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DAR advocates pro-environment Christmas celebration

Employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform here are proud of their litter and are not shy to show them off.

The second and third floors of the St. Clement’s Building, where DAR Iloilo holds office, are adorned with various Christmas decors made out of recycled, reusable and indigenous materials.

The lack of manpower and resources coupled with the challenge of disposing bulk of waste paper materials to tidy up their office brought out the artistic initiatives, resourcefulness and brilliant ideas of DAR employees this yuletide season.

The eye catching Christmas ornaments, which hardly scrape the pockets of their designers, also observe the 5S – sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain in ensuring the cleanliness of the office.

Hernan C. Buenaventura, chief of the general services section and president of the DAR Employees Association, said that they worked during break time and after office hours in the afternoon.

He shared that their on-the job-trainees (OJTs), while learning office work from the employee, in return taught them how to transform used papers into beautiful decorations.

Also some of the materials were gathered from outside the office such as dry leaves and twigs. Others were from materials recycled from previous exhibits.

The activity taught them teamwork, unity, camaraderie and sharing, which are all the message of Christmas, Buenaventura said.

“They learn from us and we learn from them,” he added.

Razel Algunas, a 4th year Community Development student from the Iloilo School of Arts and Trade University, said she felt proud with her output.

She expressed that they did not only help come up with beautiful decorations but they were also able to clean their surroundings.

Marketing student Elizer Mendoza from the University of Iloilo said that they were able to showcase their talents. “I am proud. I didn’t expect that I could come up with such beautiful designs,” he said.

Buenaventura said this December’s activity was just a start. They are eyeing to have it sustained as other DAR offices in the region, including the regional office, expressed their desire to also adopt the initiative.

“This is to raise the spirit of Christmas among us all; that there is still hope despite the hardship that we are experiencing in trying to address the issues and concerns of our clients,” said Sally A. Ortega, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Office.

Ortega said that with the rationalization, they need to have additional 45 employees for “very critical positions” and most of their employees are on office-in-charge status.

Nonetheless, with effective strategizing and with the help of their OJTs from partner schools, the office was able to succeed and the result of their collective efforts was impressive.

Anchoring on the theme “Pasko sa Nayon, Pagtulong sa Magsasaka ang Hamon”, the Land Tenure Improvement Division, Legal Division, Technical Advisory Support Services and Support to Operations Division took the challenge.

Ortega said that the initiative has “perked up their enthusiasm.”

“Seeing the outcome of their efforts they expressed through their decorations, I could still stay that there is such ingenuity in the DAR despite the age,” she added.

Perla Lena / PNA