Written by: Kamille May Atienza

ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES – On June 17, 2022, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) conducted another partnership forum targeting different stakeholders representing the regional agencies, local government units and state universities and colleges. The forum dubbed as “Volunteerism for Development Partnership Forum” was held at the Jalaur Conference Room of the National Economic and Development (NEDA) Region VI in Iloilo City.

Group photo during the Volunteerism for Development Partnership Forum in Iloilo

Joined by thirty (30) representatives from 11 different regional line agencies (RLA), local government units (LGU), and higher education institutions (HEIs), the activity aims to increase the participants’ awareness and appreciation on the role of PNVSCA in the voluntary sector as well as its thrusts and priorities; the sub-national mechanism to mainstream volunteerism as a development strategy; and finally, to explore areas for collaboration and partnerships between and among the participants.

NEDA Region VI OIC Regional Director, Engr. Arecio A. Casing, Jr., delivering the opening remarks

The event commenced with remarks from the OIC Regional Director of NEDA Region VI, Engr. Arecio A. Casing, Jr. In his message, he expressed his support for PNVSCA’s advocacy of adopting volunteerism as a cross-cutting strategy in local development and achieving a more meaningful volunteer engagement.

Director Casing emphasized that, “As part of our efforts in nation building, it is important that we involve our volunteer groups and the community to achieve the goals of Ambisyon 2040 and realize what it represents as the collective long-term vision and aspirations of the Filipino people for themselves and for the country in the next 25 years– isang matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay.”

PNVSCA Executive Director Gawe during his presentation of the concept of volunteerism and
legal basis for the National Volunteer Service Program

The topics presented in the forum are: (1) The concept of volunteerism and legal basis for the National Volunteer Service Program; and (2) PNVSCA initiatives which include the Philippine Volunteerism Agenda and Framework Plan (PVAFP), National Volunteerism Research Agenda (NVRA), Volunteer Engagement in the Public Sector (VEPS) Reporting Portal, and other PNVSCA statistical initiatives.

The Officer-in-Charge of the Policy, Advocacy, and Technical Services Division (PATSD),
Ms. Fely Baday, during her presentation of PNVSCA initiatives
Senior Volunteer Service Officer of the Program Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Division
(PCMED), Mr. Raymart Maruquez, during his presentation of VEPS Reporting Portal and other
statistical initiatives

During the open forum, questions regarding the accessibility of volunteering opportunities, updates regarding the Be a Volunteer portal, opportunities to enhance the VEPS reporting portal, and data collection suggestions were raised and addressed. Some of the participants also shared their ongoing volunteering activities and programs. Thereafter, recommended steps to institutionalize volunteerism as a development strategy were presented by Volunteer Service Officer Kamille May Atienza.

Open forum and sharing session
Open forum and sharing session

As a way to close the forum, Director Gawe presented an 8-Step Guide on Mainstreaming Volunteerism in Local Governance. These eight steps include: (1) How to Prepare LGUs for Volunteerism Mainstreaming; (2) How to Mainstream Volunteerism in the Situationer/Situational Assessment and Analysis; (3) How to Mainstream Volunteerism in LGU Vision, Mission, and Goals; (4) How to Integrate Volunteering in Programs and Services; (5) How to Source Fund for Volunteerism Mainstreaming; (6) How to Build Volunteerism Capacities of LGUs; (7) How to Implement Volunteer-related Programs and Services; and (8) How to Monitor and Evaluate Progress and Ensure Sustainability.

He also expressed his sincere appreciation to NEDA Region VI and the participants for supporting the forum.

The Philippine Volunteers’ March in Bisaya version, one of the 2021 VolunTinig entries, was played and sung to conclude the event.

The forum was attended by representatives from the local government units of Iloilo City, Mina, and Tubungan, as well as representatives from NEDA Region VI, DILG VI, DSWD VI, PSA VI, UP Visayas, Iloilo Science and Technology University, PHINMA University of Iloilo, and Northern Iloilo State University.

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.