PESO to conduct livelihood trainings

by Monica Mirjana Cruz

From March up to June 2014, the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) will be sponsoring a series of livelihood trainings for residents of Los Baños.

With the theme Kasanayan, Kabuhayan, Kaunlaran, the trainings aim to equip Los Baños residents with skills that they can use to earn income. Conducted annually, the series of trainings are primarily intended for mothers, out-of-school youth, persons with disability (PWD), and senior citizens. Resource persons are from the Livelihood and Technological Resources Center (LTRC) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

On April 24 and 25, the training on paper products for PWDs and senior citizens will be held.

Meanwhile, other upcoming trainings, which will be conducted in barangays, are as follows:

  • Shoe- and slipper-making (5 days)
  • Solar energy (2 days)
  • Crocheting (5 days)
  • Fashion accessories-making (2 days)
  • Corporate giveaway and novelty items (5 days)
  • Giveaways from dried leaves and grass (3 days)
  • Bamboo crafts (5 days)
  • Small wood works (5 days)
  • Livestock and poultry products (2 days) in partnership with the Animal and Dairy Sciences Cluster of the College of Agriculture at UP Los Baños
  • Stuffed toy-making (5 days)

Gliceria, the Los Baños PESO officer, explained that barangay officials will be tasked to scout for potential participants of these trainings in their area.

According to Gliceria Trinidad, head of PESO, the abovementioned trainings will be conducted in barangays to ensure higher participation rates. Although the trainings have intended participants, individuals who are interested may also attend.

Aside from these livelihood trainings, PESO also provides Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-accredited skills trainings, employment facilitation and referral, local recruitment, and job fairs.

Trinidad said that people who continue to participate in their programs inspire them to do better in their work. She added that Los Baños residents should not hesitate to seek help from PESO because there are several job opportunities that they could provide and their office is more than willing to help them.

For inquiries about the trainings and other PESO programs, you may contact their office at (049) 536-5976.

Tatak LB: Si Teacher Ayleen ng Brgy. Anos

ni Kathleen Mae Idnani at Easter Paz Issa Paulmanal kasama ang mga ulat  at larawan mula kay Ruth Anne Ruelos

Mga lapis, crayola, at pambura, kwentong pambata, at masasayang kanta – ito ang mga binabalikan ng mga bata sa eskwela. Ngunit hindi magiging kumpleto ang silid-aralan kung wala ang magiting na guro na siyang gagabay sa kanilang pag-alam sa mga bagay-bagay.

Teacher Ayleen kung siya ay tawagin. Isa siya sa mga day care workers ng Los Baños. Higit 12 taon na mula nang magsimulang maglaan ng panahon sa pagtuturo sa mga maliliit na bata si Ginang Ayleen Palanginan. Walong taon na ang nakalipas mula nang siya ay mapunta sa Brgy. Anos at magsilbi bilang guro ng mga bata. Nagkaroon na rin siya ng pagkakataong maibahagi ang kanyang kaalaman sa mga bata sa Brgy. Bambang at Brgy. Putho-Tuntungin.

Hindi man nagtapos sa kursong Education si Teacher Ayleen, hindi naman ito naging hadlang upang magampanan niya ang kanyang tungkulin bilang guro. Sa halip, ang kurso niyang BA Communication Arts ay nakatulong rin sa kanya upang mas maging epektibong gabay sa mga batang kanyang tinuturuan. Bagamat nahirapan siya sa mga unang araw ng kanyang pagtuturo, agad rin naman niyang natutunan kung paano makisalamuha sa mga bata at maging sa mga magulang.

Hindi tulad ng ibang day care workers, si Teacher Ayleen ay nagtuturo sa apat na klase. Araw-araw niyang nakakasalamuha ang higit isang daang mag-aaral mula sa Makiling Subdivision at Brgy. Anos. Sa dami ng kanyang tinuturuan, hindi maiiwasang magkaroon ng problema sa loob ng silid-aralan. Isa na dito ang pakikisama sa mga batang may Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at autism. Hindi kasi hiwalay ang mga batang may ADHD at autism sa ibang mga mag-aaral. Bilang tugon sa hamong ito, ang mga day care workers ay sumailalim sa mga pagsasanay kung paano ang tamang pakikipagsalamuha sa mga may ADHD at autism.

Upang mapanatili ang atensyon ng mga bata sa pag-aaral, gumagamit si Teacher Ayleen ng mga makukulay na visual aids at iba pang kagamitan sa pagtuturo. Paminsan-minsan naman ay gumagamit siya ng ilang mga educational videos na kanyang pinapanood sa mga mag-aaral upang mas mapadali ang pagbahagi ng ilang kaalaman sa kanyang mga mag-aaral.

Nabanggit ni Teacher Ayleen na katuwang ng day care centers ang lokal na pamahalaan upang mas mapaayos at mapaganda ang kalidad ng edukasyon na kanilang ibinabahagi sa mga bata. Dahil hindi naman obligadong magbayad ang mga magulang para sa pag-aaral ng kanilang mga anak, tanging tulong lamang mula sa ilan sa kanila at sa barangay ang pinagkukunan para sa ilang mga pangangailangan ng day care center.

Maituturing na isang volunteer work ang pagiging isang day care worker. Hindi biro ang trabaho at oras na kailangang ilaan ngunit hindi naman kalakihan ang natatanggap na allowance. Kung susumahin, tumatanggap lamang siya ng P 1,360 sa isang buwan. Bukod dito ay nakakatanggap din sila ng subsidy mula sa pamahalaang probinsyal ng Laguna. Mayroong inilalaan ang pamahalaang panlalawigan ng Laguna na P1,500 minsan sa tatlong buwan para sa mga day care worker tulad ni Teacher Ayleen. Maliit kung tutuusin ngunit nabanggit ni Teacher Ayleen na sapat na para sa kanya ang kanyang natatanggap. Ito ay sa dahilang itinuturing niyang tulong sa mga mamayan ng Brgy. Anos ang kanyang serbisyo.

Hangga’t may mga gurong katulad ni Teacher Ayleen na handang magbigay serbisyo, tiyak na magiging kumpleto ang karanasan ng mga batang nais matuto sa apat na sulok ng silid-aralan.

GAD Office sponsors seminar on caring for children with autism

by Stephanie Pearl Orendain

The Los Baños Gender and Development (GAD) Office, in partnership with the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) – Laguna, held a seminar on responsible parenting for parents of children with autism last March 26 at the new Los Baños municipal hall.

Participated in by 31 parents, the seminar focused on general management strategies in dealing with special children, self-care and independent living, and diet intervention. Held as part of the celebration of women’s month, the seminar targeted mothers as they are the ones mainly caring for special children, according to Lian del Valle, director of Autism Resource Center in Los Baños, and a member of ASP Laguna.

Lian del Valle, director of Autism Resource Center, gives out pointers and guidelines for parents in dealing with special children (Photo by SPOrendain).

Here are some tips on dealing with special children:

  1. Set clear rules. Parents were advised not to use the words “No”, “Stop”, and “Don’t” to avoid triggering aggressive behavior. ASP encouraged parents to use positive words.
  2. Use language that the child understands. Visual cues are also helpful.
  3. Be firm but do not resort to physical violence.
  4. Follow a regular routine. For example, if the child insists on playing computer games, set a specific time when the child can play.
  5. Praise positive behavior.

ASP helps parents with special children through the organization’s various programs. Angeli Orense, whose child suffers from developmental delay and young stroke, is one of the beneficiaries of ASP. Through the activities of ASP, Angeli was able to learn how to handle the special needs of her child.

Aside from Angeli, Germalyn Ignacio is another participant and supporter of ASP’s activities. ASP helps Germalyn coordinate with the municipality regarding transportation assistance for her child’s therapy every Monday in Ortigas.

For more details, the GAD Office may be contacted through (049) 536-2818.

GAD Office builds brgy. officials, focal persons’ capacities on VAWC, gender sensitivity

by Arbil Bucatcat and Ana Catalina Paje

The Los Baños Gender and Development (GAD) Office conducted a series of seminars on violence against women and their children (VAWC) and gender sensitivity for barangay officials and GAD focal persons last March 11, 15, and 25 at Brgy. Lalakay, Brgy. Batong Malake, and Brgy. Baybayin, respectively.

Marivic Ramos, vice president of ASP-Laguna, discusses the special needs of children with autism to the delegates of the responsible parenting seminar (Photo courtesy of the Public Information Office).

The GAD Office identified VAWC as one of the major issues in the barangays despite having no increase in the reported VAWC cases. One of the reasons identified by the GAD Office was the lack of skills of the so- called “frontliners” such as barangay officials and focal persons to handle VAWC cases. To address such concern, the GAD Office organized the series of seminars on VAWC and gender sensitivity in the barangay level.
Karen Lagat Mercado, designated municipal GAD officer, said that the seminar equipped the participants with knowledge on legalities and procedures on VAWC cases. She added that through the seminar, the GAD office would be able to build capacities at the grassroots level.

She mentioned that based on their data, majority of barangay officials and GAD focal persons are not knowledgeable on how to properly handle VAWC-related cases. She explained that they tend to follow old practices because they are unaware that there are procedures.

For instance, Mercado, also a former barangay councilor, added that when victims of violence go to the barangay to report the incident, the common response of the officials is to reconcile the partners.

Mercado said that frontliners are not aware that the incident should be immediately reported to the police. However, Ellen Ramos, GAD office staff, pointed out that an important aspect of VAWC that needs to be addressed is maintaining economic stability in the family in instances when the abuser is sent to prison.

Furthermore, Eleonor P. Jimenez, the newly designated GAD desk officer in Brgy. Baybayin, said that members of the community are not aware of VAWC. She explained that some couples consider verbal, physical, or economic abuses as normal part of married life. She added that husbands do not know that physical battery is a crime.

On the other hand, Romeo Oro, a barangay councilor in Brgy. Baybayin, said that men and women should be represented in VAWC equally. He added that hunsbands should also be informed about the consequences of their actions.

Aside from the seminar, Mercado shared that the next step that their office would like to focus on is to make a comprehensive list of all VAWC-related cases. She said that the Philippine National Police – Los Baños has only three to four recorded cases but statistics may be higher based on feedback from barangays.

Meanwhile, in celebration of the women’s month, the GAD Office also conducted a seminar themed Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong, last March 19 at the GAD municipal office.

Mercado said that the activity aims to empower women by educating them about their rights. Dr. Helen Dayo, director of the UP Los Baños (UPLB) Gender Center and one of the resource persons, stressed that women should know their rights so that they would be able to exercise their rights and assert themselves. She added that most wives suffer from physical violence because they tolerate their husbands’ behavior, thinking it is how it should be.

Another speaker, Prof. Amelia L. Bello, coordinator for the UPLB Gender and Rural Development Office (GRDO), talked about some of the laws related to violence against women such as:

  • Republic Act (RA) 3815 or the Revised Penal Code, which defines and provide penalties for VAWC cases;
  • RA 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, which declares all forms of sexual harassment in the employment, education and training environment as unlawful;
  • RA 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, which reclassifies rape as a crime against persons, defining it as a public rather than private crime;
  • RA 8551 or the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, which mandates the creation of Women’s Desk in all police stations throughout the country;
  • RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 which defines prostitution and penalizes people engaging in services such as sexual trafficking; and
  • RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 which defines VAWC and penalizes the commission of such acts and provides for the security and protection of the complainant/victim, and her family through barangay, temporary, or permanent protection orders.

Sairah Saipudin, university research associate at the UPLB Gender Center, said that the GAD Office’s seminar will hopefully make a significant change in the field of gender education since their audience are from the grassroots. She added that aside from informing women about their rights, it is also their advocacy to make men aware that any form of violence against women is not only disrespectful but is also punishable by law.

Dr. Maribel L. Dionisio-Sese: A woman scientist worth emulating

by Maria Celina Bernardo and Dominique Marrielle Lapinid

“A good teacher and a good researcher.” Dr. Maribel L. Dionisio-Sese answered when asked what she wants people to know about her first.

Photo courtesy of MLDSese

Dr. Dionisio-Sese, a botany professor from the Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS) – College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) – University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), knew early on what profession she wanted to pursue. Inspired by her elementary teacher, Dr. Dionisio-Sese dreamed of becoming a teacher someday.

She got into botany simply because she excelled in it and did not want to go with the commonly chosen fields such as accountancy, finance, and banking. She wanted to stand out and be unique, which she was able to accomplish. A cum laude graduate of Bachelor of Science in Botany from UPLB, Dr. Dionisio-Sese also finished her master’s degree in botany in the same university.  In 1990, she specialized in plant physiology for her doctorate degree at the University of Tokyo.

She has been a recipient of fellowship grants, for instance as post-doctoral fellow at the Marine Biotechnology Institute of Japan, as visiting research fellow at the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, and as Alexander von Humboldt research fellow in Germany.

Some of her students say that her exams are difficult. Nevertheless, she still receives very good evaluation from students. She was given the Outstanding Teacher Award in Biological Sciences by UPLB and the Distinguished Alumna Award for Instruction by UPLB-CAS Alumni Association in 2010. Though she prefers not to change her way of constructing exams, she always tries to teach her subjects better. She expects her students to know more and be updated as they already have access to new learning  technologies and information sources.

She has also been an adviser, committee member, dissertation reader, and an external examiner. A junior and senior author of books and monographs, she has written wholly, or in part, more than 12 lecture syllabi or laboratory manuals on introductory botany and plant physiology.

Aside from being a teacher, Dr. Dionisio-Sese is also an administrator. In February 2004, she served as the officer-in-charge at the College Secretary’s Office of CAS and was appointed as the College Secretary from March 1, 2004 to November 30, 2006. She also served as head of the Plant Biology Division of IBS from June 1, 2010  to May 31, 2012. Since June 1, 2012, she has served as Director of the UPLB Interactive Learning Center.

A multi-awarded scientist

Dr. Dionisio-Sese has done many researches about plant/microalgal physio-biochemical responses to abiotic stress, algal physiology and biochemistry, regulation of photosynthetic enzyme induction and characterization of plant photoreceptors.

For the important contributions of her research, the then 34-year-old Assistant Professor III was recognized in 1995 as Outstanding Young Scientist in Plant Physiology by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). In 2003, she was named the Distinguished Alumna Awardee in Basic Research by the UPLB-CAS Alumni Association and Outstanding Researcher by IBS-UPLB in 2008. Recently, Dr. Dionisio-Sese has also been given the title UP Scientist I.

In addition, she was the recipient of various professorial chair awards such as the Jose R. Velasco Professorial Chair in Botany (2002), the SEARCA Professorial Chair (2008), the UPLB Centennial Professorial Chair (2010), and the UPLB Diamond Jubilee Professorial Chair (2012).She is also a prolific author, having published more than 20 articles in international refereed journals, which made her a recipient of the International Publication Awards from the University of the Philippines System since 1999.

For her professional achievement, she was awarded Distinguished Alumna of CAS, UPLB in 2012. She was also given the Outstanding Botanist Award during the 2010 Botany Centennial Celebration of IBS.

As a role model

“Do the best that you can. In everything you do, try to do the very best,” advises Dr. Dionisio-Sese. She inspires her students and young professionals in the way she handles and carries herself in and outside the classroom. She makes sure that she teaches to the best of her abilities.

Indeed, Dr. Dionisio-Sese’s work in the last 31 years has been a testament to her being a good teacher and a good researcher, and even more.

Fire Officer Marvielyn Cortez: Thriving in a man’s world

by Sarah Bautista

In 2009, Marvielyn I. Cortez traded her nurse’s cap with a firefighter’s helmet, after earning the necessary qualifications. She then joined the Bureau of Fire Protection Office (BFPO) in Biñan, Laguna. She was a licensed nurse but she eventually chose to follow the family tradition of working in the fire bureau. Four years after, Fire Officer (FO)1 Cortez became a part of Los Baños BFPO as the administrative and field operational firefighter.

Photo reposted from Marvielyn Cortez’ Facebook account

In her line of work, being a female is not an excuse for a special treatment. She explained that having gone through the same rigorous training, she is treated like other firefighetrs. FO1 Cortez believes that females can break the image of being less capable in male-dominated fields such as firefighting. She emphasized that a person’s limits depend on the strength of her will and determination – not her gender.

FO1 Cortez finds fulfillment in being able to save lives and protect properties which families have worker hard for. Being a firefighter has become a source of pride, not only for herself, but also for her family.

A native of Cabanatuan City, FO1 Cortez settled in Calamba City when she married her husband and fellow firefighter Stephen in August 2010. Being in the same profession has helped the couple understand the demands of their work and allowed them to spend time with their three-year-old daughter.