his family’s increased income after they began dairying.

On the LGU counterpart, Ramsey Mangaoang, a former sangguniang bayan member and chair of the Committee on Agriculture in Aringay, La Union, expressed his appreciation for the DA-PCC’s carabao program and mentioned that it is an important component of the municipality’s development agenda. He said that there is a need for alternative livelihoods for farmers in the locality and the carabao enterprise is one of them. With this, Mangaoang hopes to intensify a provincial ordinance that will replicate the carabao enterprise in the province.

During the media forum, some of the questions and topics discussed were the bull entrustment program, milk feeding program, and PLGU and LGU’s support programs for carabao development, among others.

The Cara-Ugnayan is slated to be continued in the other regional centers in Visayas and Mindanao in the second semester of this year.