Written by: Jeffrey N. Almazan
As part of the agency’s goal to further mainstream volunteerism in the various functions of higher educations institutions (HEIs), the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), led by its Executive Director, Donald James D. Gawe, visited key offices of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City on 21 February 2023.
The team was welcomed by UP Pahinungod System Director Dr. Marie Therese Angeline P. Bustos who shared the organization’s humble beginnings, accomplishments, and some constraints in implementing its banner program, the Gurong Pahinungod. She mentioned to the team the regular meeting of UP Pahinungod Campus Directors as the venue to share knowledge and discuss implementation concerns. On the part of PNVSCA, ED Gawe discussed the priorities of the agency that includes building strong partnerships with the HEIs given their function on instruction, research, extension, and production where volunteerism can be integrated. He underscored the role of UP as the “Big Brother” on volunteerism mainstreaming being the national university.
ED Gawe also seized the opportunity to consult Dr. Bustos about including volunteerism in the Basic and Secondary Education Curriculum, given her long and meaningful experience in the field of education as former Dean of the College of Education. ED Gawe informed the UP Pahinungod team that PNVSCA created a TWG to review and recommend the integration of volunteerism concepts in the various levels of the educational system. Dr. Bustos suggested some next steps that PNVSCA or the TWG might want to pursue. She also solicited the agency’s for advice on getting all UP Pahinungod offices to work together to create approaches for adopting sustainable programs anchored to underserved communities needs.
After the meeting, the PNVCSA team paid a courtesy call to UP Diliman’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Ma. Theresa T. Payongayong and the Director for NSTP Dennis F. Quilala. The meeting centered on ensuring that NSTP graduates are able to imbibe the value of volunteerism. ED Gawe suggested that UP Diliman create a volunteerism trademark among its students. He added that PNVSCA would always support and offer suggestions for future volunteer initiatives. Vice Chancellor Payongayong and Director Quilala are optimistic about this ongoing collaboration and believe it will inspire more UP students to take up the role of volunteer stewards.
The author is currently the Volunteer Service Officer II, 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.