Written by: Arianne Rose C.  Maghanoy

The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) has announced the launch of the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) 2023 via Zoom on 15 June 2023. The SOV is an annual search that seeks to honor the unsung and everyday Filipino individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to their communities and the country through their humble yet invaluable deeds of volunteerism contributing to nation-building and national development. It is the centerpiece activity of National Volunteer Month (NVM), celebrated every December per Presidential Proclamation No. 55 s. 1998.

In his welcome message, Assistant Secretary Greg L. Pineda of the Regional Development Group of the National Economic and Development Authority and the Chair of the National Volunteer Month Steering Committee pointed out that “as volunteers’ generosity and commitment to service inspire us all every day, it is only right that we give them the recognition that they rightfully deserve”.

Civil Service Commission Chair and NVM 2023-2024 Honorary Chair Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, in his keynote message, expressed his firm belief that “through this recognition program, we can share with everyone the outstanding and worthy-of-emulation deeds and inspirational stories of our volunteers towards establishing more effective partnerships and encouraging more people to volunteer”.

Partners of PNVSCA in the conduct of the Search from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Economic and Development Authority Regional Offices, the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority-BARMM, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority also pitched in their messages of support.

2020 Search for Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteers awardee Ms. JC Finale Siazon, and SOV 2012 Special Citation and SOV 2017 Individual-Adult awardee Ms. Maria Cu Ang took part in the open forum and shared their experiences, how they overcame the challenges and emphasized that everyone can be a volunteer notwithstanding their age and station in life. They are also one to say that the recognition encouraged them further to do more as they see themselves as models and drivers for their respective groups, Ms. JC for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and more (LGBTQIA+)  and Ms. Mary for the Women and Senior Citizens.

In his closing message, PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe expressed his appreciation to all the speakers and partners who conveyed their messages of support. “Through the Search for Outstanding Volunteers, we hope to give our volunteers the recognition they truly deserve, make people understand their value, and motivate other people and organizations to engage in volunteerism and do their share in nation-building., ”ED Gawe said. He also conveyed his appreciation to the volunteers and urged them to continue their critical mission as advocates and champions of volunteerism toward attaining lasting peace and sustained development.

Ms. Joyah Mae Quimoyog, Information Center Manager of PIA Ilocos Sur, acted as the launch host and facilitator of the open forum, done live in Vigan City and in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency Ilocos Sur. More than 200 participants from all over the country joined the online launch, which was live-streamed via Facebook Live.


The author is currently the Volunteer Service Officer I, 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.