PNVSCA Pays Tribute to Outstanding Volunteers
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20 December 2017 PNVSCA Pays Tribute to Outstanding Volunteers

Nine modern-day heroes from Regions I, IV-A, IV-B, V, NCR, and ARMM proved once again that volunteerism in the country is still alive and continues to thrive, as they were recognized for their selfless service in various sectors, during the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) 2017 Awarding Ceremony last 15 December 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas Center, Quezon City.

The outstanding volunteers and organizations are Mr. Lowel Andrian Solayao from Sorsogon (Individual-Youth Category), Mr. Jessie Abocado from Camarines Sur (Individual-Adult Category), Ms. Maria Ang from Laoag City (Individual-Adult Category), Ms. Delia Caabay frtom Palawan (Individual-Adult Category), Mr. Samsudin Muhamad from Cotabato City (Individual-Adult Category), Teleperformance Philippines from (Organization-Corporate Category), Madre de Amor Hospice Foundation (Organization-Not-for-Profit Category) , Bahay Hawak Tayo Lakad or Bahatala, Inc. (Organization-Not-for-Profit Category), and United States Peace Corps Philippines ( Special Citation in Volunteerism).

National Volunteer Month (NVM) Honorary Chair Henrietta Tambunting-De Villa, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Jose Miguel R. De La Rosa, and PNVSCA Executive Director Joselito C. De Vera conferred their awards.

Emerging as winners out of the 68 nominees nationwide, the 2017 national awardees provided significant impact in the fields of agriculture, disaster risk reduction and management, environment, peace process, culture, health, education, and other social services through their volunteer work.

The awardees' responses during the recognition rites highlighted their gratitude for the award which was unexpected, but treasured. The awardees view volunteerism as a calling, a way of paying forward, a means to share blessings in little, simple ways. Talking about their volunteering experiences, they narrated how they were motivated by the need in their community, how the challenges they encountered further fueled their dedication to be instruments of change, and how their volunteer service gave them a complete sense of fulfilment.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia's message delivered by Usec De La Rosa reiterated the contribution of volunteers in nation-building and development. "We need volunteers to help us achieve economic growth that is inclusive and leaves no one behind. We need volunteers in order for us to become a high-trust society with stronger social cohesion." He also commended the awardees for their passion and commitment to serve others and furthered that they inspire the government and private sector to work doubly hard to improve the lives of Filipinos.

On the other hand, in her congratulatory message, Ambassador Tambunting- De Villa emphasized that programs like the SOV signals that the "government has realized that to fastrack the economy, to generate involvement in social concerns, to bring about change, you need volunteers". She described volunteers as love in action and referred to volunteerism as radical love attuned with the language of the heart that can overcome conflicts and challenges.

Among those present in the event were Presidential Management Staff Assistant Secretary and Chair of te PNVSCA Multi-Sectoral Advisory Body Atty. Jose Wilfrido S. Oca, members of the NVM Steering Committee, members of the SOV National Selection and SOV Regional Search Committees, previous SOV awardees, and partners both from the public and private sectors. NEDA IV-A Regional Director Luis Banua, NEDA IV-B Regional Director Raul Ancolotan, and Assistant Regional Directors Donald Gawe (NRO I), Susan Sumbeling (NRO IV-B), and Edna Cynthia Berces (NRO V), and Mr. Raymond Gerard Asis of the Department of the Interior and Local Government National Capital Region (DILG-NCR) were also present to share the honor with the awardees from their respective regions.

As the centerpiece event of the NVM, the SOV is the government's platform to pay tribute to the volunteer community. It also serves as a venue to identify, promote, and share experiences and good practices in volunteerism. The Search is conducted by the PNVSCA, in collaboration with the Regional Search Committees headed by the NEDA Regional Offices, the DILG-NCR and the Regional Planning and Development Office of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RPDO-ARMM). The SOV National Selection Committee is chaired by NEDA Undersecretary Adoracion M. Navarro with members from the Civil Service Commission, the Philippine Information Agency, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc., and the International Association for Volunteer Effort Philippines.

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