The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) conducted a series of courtesy, advocacy, and consultation meetings with Regional Line Agencies, Local Government Units, and partners in volunteerism in SOCCSKSARGEN/ Central Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on January 24 to 28, 2023.
As part of the Agency’s aspiration to make volunteerism a way of life for every Filipino and across sectors, PNVSCA joined the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Philippines, USAID, and partners in the launch of Volunteering Program Development and Management (VPDM) in Cotabato City on 25 January 2023. The VPDM program aims to link the various sectors that work for a better community and motivate more people to volunteer to achieve sustainable development through partnerships. PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe in his message emphasized the importance of the deliberate mainstreaming of volunteerism in local development plans, giving people the opportunity to volunteer and be part of the solution towards attaining lasting peace and sustained development.
During the launch, PNVSCA interacted with the representatives from the City Government of Cotabato, the Ministry of Labor and Employment-BARMM, Bangsamoro Youth Commission, Islamic Relief Philippines – Cotabato, the Philippine Red Cross – Cotabato City Chapter, and UNICEF for possible collaboration and were able to learn best practices on volunteerism together with other participants. The said organizations pledged their support to volunteerism and the VPDM.
Recognizing the invaluable contributions of volunteers to sustainable human development and how it cuts across sectors, ED Gawe and PNVSCA staff arranged courtesy and consultation visits with the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group 12 in Cotabato City, the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority, Notre Dame University, City Government of Cotabato and the Bangsamoro Youth Commission in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and talk through collaborative plans on strengthening the practice of volunteerism in the region through capacity development training and recognition programs.
Given the government’s duty to foster an environment that encourages volunteerism to flourish and to further identify and assess collaboration opportunities on the promotion of volunteerism as a development strategy, ED Gawe engaged local government planners and local chief executives of Midsayap, Sultan Kudarat, Lake Sebu, General Santos City, and Sarangani in probing different initiatives on the purposive engagement of volunteers in local development plans such as the drawing of mechanisms enticing professionals, retirees, and the youth to actively participate in the planning and implementation of government programs and projects towards ensuring food security, responsible tourism, and biodiversity in their respective localities. He also emphasized the necessity for a sound volunteer management process to develop and implement a successful and efficient volunteer program. To help volunteer managers manage volunteers the right way, PNVSCA with the assistance of DevConcepts PH, developed in 2021 the Volunteer Management Systems (VMS) Toolkit. The toolkit which can be accessed via the agency’s website is intended for organizations that implement volunteer programs and manage volunteers, regardless of the type or duration of their activity.
PNVSCA also had consultation meetings with Regional Line Agencies in Region XII such as the National Economic and Development Authority, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Higher Education, and the Philippine Statistics Authority, and conveyed the agency’s appreciation for their active role in the promotion and recognition of volunteerism as a tool for socioeconomic development and as lead agencies in the conduct of the Search for Outstanding Volunteers.