“A sexual harassment is not only touching someone. The moment someone passes a vulgar comment on someone, it automatically turns into a harassment” –Divya S Shukla

Most people think sexual harassment is a problem that affects only a small number of people. It is sad to note, however, that sexual harassment is not well understood by many. The public never know that many men and women are being subjected to offensive behaviors in the workplace –such as sexual jokes and malicious behavior this often results to psychological anxiety and stress for victims and if ignored, may be costly for organizations through loss of productivity, low workers’ morale, absenteeism, and staff turnover.

In raising awareness among its employees, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 through its Human Resource Development Section (HRDS) conducted the online Learning Event on "Sexual Harassment: Draw the Line, Combat Sexual Harassment and Violence Against Women and their Children," recently via Zoom platform.

Seasoned resource speaker, retired P/Col. Ma. Cecilia R. Detablan, MPA clearly oriented DENR 6 employees on the things they need to know in order to combat sexual harassment. She led the participants towards understanding the use of the legal groundwork for safe and healthy work environment.

Detablan’s topics include:

  • Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (Republic Act 7877)
  • The Safe Spaces Act (Republic Act 11313)
  • Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act 2004 (VAWC) or RA 9262.

Women are the most common, but not the only, targets for sexual harassment. But sexual harassment in the workplace is by no means limited in this dynamic. Men, particularly those who don’t conform to traditional masculine norms, and others seen as outsiders, like LGBTQ and gender nonconforming people, can be targets. Women can be harassers, too. People of color, especially women of color, are more likely to be subject to sexual harassment than their white counterparts.

 “Webinars like this do not only educate our personnel on what is sexual harassment, but also help them understand their limitations as employees. As a person, you need to know how and in what ways you can protect yourself,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.

“Let us all be aware of our actions and limitation, let us all draw the line,” he added.

The Department’s personnel are also thankful for the activity conducted and hopes that the other agency will do the same to give justice to the silent victims and give fair credits to all.