By Arwen Pascua
MANILA – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has created a committee tasked to promote a sexual harassment-free workplace and ensure proper decorum.
DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario issued a department order paving the way for the creation of the Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) both at the Central and its Regional Offices.
The CODI is created to handle Sexual Harassment Cases as a proactive measure in preventing sexual harassment cases within the department and promote appropriate employee decorum in the workplace.
“The measure is part of DHSUD’s proactive efforts in promoting a sexual harassment-free environment within the department. It also seeks to raise employees’ awareness on the downsides of such inappropriate acts,” Secretary Del Rosario stressed.
The department order likewise serves as a reminder for all DHSUD employees that improper behavior towards others has no place in the department,” the housing czar noted.
The CODI, chaired by Assistant Secretary Avelino Tolentino III, is tasked to receive complaints of possible sexual harassment, investigate such cases and recommend proper disciplinary action against violators.
It will also carry out initiatives to increase understanding of DHSUD personnel on sexual harassment to prevent such cases, issue its rules in the disposition of sexual harassment complaints and recommend issuance of policies and guidelines on proper office etiquette as well as other related official functions.
Under CSC guidelines, sexual harassment is defined as an act involving unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature, made either directly, indirectly or implied.
The issuance of the DO comes as the department concludes the 2021 National Women’s Month Celebration. For the whole of March, DHSUD held a series of activities giving tribute to Filipino women.
As part of the culmination activity, Secretary Del Rosario honored women with disabilities working within the department by recognizing their contributions. This is pursuant to Proclamation No. 744 which requires agencies to implement plans, programs and services geared towards the fulfillment of the human rights of women with disabilities.
Themed “We Make Change Happen for Women” focusing on “Juana Laban sa Pandemya, Kaya!”, the celebration sought to support the national advocacy on gender equality and women empowerment. It also highlighted women’s participation in battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The month-long activities also aimed to inform and engage women stakeholders of government programs and services and create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing gender development. (AI/MTVN)