Tuesday, 29 October 2013

IRRI holds Q4-2013 Health & Wellness Fair at headquarters

Over 500 staff and dependents joined the Q4-2013 Health and Wellness Fair themed: “Health Beat 2013: Smart Practices & Practical Learning” on 24-25 October 2013 at headquarters. Attendance increased by 34% following the Q3-2013 Health & Wellness Fair themed: “Nutri-Up: Healthy Options and Choices” which over 400 staff participated.

The aim of the event is to provide valuable health information , extend  related services and encourage program participants to make positive health behavior changes and to assume responsibility for their own well being.

The quarterly Health & Wellness Fair  is an educational and interactive event designed to support Occupational Health (OH) services at IRRI,  which includes preventive care and corrective health management such as  medical screening and evaluation, practical and timely  learning sessions on common diseases, and health counseling  for  employees.

The 2-day program included free medical consultations, blood pressure check, bone scanning, eye check up, product sampling, stress relieving activities, and health lectures / learning sessions on Stroke, Heart Attack, Eye Care, and Chikungunya.

Organized by IRRI’s Human Resource Services – Workplace Relations & Advisory Services (HRS-WRAS) , “Health Beat 2013: Smart Practices & Practical Learning” is part of IRRI’s Occupational Health @ Work programs. For inquiries, please contact HRS-WRAS at ext. 2363 or send email to irrihrs-wras@irri.org.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-085

GQNC staff recognized through IRRI Manager’s Discretionary Awards

Cindy Llorente
Cindy Llorente, a Researcher at Grain Quality and Nutrition Center (GQNC), is IRRI’s Manager’s Discretionary Award (MDA) winner in October 2013.

Cindy was recognized for her extraordinary work in improving the occupational health and safety practices of the GQNC staff. According to her supervisors, “through her consistent efforts, the safety culture in the GQNC has improved immensely, from its already high emphasis on safety. Laboratory rules and safety habits are now being followed more closely by staff and students. Her ability and dedication to improve laboratory culture has been an exemplary example of performance that is above and beyond what is expected…”

Cindy was chosen after a nomination process which began at Organizational Unit (OU) level and which included a review and assessment by the relevant Deputy Director General.

Cindy is the ninth MDA recipient since the program was first launched in June 2013.

IRRI continues to receive MDA nominations and enables managers (NRS Job Levels 7 to 8, PDF and IRS) to recognize single instances of extraordinary work performed by IRRI Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) in headquarters and country offices. For inquiries and future nominations, please contact HRS-Workplace Relations and Advisory Services at irrihrs-wras@irri.org.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-086

IRRI spouse recognized at SUHAY Book Sale

Patti Heong was recognized at the SUHAY Book Sale last Wednesday 26 October 2013 for her continuing support of SUHAY during the 25+ years that she has been at IRRI with her spouse Dr. K. L. Heong. Patti will be leaving soon due to the retirement of Dr. Heong.

SUHAY is an organization of the international spouses at IRRI that provides support to two feeding centers in Los Banos as well as other projects in the community.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-087

IRRI holds final PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Program in 2013

IRRI held the last delivery for 2013 of the PRINCE2 Foundation Certification Program on 22-25 November at Headquarters.

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach for project management, providing an easily tailored and scaleable project management methodology for the management of all types of projects. The method is the de-facto standard for project management in the UK and is practiced worldwide.

The program participants were Reggie Armiendo (HRS), Roger Cabunagan (PBGB), Patria Gonzales (SHU), Vel Ilao (DRPC), Joel Janiya (CESD), Gilda Jonson (PBGB), Yoichiro Kato (CESD), Becks Laza (CESD), Donnina Lopez (Control), Lily Molina (GQNC), Louisa Rapson (IMU), Eric Reynoso (PBGB), and Rod Tomambo (ES).

The course was facilitated by Guhan Thasapalan of HiLogic. HiLogic is a portfolio, programme and project management training and consulting services company with a long history in delivering high quality services in Australia, Asia Pacific Region and United Kingdom.

The workshop was organized by Human Resource Services – People Development Services (HRS-PDS).

For inquiries on future PRINCE2 schedules and other Learning & Development (L&D) Programs at IRRI, please contact HRS-PDS at irrihrs-opds@irri.org or access the Learning & Development online calendar at irri.org.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-088

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Joint IRRI Occupational Health and Safety Committee first meeting held

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Committee held its first meeting on 22 October 2013 at headquarters.

The HRS Director and OHS Committee Chair, Fiona Farrell, was present to thank the committee members in advance for their contributions to the committee. She summarized the objectives for creating the joint IRRI Occupational Health and Safety Committee, and discussed the terms of reference of committee members that will plan, develop, and support the implementation of OHS programs for the Institute globally.

The first committee meeting was attended by the following: Jose Luis (OHS Committee Secretary / SSS), Joyce Finegan (HRS), Joshua Mendoza (HRS), Richmond Reyes (IRRI Medical Clinic), Chery Ann Malabuyoc (IRRI Medical Clinic), Glenn Gregorio (PBGB), Marichu Bernardo (RMQA), Lilia Molina (GQNC), Divine Pantig (PPS), Jon Cinconiegue, Jr. (TS), group and sector representatives including Jun Madrid (Job levels 1-3), Joseph Sandro (IFSA), Jenny Hernandez (AISAS), Rogelio Quintos (SINOP), Kai Wang (AFSTRI), and Country Offices representatives (via WebEx) composed of Sonya McGuinness (India), and Bidyuth Mahalder on behalf of Loretta Hempsall (Bangladesh). Not in attendance were Carlito Balingbing (ES) and Madonna Casimero (Myanmar).

The committee is working to review and give their comments on the draft IRRI OHS Policy for submission to the Committee Chair a month after.

For more inquiries, please contact the OHS Committee Secretary at j.m.luis@irri.org.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-082

HQ Sportsfest’s bowling tournament season kicked off

IRRI sportsfest’s bowling tournament kicked off this October 2013 at Student Union (SU) Bowling Lanes at University of the Philippines in Los Baños. The bowling event is a three team, double-round robin match divided into women and men’s division.

The first round started off between Blue team and Yellow team on 16th October followed by Blue versus Violet on 18th October.

During the first game, Blue won with 758 points against Yellow with 745 points for the men’s division. For the women’s division, Blue won with 715 points against Yellow with 639 points.

On the second game, the Violet team won with 728 points against Blue with 718 points for men’s division. For the women’s division, Blue team won with 690 points against Violet with 621 points.


The game is held every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 5:45 PM (Philippines time). For inquiries on IRRI’s sportsfest and team standing, please contact HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services at ext. 2363 or send email to irrihrs-wras@irri.org.

Please check back next week for more updates.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-083

IRRI to hold Q4-2013 Health and Wellness Fair on October 24-25!

IRRI’s Human Resource Services (HRS) will hold their health and wellness fair program themed “Health Beat 2013: Smart Practices & Practical Learning” on 24-25 October 2013 at Khush Hall, IRRI headquarters.

All staff and dependents are invited to participate in this 2-day program packed with health and wellness activities for staff and dependents including free medical consultations, blood pressure check, bone scanning, eye check up, product sampling, stress relieving activities, health lectures and more.

The “Health Beat 2013: Smart Practices & Practical Learning” is part of IRRI’s Occupational Health @ Work programs. For inquiries, please call the HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services at ext. 2363 or send email irrihrs-wras@irri.org.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-084

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Standard Job Profiles for NRS Country Offices now available in the IRRI Job Dictionary

After finalizing standard Job Profiles for positions based in Headquarters in May, HRS has now created standard NRS Country Office Job Profiles, with the assistance of staff in IRRI Country Offices in Bangladesh and India.

All Standard Job Profiles are now available on the HR Services Portal. Kindly also find attached an overview of all NRS Job Profiles.

The Standard Job Profiles of the remaining positions in CIO-ITS and LDS, Finance, and HRS are awaiting the completion of the re-organization ongoing in those units.

All Supervisors are now requested to view the standard job profiles and ensure that all staff have an accurate and appropriate job profile. Should supervisors believe there is a need for a change in job level or position title, then can first discuss with their OU Head in advance of discussion with HRS.

Any questions on standard job profiles can be forwarded to Sara van Gaalen (HR Specialist) at s.vangaalen@irri.org or +63 (2) 580 5600 ext 2824.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-081

Consultation sessions on NRS Career Paths implemented, but feedback still welcome

In September, HRS organized 12 consultation sessions in HQ and CO on the draft Guidelines for Appointment, Reclassification, Promotion and Transfer, also called the NRS Career Path Guidelines. The draft was shared with a range of staff and supervisors. HRS have already received very valuable feedback, which they will incorporate in the document.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to review the draft Guidelines and provide feedback, please view them on the HR Services Portal.

Once finalized, the Guidelines will detail how staff on NRS contacts are appointed and can advance in their careers at IRRI.

You can send your comments until 31 October 2013 to Sara van Gaalen (HR Specialist): s.vangaalen@irri.org or ext 2824.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-080

2013 Sportsfest update

The 2013 IRRI Sportsfest season of Table Tennis and Badminton has officially ended on 1st and 11th October 2013, respectively at headquarters.

Three competing teams have joined the activity: Blue Team (comprised of staff from Experiment Station, Training Center, Safety and Security Services, Library & Documentation Services, Information Technology Services, Events, Visitors, and Exhibits Office, Communications & Publications Services, Food and Housing Services, Transport Services, FF Hill Building, Harrar Hall, Khush Hall Building occupants, Brent-IRRI, Clinic staff, and ECDC); Violet Team (comprised of staff from Crop & Environmental Sciences Division, C4 Rice Center, Social Sciences Division, Grain Quality Nutrition Center, and Physical Plant Services);  and Yellow Team (comprised of staff from Plant Breeding, Genetics & Biotechnology, TTC-Genetic Resources Center, Seed Health Unit, and Risk Management Quality Assurance).

For the Table tennis, Yellow team won the Championship while Violet team at first place, and Blue team at second place.

For Badminton, Yellow team emerged as Champion while the Blue team came in at first place, and Violet at second.

Other games that have concluded in this year’s Sportsfest are Lawn tennis, Softball, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, and Fun Run.

For more information on the team scores per game event, please visit our online 2013 Sportsfest Team Standing as of 14 October 2013.

Remaining game event lined up this month is the Bowling Tournament which will kicked off on 16 October 2013.

The IRRI Sportsfest is part of the HRS Health & Wellness Program. For inquiries, please contact HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services team at ext. 2363 or send email to irrihrs-wras@irri.org.

Workplace Communications Article 2013-079

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Voluntary early retirement program at headquarters info session held; now accepting 2013 applications

Headquarters-based participants joined the 2013 IRRI Mutually Agreed Early Retirement Program (ERP) information session on 1 October 2013.

Joyce Finegan and Ken Masaredo shared the ERP eligibility requirements, application procedures, benefits of joining the program, and the implementation timelines. Also included in the discussion were the support programs available for retirees through HRS- Workplace Relations and Advisory Services. These include, training on livelihood programs and orientation on practical business options, lectures on wealth management, access to employee counseling and health and wellness programs.

NRS HQ-based employees are eligible to apply for ERP, if they meet the following criteria: (1) Currently working as a full time employee; (2) Aged 55 to 63 years old as of his/her last birthday preceding the date of application; and; (3) Has served the Institute for at least 20 years of continuous employment.

All interested and eligible applicants are requested to complete the ERP application forms, which must be accompanied by succession and turnover plans, and forward to HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services (HRS-WRAS) on or before Wednesday, 04 December 2013.

Working Committee to hold First Regular Meeting

The recently created working committee for the development of the new IFEA model will hold its first regular meeting on 11 October 2013. At this meeting, the committee will review the constitution and By-Laws of past employee associations like CIEM and CIE including IFEA. They will also determine if there is a need for the creation of AdHoc Committees, to support the working committee in completing their workplan.

The working committee plans to conduct a series of consultation sessions with employees from different job levels and sector organization, and also plans to visit comparator organizations.  For inquiries and suggestions, please send e-mail to nimworkingcommittee@irri.org.

IRRI continues to promote workplace health and wellness through special fitness programs

Since the launch of the Group Exercise Classes at Headquarters in April 2013, two of the most popular fitness programs have been Yoga and Zumba.

One exercise enthusiast says, “the zumba classes at IRRI are very helpful for me in achieving my immediate health and fitness objectives. I have to have a regular form of exercise to help manage my blood pressure and blood sugar, and the Zumba classes that I've attended, combined with a diet that was prescribed by my internist, helped me achieve my goals and I've lost almost 25 lbs in three months! I hope IRRI continues to offer this wonderful program. It is also a very effective way to relieve me of work-related stress... “Yoga is perfect for many IRRI staff who  spend the whole day sitting in front of the computer, cos it provided the much needed stretching and tension releasing exercise routines,” says a Yoga enthusiast employee.

Zumba classes are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM. Special sessions for IRRI spouses/partners are held every Monday and Thursday from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM. IRRI. Yoga classes are held every Friday from 5:40 PM to 6:40 PM.

Group exercise classes are part of the HRS Health and Wellness program.  Participants are required to sign-up every class day to secure a space. For bookings and information, please contact HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services (HRS-WRAS) team at ext. 2363 or send email to irrihrs-wras@irri.org.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

IRRI Bangladesh Office's SARCCAB and SUSFER staff contributions appreciated

On 30th September, the IBO Corporate Services team formally recognized the important contributions of staff from the SARCCAB and SUSFER projects in Dhaka.

Drs. Paul Fox and Zainul Abedin, the present and past IBO Representatives expressed their thanks. "There never really is goodbye but rather until next time." – said Fox. Abedin added "It was the dedication and hard work of each staff that contributed to the success of the projects." Staff received flowers and plaques of appreciation.

SARCCAB (Support to Agricultural Research for Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh) started in 23 September 2009. SUSFER (Sustainable Soil Management for Food Security of Poor, Small and Marginal Farmers of Active Flood Plain and Charlands of Bangladesh) started in July 2010.

IRRI welcomes more staff in the September Orientation Program

The IRRI Employee Orientation Program was held on 24-26 September 2013 in headquarters.

IRRI welcomes Martin Nevado of C4 Rice Center; Erica Banasihan, Aubrey Fabro, Heathcliff Sylvester Racela, Ma. Jenina De Leon, Yoichiro Kato, Suchit Shrestha of Crop & Environmental Sciences Division; Princess Lilia Dela Cruz of Experiment Station, Anna Carisa Basilio, Leonel Borebor Jr., Karen Serdeña, and Vito Butardo of Grain Quality and Nutrition Center; Regina Armiendo and Margeorie Vasquez of  Human Resource Services; Ramkumar Gandhimani of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology; Erwin Talambayan of Supply Chain Services; Fortunato Gringo Braza and Vic Villamayor of Safety and Security Services; and  Nandita Jain  of the IRRI India Office.

Participants also had an opportunity to join the workshops on Working in a Multi-Cultural Organization and Working and Living in the Philippines.

IRRI extends an invitation to staff who have not had the opportunity to join the orientation program in the past. For inquiries and future orientation schedules, please contact the HRS People Development Services at x2824 or send email to irrihrs-opds@irri.org.

2nd Luncheon meeting held for 2013 Mentoring Program participants

As part of the on-going support to mentoring at IRRI, a second luncheon meeting was held on 27 September 2013 in headquarters.

Participants of the on-going Mentoring Program were invited  including, Marichu Bernardo, Janet Lazarte, Matty Demont, Katie Nelson, Lilia Molina, Cyhdar Racho, Charisse Arlegui, Vina Alvarez, Estela Pasuquin, Ken McNally, and Julian Lapitan.

During the meeting, the program participants gave progress updates, and shared how the program is benefiting both mentors and mentees. An exchange of ideas also took place on how to further strengthen the IRRI mentoring program.

Such informal lunches are held to give mentor-mentee pairs the opportunity to get together and share experiences within the framework of the one-year mentoring program.

For more information about the Mentoring Program, you may contact the HRS People Development Services at x2824 or send email to irrihrs-opds@irri.org.