PNVSCA and NEDA I Convene Bayanihan Advocates in a Forum in Volunteerism
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04 June 2019 PNVSCA and NEDA I Convene Bayanihan Advocates in a Forum in Volunteerism

Last 30 May 2019, advocates of volunteerism from both public and private sectors in Region I convened and exchanged volunteering experiences and insights in the Forum on Volunteerism conducted by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)–Region I at Hotel Ariana, Bauang, La Union.

NEDA I Regional Director Nestor Rillon welcomed the representatives from local government units, regional line agencies, corporations, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations and enjoined them to actively participate in the forum workshops. According to Director Rillon, the forum is very timely for the updating of the Regional Development Plan. "This activity is a good way to look at volunteerism as a demand-driver for services that we need most to deliver our mandate. The forum can help us assess how we view volunteerism as a driver of progress," Director Rillon added.

To set the floor for discussion and workshop sessions, NEDA Supervising Economic Development Specialist Vida Karna D. Bacani provided a briefing on Ambisyon Natin 2040, while PNVSCA Chief Volunteer Service Officer Corazon Macaraig oriented the participants on PNVSCA’s programs and some basic volunteerism concepts.

Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) 2007 National Awardee Edwin Ferrer also shared some of his good practices in volunteering and his projects which include tutorials to parolees, probationers, street children, and market vendors, as well as social services for senior citizens and indigenous people.

Outputs of the visioning exercise emphasized commitment, optimism, dedication, responsiveness, collaboration, and competence through capacity-building as common elements in the participants’ collective aspirations for local and regional volunteering. For the second workshop, they identified challenges and suggested strategies to address the gaps in the implementation of their volunteer programs and projects. Some of the problems include limited funding, low awareness on volunteering policies and good practices especially at the local level, and appropriation issues. Participations reiterated the need for the wide dissemination of information on volunteering best practices, inclusion of volunteerism as a component in program designs, and the creation of a volunteer desk in an organization or sector.

NEDA I Assistant Regional Director Donald James G. Gawe provided a synthesis of the group presentations. One of the recommendations which he highlighted is the designation of a volunteer desk officer to help coordinate volunteer programs, which can be raised to the Regional Development Council.

PNVSCA Executive Director Joselito C. De Vera thanked the attendees for their active participation in the workshops, noting that their inputs will help the Agency in creating a more enabling environment for volunteerism.

The activity is part of the forum series conducted nationwide by PNVSCA, in collaboration with NEDA Regional Offices, to engage various sectors in collaborative consultations towards the development of a national policy on volunteerism. The next forum will be held in July in Region XI.- DP

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