Written by: John Vincent M. Mañosca
The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) wrapped up its 5-day Capacity Development on Mainstreaming Volunteerism in Local Policies and Development Plans with the presentation of the action plans of participating local government units (LGUs) and regional line agencies (RLAs). The training, held at the Palacio de Laoag in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on 3-7 October 2022, is the fourth leg of PNVSCA’s caravan around the country to promote volunteerism as a development strategy among LGUs.
The training was also in line with the call of the President for government instrumentalities to be enablers of economic growth, as volunteerism, through civic participation, can usher in development in communities, and ultimately, on a national scope.
A total of nine (9) local government units (Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, Laoag City LGU, municipal LGUs of Solsona, San Nicolas, Pasuquin, Vintar, and Piddig; Tabuk City LGU; Provincial Government of Cagayan) and five (5) regional line agencies (Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Ilocos Region, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Ilocos Region, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), NEDA I, and DILG CAR participated in the onsite capacity development.
“As representatives of local government units and regional line agencies, you are all in a particularly engaging and promising position. The experience and knowledge you will learn in this training may recalibrate how your respective offices think of volunteerism,” said PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe in his welcome remarks read by Ms. Fely Baday, Supervising Volunteer Service Officer (VSO) of PNVSCA. “The fact that you are all here just means that you already have an understanding of the significance of volunteerism, and we hope that it just gets stronger from here on.”
The first session was on the key principles on volunteerism which was presented by Ms. Maribel Larracochea, OIC of the Policy, Advocacy, and Technical Services Division (PATSD). This was followed by the sessions on Mainstreaming Volunteerism in Local Development Plans which were discussed by NEDA-CAR Assistant Regional Director Dr. Stephanie Chritiansen, PNVSCA Supervising Volunteer Service Officer (VSO) Ms. Fely Baday, and NEDA-Region 1 Senior Economic Development Specialist Ms. Fatima Ross Perez. Ms. Tricia Ayala, VSO II, and Ms. Jocelyn Uy, Project Manager of Voluntary Service Overseas led sessions on Volunteer Management and facilitated workshops referencing the Volunteer Management Systems (VMS) toolkit, a document published by PNVSCA designed to guide volunteer managers who aspire to plan and carry out their volunteerism programs. ED Gawe also led a session on the preparation of ordinances on volunteerism.
All sessions were spread out throughout the 5-day training.
Workshop outputs produced during the discussions showcased the participants’ creativity and commitment to apply the knowledge gained when they go back to their respective LGUs/offices.
The participants and PNVSCA staff also joined together for a game night on 6 October, which highlighted the newfound rapport between all the persons present. Special prizes including Most Punctual and Most Active were given to a select participants.
During the last day of training, the participants presented their action plans and pledged their commitment to push for volunteerism ordinances, policies and programs in their respective LGUs. Immediately after, the certificates of participation were awarded to the participants which was followed by the closing message, delivered by ED Gawe.
One participant expressed his gratitude to PNVSCA for facilitating the capacity development on mainstreaming volunteerism in Laoag City. “The training is very helpful as it explains well the core meaning of volunteerism and its role in nation building.”
The author is currently the Volunteerism for Development, Communication and Advocacy Program (V4DCAP) Officer of the 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.