Written by: Jeffrey N. Almazan

Carmona, Cavite– The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), joined the ceremonial signing of the pledge of commitment to uphold the spirit of volunteerism in Carmona and the launching of the Volunteerism and Citizenship Desk at the Manila Jockey Club on 27 February 2023, as part of the celebration of World NGO Day organized by the Municipality of Carmona. According to Ms. Cien Angela B. Baurile, the municipality’s Volunteer Focal Person, the event was attended and participated by over 84 stakeholders comprised of partner communities, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), local and national government officials who remarkably impacted the delivery of people-centered services in the municipality.

In his remarks, ED Gawe emphasized the importance of cultivating the relationship between the government and civil society organizations (CSO), and the private sector in promoting citizen participation and community empowerment. In addition, he emphasized how NGOs act as conduits for identifying urgently unmet needs in the localities. He cited some of the challenges the CSOs face, and thus he encouraged those present to also volunteer for them.

For her part, Carmona Municipal Mayor Dr. Dahlia A. Loyola noted that the NGOs, in particular, had a long history of partnership with the LGU and recognized their contribution to the municipality’s development. She mentioned that a number of NGOs actively participate in governance by being part of the Municipal Development Council, Local Special Bodies, and adhoc committees organized by the LGU aside from providing services. She also highlighted the role of volunteers, especially during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Loyola thanked the PNVSCA for recognizing the efforts of the municipality to institutionalize volunteerism as a development approach. She cited some of the municipality’s accomplishments such as the passage of an Ordinance to institutionalize volunteerism, inclusion of Volunteerism in the Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA), Designation of a Focal Person/Office, Crafting of the Panata ng Boluntir, Volunteer Passport on top of already existing volunteerism-related programs, projects and activities. She shared that she accepted the offer of the PNVSCA for partnership towards the designation of the municipality as a Local Learning Hub on Volunteerism. With the help of the NGOs and volunteers, she is optimistic that the municipality’s road to cityhood is not farfetched.  

Before the launch, PNVSCA discussed Volunteerism 101 through Mr. Kenneth C. Siruelo. He discussed volunteerism concepts as well as the current initiatives of the agency to mainstream volunteerism.

The event also recognized valuable partner NGOs in the municipality.

Panata ng Bolunterismo. (L-R) Carmona Honorable Mayor Dr. Dahlia A. Loyola, PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe, and PNVSCA PATSD Officer-in-Charge/ Supervising Volunteer Service Officer Mr. Kenneth C. Siruelo. (Photo Credits: Dr. Dahlia A. Loyola Facebook page)
ED Gawe delivers his message on the importance of coaction between NGOs and the LGU in local development. (Photo Credits: Dr. Dahlia A. Loyola Facebook page)
Carmona Vice Mayor Cesar L. Ines, Jr. and PNVSCA Executive Director Gawe are shown signing the pledge of commitment to uphold volunteerism in Carmona (Photo Credits: Dr. Dahlia A. Loyola Facebook page)

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.