Davao City – The Department of Labor and Employment Davao Region with the Industry Tripartite Councils (ITC) recently hosted the first ITC Virtual Summit.

With the theme Mental Health Awareness: Key to Stable Workplace Relations Amidst Pandemic, DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello, III in his inspirational message encouraged the participants to strive hard to overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

He also added that excellent workplace relations should be maintained even these times when social activities are constrained.

DOLE Davao Regional Director Ofelia B. Domingo in her opening remarks briefly gave an overview of the summit and said that the summit will be an avenue to discuss stress, stress-management and mental health problems in the workplace.

This was then followed by the lecture of PRC Board of Psychology Chairperson Dr. Miriam P. Cue entitled “Building a Mentally Healthy Workplace in a VUCA World”.

She first discussed how the pandemic brought changes and disruption to people’s way of life which triggered and aggravated mental health problems.

She also presented coping mechanisms to mitigate the negative impact of stress and stressors and make them beneficial to workers.

“Health and happiness can be equated to a sound mind and a sound body thus mental health is essential for productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, communities, and to national and rational economies,” she added. 

Afterwards, former DOLE Secretary Maria Nieves Confesor discussed the topic entitled “Navigating Through VUCA World: Responses to Strengthen Labor and Management in the Workplace”.

She presented the pandemic’s effects to the Philippine economy and how dealing with these complexities require collaboration of different sectors.

She highlighted not only the role of the tripartite councils composed of the government and labor-management sector but also the importance of civil society, informal sectors, and communities in addressing this matter.

In relation, she called for the transformation of the councils from working only as a tripartite to being more inclusive and referred to this as “WE society”.

“Together, we should review the emerging patterns of Globalized economy and rules of the Labor Code that respond to conflicts arising from the changing world of work,” she said.

by: Kim Salvaña, Labor Communications Officer, DOLE XI

with reports from: Mel Bonita, TSSD, DOLE XI