SEARCA and Unilab Partner to Provide Health and Financial Literacy Seminars to Farmers in the Philippines

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has partnered with United Laboratories Inc. (Unilab), a leading pharmaceutical company in the Philippines, to provide health and financial literacy seminars to farmers in Los Baños, Laguna.

Dr. Glenn Gregorio, the director of SEARCA, emphasized the importance of educating and inspiring farmers to make informed decisions in their financial endeavors, marketing strategies, and daily dietary habits. Associate Prof. Joselito Florendo, SEARCA's deputy director for administration, also highlighted the need to equip farmers with knowledge and resources to enhance their productivity and livelihood.

On October 16, 2023, SEARCA, through its Partnerships Unit, and Unilab conducted a half-day Seminar on Health and Financial Literacy for Smallholder Farmers at the SEARCA Drilon Hall in Los Baños. The seminar aimed to provide farmers with valuable information and insights on various topics.

During the seminar, Jeff Evangelista, Unilab's presiding officer of the 41st Employees Council, delivered an opening message introducing the company's corporate advocacy program, 'Alagang Unilab,' to the 17 farmers from Timugan in attendance.

The seminar featured three talks on topics identified by the farmers. Jenny Lyn de Jesus, a Sunlife financial advisor, discussed strategies for achieving financial freedom, providing farmers with practical tips for managing their finances effectively. Zara Mae Estareja, SEARCA's senior associate for public relations, shared insights on leveraging Facebook to promote and sell agricultural products in her presentation, 'Facebook for Marketing Agri Products.' Lastly, Mara de los Santos, a nutritionist-dietitian at RelianceUnited, a subsidiary of Unilab, emphasized the importance of a balanced diet and nutrition in maintaining overall well-being in her presentation, 'Importance of Diet and Nutrition in our Daily Lives.'

As part of their commitment to community support, sustainability, and good health and well-being, SEARCA and Unilab distributed vitamins and vegetable seeds to the farmers during the event. Additionally, SEARCA facilitated the donation of three units of computers from Unilab to the Dagatan Family Farm School (DFFS) in Lipa, Batangas. DFFS is a valued partner school of SEARCA and is recognized as a learning site for agriculture by the Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Training Institute.