Written by: Kamille May Atienza
As part of its advocacy efforts to mainstream volunteerism as a development strategy, PNVSCA, with the leadership of Executive Director Donald James Gawe, continued its series of consultations with local government units (LGUs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) in Western Visayas on 15-17 June 2022.
Consultations were conducted with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, City Government of Roxas, Municipal Government of Miagao, Iloilo and Municipal Government of Buenavista, Guimaras. In addition, PNVSCA visited and met with the key officials of Capiz State University, Guimaras State University, and West Visayas State University.
The consultations were held to identify opportunities for collaboration and initiate discussions on possible converge and linkaging of various volunteering efforts and local resources. To provide the target partners with a general overview of the National Volunteer Service Program, PNVSCA discussed the role of the Agency, basic volunteerism concepts, policy framework, as well as the recommended actions on how to integrate volunteerism as a development strategy in the curriculum and in the local plans and policies.
PNVSCA recommended the following for the LGUs to consider in strengthening volunteerism in the locality: (1) designate a Volunteerism Focal Person (VFP); (2) provide platform or opportunities for volunteering of current employees and the private sector; (3) integrate volunteerism in the local development plan; (4) formulate volunteerism policies; (5) recognize volunteers/volunteer organizations; and (6) engage volunteers in the implementation of their respective programs, activities and projects (PAPs).
On the other hand, PNVSCA’s recommendations for SUCs are: (1) provide platform or opportunities for volunteering of current employees (faculty and non-faculty), alumni and the private sector, and students; (2) integrate volunteerism in the curriculum; (3) promote the conduct of volunteerism-related researches; (4) recognize volunteers/volunteer organizations; and (5) engage volunteers in the implementation of PAPs.
During the discussions, PNVSCA highlighted the issues and misconceptions surrounding volunteerism, as well as the need for financial support to implement a volunteering program, emphasizing the significance of incorporating volunteerism into the Executive and Legislative Agenda of LGUs. In addition, PNVSCA encouraged LGUs and SUCs to collaborate and harmonize their volunteering efforts, and potentially serve as a Volunteerism Local Learning Hub in their respective localities.
Alongside Executive Director Gawe in these consultation meetings are Volunteer Service Officers Fely Baday, Raymart Maruquez, Teresita Bahom, and Kamille May Atienza.
The author is currently the Volunteer Service Officer II of the Policy, Advocacy and Technical Services Division (PATSD), 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.