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NSTP Educators attend Forum on Volunteerism
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16 May 2018 NSTP Educators attend Forum on Volunteerism

The Philippine Society of NSTP Educators and Implementers, Inc. (PSNEI) held its annual National Congress last May 9-11, 2018 at the Nature's Village Resort, Talisay City, Negros Occidental. With more than 250 National Service Training Program (NSTP) coordinators and directors in attendance, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) found it a good venue and opportunity to advocate the value of volunteerism and how it can contribute to national progress.

PNVSCA, in partnership with the PSNEI, conducted the Forum on Volunteerism: A Vision for the Future on May 10 as part of the three-day congress. The activity is the fruit of continued and strengthened partnership of the Agency with PSNEI through the leadership of PSNEI Founder Dr. Florida C. Labuguen and Professor Hermie Pava, current PSNEI President.

NEDA Assistant Secretary Carlos Bernardo Abad Santos graced the event and presented the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and Ambisyon Natin 2040 with emphasis on aligning volunteerism with these development frameworks and where higher education institutions (HEIs) may contribute to development through volunteerism. "Filipinos want to volunteer. They want to be provided with opportunities to engage in volunteering (activities)," said ASec. Abad Santos.

Ms. Corazon Macaraig, Chief Volunteer Service Officer of PNVSCA, presented the Volunteer for Development (V4D) framework where volunteerism is acknowledged as a strategy to achieve the national development goals. She also introduced the Agency to the participants and reiterated the importance of the academe sector in nurturing a culture of volunteerism among Filipinos.

A 2015 National Outstanding Volunteer Awardee, Mr. Benfred Tacuyan, gave a talk on his journey as a volunteer for urban poor families in Iloilo City. He was able to inspire the hundreds who listened intently to his recollections of the challenges and rewards of his volunteer work. He said that volunteerism cannot make one rich but can fill one’s soul which money cannot do. "The challenge to educators is to take the lead in volunteering," Mr. Tacuyan said.
Guided by the development framework and concrete demonstration of how volunteerism impacts the community, the participants created visual representations and proposed recommendations on how they envision NSTP as a driver of volunteerism to produce a pool of capable, committed, and empowered volunteers to be part of the National Service Reserve Corps (NSRC).
Other dignitaries also attended the Congress. NEDA Region VI Assistant Regional Director Gilberto A. Altura delivered the opening remarks for the PNVSCA forum on behalf of Regional Director Ro-Ann A. Bacal. CHED Director Ronaldo A. Liveta, himself a strong advocate of volunteerism, attended during the first day to provide updates and directions on NSTP.
PNVSCA Executive Director Joselito C. de Vera assured the delegates that PNVSCA and PSNEI will pursue the recommendations generated in the Forum to strengthen NSTP as a tool in promoting volunteerism among college and university students. ### VF

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