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 D. Gawe continued its series of dialogues with local government units (LGUs) and higher education institutions (HEIs) in Pangasinan, La Union, and Benguet Provinces on 9-12 August 2022.
Consultations were conducted with the Provincial Government of La Union and Municipal Government of Bacnotan on August 9, Provincial Government of Benguet on August 10, Provincial Government of Pangasinan and City Government of Dagupan on August 12. In addition, PNVSCA visited and met with the key officials of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University on August 9, Benguet State University on August 10, Saint Louis University and University of the Cordilleras on August 11.
The consultations were held to identify opportunities for collaboration and initiate discussions for convergence and linkaging of various volunteer efforts and local resources. To provide the target partners with a general overview of the National Volunteer Service Program, Executive Director Gawe 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 local plans and policies.
PNVSCA recommended the following for the LGUs to consider in strengthening volunteerism in their 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).
PNVSCA’s recommendations for HEIs 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.
Consequent to PNVSCA’s productive consultations, Benguet State University, headed by University President Felipe S. Comila, and PNVSCA, led by Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize their commitment to working together to advocate and mainstream volunteerism in the academe sector.
Aside from the series of dialogues, Executive Director Gawe also served as a resource speaker during Benguet’s CSO Conference in which he discussed the highlights of RA 9418 emphasizing the Government’s role in Volunteerism in the Philippines.
Alongside Executive Director Gawe in these visits is Volunteer Service Officer 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.