Written by: Angeles E. Gavino

Volunteers come from all walks of life, they may be retirees, professionals or students to name a few and with different motivations. Common reasons for volunteering include; giving back, to learn new things, for personal growth and networking and to make a difference. With these differences, managing volunteers and retaining them for future engagements is every volunteer managers’ utmost concern.

With this is mind, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), with the assistance of DevConcepts PH developed the Volunteer Management Systems (VMS) Toolkit.  The toolkit is intended for organizations that implement volunteer programs and manage volunteers, regardless of the type or duration of their activity.  It uses the eight (8) Volunteer Management Cycle as the main framework and delves into the processes and tools in volunteer management.

The Toolkit was officially launched via online on 24 February 2021. NEDA Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua’s message in the toolkit delved on how to better tap the wealth of ideas, technologies, expertise, and networks that reside inside and outside of government.  He also emphasized that volunteerism is expected to be mainstreamed at the grassroots level and local government units by incorporating this principle in their development programs.

Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) National President and Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo “Dax” E. Cua delivered a video message on behalf of the LGUs, expressing his profound gratitude and appreciation to PNVSCA in coming up with the VMS toolkit which will serve as a highly valuable resource that will greatly lead to more effective and successful organizing, planning, and implementing of volunteer activities.  He added that ULAP fully supports this initiative which will strengthen volunteerism mechanisms and the promotion of participatory governance which indicates the role that the volunteers play in the achievement of a fully engaged, empowered and productive citizenry.

As the highlight of the launching, PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe led the virtual symbolic turn-over of the VMS Toolkit Book to end-users which includes the  United States Peace Corps-Philippines, duly represented by Country Director Jenner Edelman and Ms. Maloy Tiongson of the Voluntary Service Overseas Philippines for the International Volunteer Service Organizations (IVSOs); The Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) represented by President Tirso A. Ronquillo for the Academe;  Philippine Coalition on Volunteerism, Inc. (PhilCV) represented by its President Camille Buenaventura for the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs);  Ms. Rhenelyn Queen Dadulo of the Global Initiative for Exchange and Development Inc. (GIED)  representing the newly created PNVSCA Volunteer Resource Pool (VRP); representing the Volunteer Focal Persons (VFPs) at the regional level, Mr. Freynon Perez of NEDA Region 1;  and Ms. Jameela Santos of the Provincial Government of Bulacan for the LGUs.

End-user representatives gave words of acceptance and felicitations to PNVSCA in coming up with the Toolkit, appreciating the relevance of the toolkit in volunteer management at this time of pandemic and beyond.  They also expressed support and commitment to help in the promotion and rollout of the toolkit which will contribute to holistic approach of volunteer management.

The virtual launching and turn-over ceremony was moderated by the System Director of the U.P. Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay and attended by around sixty (60) partners from various sectors such as local government units, NEDA regional offices, the academe, civil society organizations, and international volunteer service organizations.

The author is currently the Volunteer Service Officer II, Policy, Advocacy and Technical Services Division (PATSD), Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.

Visit PNVSCA website (www.pnvsca.gov.ph) and PNVSCA Facebook (facebook.com/PNVSCA) for other stories and information on volunteering.