PNVSCA Recognizes Modern-day Heroes in SOV 2019 Awarding Ceremony
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06 December 2019 PNVSCA Recognizes Modern-day Heroes in SOV 2019 Awarding Ceremony

The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency concludes this year's Search for Outstanding Volunteers with the awarding of ten (10) individuals, organizations, and local government units on 16 December 2019 at the House of Representatives, Quezon City.

A women's rights and peace advocate from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, Ms. Aliah Alam is the sole National Awardee under the Individual- Youth category. Passionate about gender equality, Aliah founded "Singanen O Mindanao", a socio-civic youth organization consists mostly of young women conducting lectures on peace and development and other advocacy activities to promote education and increase awareness on gender issues.

An educator, doctor, and engineer were declared as National Awardees under the Individual-Adult category. Teacher Joel Dela Costa organizes free eye operations, cleft palate surgeries, and medical missions for marginalized communities in Batangas. Dr. Zsa-Zsa May Meneses merges her passion for health and community service through medical assistance to indigenous people in Region II and organizing a summer educational program for Agta children. Apart from coordinating a feeding program and a housing project, Engr. Cristeta Gallano has provided technical assistance in the researches which helped improve the condition of the Davao River Basin and capacitated local government units on water resource management.

Soroptimist International of Mandaluyong (SIM) and the University of La Salette Inc. High School ( ULSHS) – Community Relations and Outreach Program are the two non-profit organization awardees of the Search. SIM provides educational and livelihood opportunities for teenage moms to start anew and provide a better future for themselves and their children. The organization has also been implementing the "Feeding Children, Teaching Mothers" which has nourished children and provided lectures on various topics for parents. The Community Relations and Outreach Program of ULSHS provides various volunteering opportunities for the students, alumni, faculty, personnel, and people not affiliated to ULHS to foster the spiritual, socio-economic, and sustainable development of its partner communities.

Dr. Romulo Davide will be this year's Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Awardee for his lifelong commitment to implementing volunteer programs which benefit the country's agricultural sector. Dr. Davide spearheaded the "Farmer-Scientists Training Program" which equipped almost 70,000 poor farmers with knowledge and skills to conduct experiments, discover effective farming techniques, increase production and manage the market.

This year's Search will also confer the Special Award for Local Government Units with existing volunteer programs. Brgy. Poblacion, Burgos, Ilocos Norte is considered a front-runner in barangay-level governmance in terms of environmental protection and conservation with its regular coastal and road clean ups and Basura Exchange School Tiangge program where children contribute to the reduction of plastic waste. Mandaluyong City and the Municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet are also being recognized for strengthening its pool of manpower for emergency response and developing community resilience through regular trainings on disaster risk reduction and management.

The awards will be presented by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, HOR Committee on Peoples Participation Chairperson Florida Robes, Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning Ernesto M. Pernia, NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion Navarro, and PNVSCA Officer-in-Charge Corazon Macaraig.

The SOV is the yearly centerpiece event in the celebration of the National Volunteer Month every December. The year-round Search aims to recognize the exemplary performance and dedication Filipino volunteers across the nation in building strong communities and empowering lives.

It is conducted by the PNVSCA and the NVM-SC in cooperation with the SOV National Selection Committee and the Regional Search Committees 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 Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

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