Written by: Alyssa Villa

Photo taken during site validation at ACTION in Olongapo, Zambales on May 30, 2022. At the center is Exec. Directo Lanie Llanes.

With the aim of mainstreaming volunteerism as a development strategy and harnessing the potential of volunteers to contribute to local development efforts, PNVSCA, headed by Executive Director Donald James Gawe, conducted consultation meetings with Local Government Units (LGUs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in Zambales and Pangasinan.

Photo taken during the meeting consultation with the Tourism Office of the Municipal Government of San Marcelino, Zambales on May 30, 2022.

From May 30-June 03, PNVSCA met with key officials and members of the Municipalities of San Marcelino, San Narciso and Masinloc in Zambales; Provincial Government of Pangasinan, City Government of Alaminos and the Municipal Government of Lingayen. For SUCs, the team met key officials of the President Ramon Magsaysay State University (PRMSU) in Iba, Zambales and Pangasinan State University (PSU) in Lingayen.

Photo taken during the meeting consultation with the Municipal Agriculturist Office (MAO) of the Municipal Government of San Narciso, Zambales on May 31, 2022.

The series of consultations with the LGUs opened opportunities for partnership and collaboration in promoting and encouraging volunteering in government programs and projects.  As volunteerism is a cross-cutting measure, the PNVSCA team recommended ways on how LGUs can engage volunteers in the implementation of their various programs, projects and activities. This include: 1) providing platform or opportunities for volunteering, both for its employees and the private sector such as business and civil society organizations; 2) integrate volunteerism in the Local Development Plan; 3) issuance of volunteerism policies; and 4) recognize volunteers/volunteer organizations through an Awards Program such as the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV). ED Gawe reiterated that volunteerism can be utilized by the LGUs not only in DRRM but also in the other sectors such as tourism, agriculture and environment programs, among others.

The discussions with the SUCs, on the other hand, provided an avenue in promoting volunteerism beyond extension work and underscoring their strategic role in building the culture of volunteerism. ED Gawe also conveyed how SUCs can further mainstream volunteerism such as: 1) providing platform or opportunities for volunteering for its faculty and staff, students (beyond NSTP), alumni, the private sector – business and civil society organizations; 2) promote the conduct of volunteerism-related researches; 3) recognize volunteers and/or volunteer-involving organizations; and 4) engage volunteers in the implementation of development programs, projects and activities.

Photo taken during site validation and meeting consultation with PRMSU Iba and Botolan Campus on May 31, 2022. At the center is President Roy Villalobos.
Photo taken during the meeting consultation with the Municipal Government of Masinloc, Zambales on June 01, 2022.
Photo taken during the meeting consultation with CDRRMO of Alaminos, Pangasinan on June 01, 2022.

As the clearinghouse for matters pertaining to international volunteer services, PNVSCA also visited A Child’s Trust is Ours to Nurture (ACTION) and PRMSU Botolan Campus which requested for volunteer assistance from JICA’s Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV). The site validation aimed to assess the readiness and capacity of the Local Partner Institutions (LPI) to provide a conducive environment for impactful engagement of international volunteers.

ACTION requested two (2) volunteers to help boost their organization’s Marketing and Public Relations while PRMSU Botolan Campus requested one (1) volunteer to assist in the Organic Agriculture program in the College of Agriculture and Forestry.

Ms. Lani Bayron-Llanes, Executive Director of ACTION, said that they are equipped and ready to work with the JICA volunteers and assured that appropriate support will be provided to them. Likewise, Dr. Raymundo Sazon, Dean of College of Agriculture and Forestry, said that PRMSU is looking forward to the assistance of another volunteer.  He shared that their previous volunteer engagement was greatly appreciated as the knowledge and skills were transferred and a strong rapport and cultural exchange was established between the volunteer, PRMSU officials and staff as well as the community beneficiaries. Both LPIs exemplified readiness and ability to provide the necessary support to the volunteers that will facilitate meaningful volunteering engagement.

Through these site visits and consultations, the Agency aspires to increase awareness and appreciation on the importance of volunteerism as a cross-cutting strategy and a tool to achieve local and national development goals as well as making volunteerism as a way of life of every Filipino. 

Apart from ED Gawe, the team is composed of Volunteer Service Officers Teresita Bahom, Rizalene VelaCruz, Alyssa Villa, and Claire Pantoja.

Photo taken during the meeting consultation with PSU on June 02, 2022. At the center is VP Paulo Cenas
Photo taken during the meeting consultation with Pangasinan PDRRMO on June 02, 2022.
Photo taken during the meeting consultation with Municipal Government of Lingayen on June 02, 2022. At the center is Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil

###

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

Visit PNVSCA website (www.pnvsca.gov.ph) and PNVSCA Facebook (facebook.com/PNVSCA) for other stories and information on volunteering.