“Bayanihan” is a time-enduring Filipino value and tradition. The willingness and desire to help others have always been part of the Filipino psyche. Recognizing this innate trait among Filipinos, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency has spearheaded the recognition of volunteers through the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV).

    The SOV is the centerpiece activity of the National Volunteer Month (NVM) which is observed every December pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 55, s. 1998. As mandated by Republic Act No. 9418, also known as the Volunteer Act of 2007, PNVSCA has embraced this strategy to play an active role in the promotion of volunteerism as a tool for development.

    Created in 2001, the SOV has conferred awards upon 109 outstanding youth and adult individuals, and 40 organizations from the non-profit, corporate and government sector.

    The SOV was replaced with the Search for Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteers (SOCV) for two years (2020-2021) to highlight the contribution of volunteers during the pandemic, awarding 34 exemplary volunteers across all regions. PNVSCA re-launched the SOV in 2022.

    The SOV and SOCV awardees provided invaluable service in various development sectors such as education, health, agriculture, peace process, culture, environment, disaster risk reduction and management, community development, and other social services. The Search has served as a venue to celebrate significant contributions of volunteers from various sectors to the improvement of the lives of countless Filipinos.


    The Search for Outstanding Volunteers aims to identify and recognize outstanding Filipino volunteers and volunteer organizations for their exemplary performance and achievements in empowering communities and promoting volunteerism as a way of life, contributory to nation-building.


    The Search will cover volunteering activities that were conducted in the Philippines, excluding volunteer service done for family members, for religious or indoctrination purposes, and initiatives which are part of the academic programs (ex. National Service Training Program) of academic institutions.


    1. National Outstanding Volunteer Award (NOVA)

      The National Outstanding Volunteer Award (NOVA) is conferred upon individuals or organizations for their exceptional contribution to the development agenda of the national government that resulted in positive outputs within the duration set by the Search.

      The categories under NOVA are:

      1. Individual

        • Youth

        • Adult

      2. Organization

        • Non-Profit

        • Corporate

    2. Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award (VLAA)

      The VLAA is conferred upon an individual or organization for consistent and outstanding volunteer service and whose achievement is regarded as an inspiration and role model in the field of volunteerism.

    3. Special Award for LGU

      This Award is conferred upon an LGU that implements outstanding volunteer programs or initiatives that promote the participation of civil society organizations or volunteer individuals in local governance. Submission of nominations to this category will be by invitation only.


    Nominators shall ensure that the nominees meet the minimum requirements for each category, as follows:

    1. National Outstanding Volunteer Award (NOVA)

      1. Individual (Youth and Adult)

        • Filipino Citizen

        • Age group for youth category: 15 to 30 years old except for residents in BARMM whose youth age group is 15 to 40 years old

        • Age group for adult category: At least 31 years old except for residents in BARMM whose adult age group is 41 years old and above

        • Has been providing volunteer assistance consistently for at least three (3) years for the youth category and at least five (5) years for the adult category at the time of submission of nomination;

        • Has not been found guilty of crime or offense involving moral turpitude.

      2. Organization

        • Has been providing volunteer assistance consistently for at least five (5) years for the non-profit category and at least three (3) years for the corporate category at the time of submission of nomination; and

        • The organization must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or PNVSCA or other duly recognized accrediting government institution; or recognized as a volunteer organization by the local government, local institution or community being provided with volunteer services

    2. Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award (VLAA)

      (In addition to the NOVA qualifications and requirements)

      • Has been engaged in consistent volunteering activities for at least twenty-five (25) years;

      • Has been a recipient of any regional, national or international awards in relation to volunteerism (past SOV/SOCV awardees are eligible);

      • Serves as a role model through a positive representation of volunteerism as a development resource; and

      • For individual nominees, has not been found guilty of crime or offense involving moral turpitude

      • For organizations, must have no derogatory reports from other agencies of the government as certified by said agency and no final adverse court decision of a criminal act (i.e. fraud, estafa).

    3. Special Award for LGU (by invitation only)

      • Has designated a volunteerism focal person/office/point system

      • Has consistently promoted a conducive environment for volunteering


    1. A nominee may be nominated by another individual or organization. Self-nomination is also allowed.

    2. Nominators shall complete the nomination form (except for LGU category) which may be downloaded from PNVSCA’s official website, cloud storage:

      • SOV Form 01-A. Nomination Form for Individual
        – for Youth, Adult, Individual VLAA

      • SOV Form 01-B. Nomination Form for Organization
        – for Non-Profit, Corporate, Organization VLAA

      • For LGU category – Letter of interest to participate in the assessment/evaluation

      For the individual youth and adult categories, nominators/nominees are advised to provide a maximum of five (5) outstanding volunteering activities in the form.

    3. The nomination form must be supported by documentary evidence as deemed necessary. Supporting documents should be submitted on or before the RSC deliberation period. All documents shall be organized into one (1) file folder (Refer to Annex A. Nomination Checklist and Documentary Requirements).

    4. The nominator shall directly submit the accomplished nomination form to the concerned RSC covering the area where majority of the nominee’s volunteering activities are implemented (For example, the nomination of a volunteer/organization whose majority of volunteering activities’ beneficiaries are in Calabarzon must be submitted to NEDA Calabarzon. However, nominations of individuals/organizations with nationwide coverage and NCR-based address shall be submitted to MMDA).

    5. Kindly refer to the RSC directory to know where your nominations should be submitted.

    6. Deadline of submission of nominations is on August 25, 2023.


    1. Nominees who did not qualify for the national award during the previous SOV may be re-nominated.

    2. Search for Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteer (SOCV) awardees (awarded in 2020-2021) are still eligible to be nominated for both NOVA and VLAA categories.

    3. National SOV award recipients from prior years are no longer eligible to be nominated except to the VLAA category, if they meet the qualifications.

    4. Nomination of the organization and the head of the same organization in the same year is not allowed.

    5. Members of the national and regional search committees are not eligible to nominate or be nominated.

  8. SOV 2023 RESOURCES (Nomination forms and other resources)

    You may download the nomination forms and other SOV resources here:


    You may access or download the RSC Directory through this link: https://bit.ly/SOVRSC2023