Forum on Volunteerism conducted in Region XI
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30 July 2018 Forum on Volunteerism conducted in Region XI

Written by: Angie E. Gavino

Volunteer stakeholders in Region XI had the chance to participate in the Forum on Volunteerism conducted by PNVSCA on 16 July 2019 held at The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites, Davao City. The Forum was part of PNVSCA’s advocacy activities and continuing consultation with the different sectors and stakeholders nationwide to gather inputs for the formulation of a National Policy Agenda on Volunteerism. It was undertaken in coordination with the NEDA Regional Office No. XI.

Around forty-five (45) participants attended the forum representing regional line agencies, local government units, academe, non-government and corporate sector. The region’s National Awardees in the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) were also present, namely Mr. Arvin Marabiles (2013), Mr. Manuel Vallejo (2014), and San Pedro College Voluntary Service Provider (2013). Dr. Vallejo shared his insights and best practices on volunteerism that inspired the participants to volunteer and experience the joy and fulfilment in reaching out to the underserved section of society like the indigenous people in Mindanao.

In the welcome message by NEDA Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, she said that the conduct of the forum is very timely and relevant the ongoing updating of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and their very own Davao regional development plan 2017-2022. She added that RDC XI is also undertaking a review of the development milestones of the past three (3) years, and in the process is looking for ways to improve on strategies with innovative solutions in addressing the regional challenges. She believes that “volunteerism as one of the strategies, never fails; that even a small act of volunteerism will go a long way in the lives of the people, what more if we can converge these acts of volunteerism towards the same goal for the region.” She invited the participants to express their brilliant ideas in the workshop and share experiences of volunteerism with great joy and commitment.

Assistant Regional Director Priscilla R. Sonido presented the Ambisyon Natin 2040 and the Philippine/Regional Development Plan 2017-2022. The presentation focused on Chapter 11 “Reducing Vulnerability of Individuals and Families” that aims to enable individuals and families to deal and cope with risks which includes inherent vulnerabilities. This is where volunteerism can be aligned to government’s development priorities.

During the workshop, the participants envisioned volunteerism to be empowered, pro-active, engaged, committed and dedicated. They came up with vision statements such as “A Culture of VOLUNTEERISM in government as Partners of CHANGE”; “An Academic Community living and advocating the value of volunteerism towards Ambisyon Natin 2040”; and “Responsive citizens creating positive impact and improving lives”.
The participants shared as well the challenges they encountered in implementing volunteer programs and offered recommendations to address them.

Proposed recommendations were the crafting of policies/legislations on volunteerism, establishments of regional volunteer councils, creation of volunteer network databases, proactive engagements among volunteers, and reorientation or massive information dissemination on volunteerism.

In closing, PNVSCA Officer-in-Charge Ms. Corazon M. Macaraig expressed PNVSCA’s gratitude to NEDA RD Maria Lourdes D. Lim and her staff for the support and great job that made the forum a successful. She thanked and further acknowledged that the participants are part of the development as well as the implementation of the Policy Agenda.

The participants signed the commitment banner as a symbol of their support to volunteerism. The forum ended with the singing of The Volunteers March.

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