Written by: Raymart V. Maruquez

After the Cities of Davao and Cotabato, PNVSCA once again joined the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Philippines in the conduct of Volunteering Program Development and Management (VPDM) Training Workshop held on 20-22 June 2023 at the Horizon Suites in General Santos City under the USAID Opportunity 2.0 project led by EDC.

Deputy Executive Director Ela Victoria Sarmago discussed the relevance of strategic planning to volunteering for development.

The course aims to guide organizations to develop or improve its volunteering program that will provide space for young people to gain experience and develop their social and technical skills and build a network of connections through volunteering. The VPDM training was participated by 50 individuals from the following organizations and sectors: 

Participants of the Volunteering Program Development and Management Training held on 20-22 June 2023 in General Santos City.

Local Government Unit (LGU) of General Santos City; regional line agencies (Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine National Police, and Philippine Information Agency); higher education institutions (Golden State College, Mindanao State University, Cronasia Foundation College, Notre Dame of Dadiangas University and Holy Trinity College); private/civil society organizations/non-government organizations (United Kabalikat, LADOTRANSCO Cooperative, Disaster Awareness and Response Troops, Alay Balay Development Corporation, GSC Centennial Lions Club, Mt. Matutum Lions Club, Lamtiles, Mindanao Baptist Hospital and Living New Philippines and youth groups such as United Youth Partners Organization, Voice of the Youth Network, Kaligkasan, Mindanao Youth for Mental Health);  and, the Federation of Student Organizations – General Santos.

The Youth Group brainstormed on their volunteering activity proposal.
The LGU Group presented their volunteering activity proposal in plenary session.
Photo opportunity of private group with VPDM resource speakers PNVSCA Deputy Executive Director Ela Victoria Sarmago (seated third from right) and Senior Volunteer Service Officer Raymart Maruquez (standing first from left)

As part of the post workshop activity, PNVSCA and VSO met with the representatives of the Mayor’s Office on 23 June 2023 to push forward the institutionalization of volunteerism as a development strategy in the City. During the meeting, the group conducted a rapid assessment to determine the status of the volunteering infrastructure in the City which will serve as guide in identifying areas for technical assistance from PNVSCA.

PNVSCA facilitated the consultation Meeting with the City Government of General Santos Focal Persons together with VSO Philippines.


The author is currently the Senior Volunteer Service Officer of the Program Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PCMED), 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.