PNVSCA PNVSCA Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers
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12 December 2017 PNVSCA PNVSCA Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers

Written by: Danica Pacardo

This National Volunteer Month (NVM) 2017, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency concludes the year-round Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) 2017 with the awarding of nine (9) volunteers and volunteer service organizations out of the 68 nominees nationwide. The recognition ceremony will be held on December 15, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas Center, Quezon City.

This year's nine awardees from Regions I, IV-A, IV-B, V, NCR, and ARMM provided volunteer assistance in education, health, agriculture, peace process, culture, environment, disaster risk reduction and management, community development, and other social services.

Mr. Lowel Solayao is the sole awardee under the Individual - Youth category. A high school physics teacher from Sorsogon, Mr. Solayao created the Pilar Reading Center and conducted Summer Reading Camps which encouraged children and youth from his community and nearby areas to read and join storytelling sessions. To date, five mini-PRCs exist which were inspired by Solayao.

Four will be conferred as National Volunteer Awardees under the Individual-Adult category.

A retired educator from Palawan, Ms. Delia Caabay's volunteerism, which was honed during her early years and nurtured during her teaching career, has continued even in her prime years. With her leadership and membership in different socio-civic organizations, she was able to touch the lives of prisoners, women, indigenous children, youth, and the elderly through alternative learning classes, supplemental feeding, mothers' classes, resource mobilization efforts, and other outreach activities.

A community organizer from Camarines Sur, Mr. Jessie T. Abocado's volunteer work focuses on the welfare of poor farmers. Through his determination, he was able to re-establish the Veneracion Farmers Association, enabling the farmers to gain access to various government projects. With this intervention, beneficiaries were able to boost rice production, avail of agricultural equipment, and participate in capacity building activities.

A seasoned volunteer from Laoag, Ms. Mary C. Ang is a prime advocate of volunteerism. Through her initiative, volunteerism was institutionalized in Laoag City with the establishment of the ' Civilian Volunteers Formation " through the City Ordinance No. 2015-043: An Ordinance Adopting and Implementing RA 9418. She was also instrumental in the creation of the Museo Ilocos Norte, making way for the documentation and showcase of the rich Ilocano culture.

Mr. Samsudin Muhamad from Cotabato City lobbied for the promulgation of RA 10153: An Act providing for the Synchronization of the Election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the National and Local Elections and for Other Purposes. He organized the Development Youths Movement Assembly in Mindanao, Inc., composed of indigenous women, youth associations, Moro networks, fishermen associations, farmers' organizations, peace and development advocates, among others. He also created thirty community schools called Madaris in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, North Cotabato and other nearby provinces.

Madre de Amor Hospice Foundation, Inc. and Bahay Hawak Tayo Lakad (BAHATALA) are this year's outstanding not-for-profit organizations. Based in Laguna, the Madre de Amor Hospice Foundation, Inc. has assisted almost 2,000 patients from 27 local government units in Laguna and Batangas, 85 % of which are indigents. The foundation implements a program of palliative and supportive services, which provides physical, psychological, social and spiritual care for terminally ill patients and their families. On the other hand, BAHATALA from Palawan engages volunteer doctors and physical therapists, as well as community and foreign volunteers, in providing medical care on patients with orthopedic conditions, congenital deformities, and those affected by muscoskeletal trauma. It has assisted thousands of beneficiaries from Palawan.

Business processing and outsourcing company Teleperformance Philippines is the sole awardee under the Organization-Corporate category. The company's major corporate social responsibility program is the Teleperformance Village in Tanay, Rizal, established in partnership with Gawad Kalinga, which has served as a sustainable community for families displaced by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009. Teleperformance also regularly supports the Philippine Blood Center, the Philippine Red Cross, National Children's Hospital, Kythe Foundation, White Cross Orphanage and Bantug Day Care Center. Employee volunteers of the company are active participants in Brigada Eskwela of the Department of Education.

United States Peace Corps is the recipient of Special Citation in Volunteerism. Established in 1961, the organization has deployed more than 9, 000 volunteers in the country to provide technical assistance and collaborate with local partner institutions in projects in the fields of education, environment, and social services.

The awards will be conferred by National Volunteer Month Steering Committee (NVM-SC) Honorary Chair Henrietta Tambunting-De Villa, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, and PNVSCA Executive Director Joselito C. De Vera.

The SOV is conducted by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency and the NVM-SC. The Regional Search Committees are chaired by the NEDA Regional Offices, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the NCR and the Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) for the ARMM. The National Selection Committee is chaired by NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion M. Navarro, with members from the Civil Service Commission, Philippine Information Agency, International Association for Volunteer Effort Philippines and, Metrobank Foundation, Inc.

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