The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Gender Office (DGO) launched on Tuesday, August 22 a childminding corner on campus at Benton Hall.

According to the UP DGO, the project dubbed “Sulok Batibot” aims to support UP Diliman’s working parents and their children.

The initiative is consistent with UP’s Gender Guidelines which was approved by the UP Board of Regents during its 1309th meeting in 2015. It also harmonizes with national laws such as the Magna Carta of Women and Expanded Solo Parents Welfare Act which promote the establishment of childminding facilities in workplaces.

“Existing naman na iyong mga childminding centers [sa UP]. Pero, ang gusto natin dito sa soft launch ng DGO, ay ma-encourage pa rin. At iyong ibang mas maliliit o nagsisimula pa lang na childminding corner sa mga kolehiyo ay ma-sustain, at maka-build ng network within our units,” UP DGO University Extension Specialist Steph Andaya said in an interview with DZUP Balita.

(UP actually has existing childminding centers. But through this launch, we hope to encourage other units on campus to follow suit. We also want colleges to sustain their smaller or relatively new childminding corners in the hopes of building a larger network of such facilities.)

“Ine-encourage ang mga yunit na suportahan iyong mga employee para mabalanse ang kanilang mga role at responsibilidad bílang magulang, bílang bahagi ng pamilya, at bílang isang empleyado,” she added.

(Units are encouraged to support working parents so they can balance their roles and responsibilities as parents, family members, and employees.)

“Siyempre, may recognition din na kapag may support mas nakaka-create ka ng enabling environment, at mas magiging productive [ang mga working parents]. Malaki iyong magiging ambag sa morale ng mga kawani sa University.”

(Of course, we also have to recognize that when there is support, we create an enabling environment where our working parents can be more productive. This is a big boost to the morale of our University employees.)

The event attracted representatives from various offices and colleges within the University, including UP Integrated School Instructor Eric Hilario, who shared his insights.

“I think iyong pinakaimportante kong natutuhan ay iyong pangangailangan talaga ng childminding corners or rooms sa ating mga offices. Marami kaming mga teachers who have children. Sa ngayon, wala kaming corner na puwedeng puntahan ng mga magulang para iiwan ang kanilang mga anak. So mostly, iyong mga anak nila ay naka-stay sa faculty room. Bílang bata, minsan siyempre magugulo sila. Nahihirapan din kaming mga teacher. Pero, if merong mga ganitong mga project, it’s very good na magawa siya”, Hilario told DZUP Balita.

(I think that the most important learning I got from this event is the need to set up childminding corners or rooms in our offices. We have a lot of teachers who have children. For now, we do not have a space where our parent co-workers can leave their children. They just leave them in the faculty room. As children, of course, they can be rowdy which also affects our work as teachers. But, if we have more projects like this, it will be beneficial to us.)

The UP DGO said that the project is still in its early stages and that they are committed to refining mechanisms to ensure the project’s effectiveness and comprehensiveness.

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