Written by: Tess Bahom

In its continuing effort of providing a conducive and enabling environment for volunteering through the formulation of relevant and responsive policies, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) conducted a Stakeholder Consultation on the Guidelines on Filipinos Volunteering Overseas (FVO) on 7 October 2021. Attended by fourteen (14) field practitioners, interested parties and stakeholders with vast experience in volunteering, the consultation aims to gather inputs and insights from the volunteering experts to update the standards and practice for Filipinos volunteering overseas as well as the existing guidelines which was issued in 2006 prior to the enactment of RA 9418.

The conversation revolved on the participants sharing of insights and perspectives that underscored the importance of providing a minimum guideline that promotes inclusion and reciprocity and the use of applicable and more relevant terminologies that is consistent with international/global standards of volunteering.  Also pointed out was the need to come up with a policy that is not too restrictive to avoid discrimination and bias but ensuring that appropriate measures are established both for the FVOs, IVSOs and host organizations for safeguarding purposes.

ED Gawe expressed his appreciation to the partners for their inputs which he said will contribute in crafting a more relevant, updated and responsive policy directive that will hopefully facilitate better compliance as well as ease-up processes and requirements on the deployment of Filipino volunteers overseas.

The author is currently the Senior Volunteer Service Officer of the Program Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PCMED), Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.

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