PNVSCA conducted a Forum on Volunteerism in Koronadal, South Cotabato on 19 April 2018 as part of the continuing consultation with different sectors and volunteer stakeholders to gather inputs for the formulation of a National Policy Agenda and Action Plan in Volunteerism. The Forum was undertaken in partnership with the NEDA Regional Office No. XII.

Fifty (50) participants from the regional line agencies, local government units, not-for-profit organizations, academe and the corporate actively participated in the workshops to elicit recommendations for strengthening the volunteer program.

NEDA Regional Director Arturo G. Valero welcomed the participants with his message enjoining everyone to make volunteerism a way of life adding that there are already a number of volunteer awardees in Region XII. He stressed the need for support from all stakeholders in promoting volunteerism in the region.

NEDA XII Supervising EDS Mr. Rommel Patrick E. Tanghal presented Ambisyon Natin 2040, the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and the SOCCSKARGEN Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 wherein he highlighted that volunteerism is a holistic approach in development undertakings and the importance of recognizing volunteer activities. Ms. Corazon M. Macaraig, Chief VSO of PNVSCA also provided a brief background about PNVSCA and the basic elements of volunteerism including stories of good practices in volunteering by national awardees of the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV)in Region XII.

One of the highlights of the program was the sharing of volunteer experiences by 2009 SOV national awardee Ret. Col. Celestino F. Desamito Jr. Col. Desamito called on the audience “to give freely of oneself without counting the cost.” He encouraged them to commit to volunteering and be prime movers in regional development. At 77 years of age, Col. Desamito continues to volunteer and has organized the students and youth in the region into a volunteer group.

Outputs of the visioning workshop highlighted volunteerism for nation-building and mainstreaming volunteerism in local governance. Other suggestions included localizing the SOV, organizing regional volunteer groups and conducting a volunteer summit.

The event was also an opportunity to hand over the certificates of recognition to the SOV 2017 regional qualifiers in SOCCSKARGEN. These are:

In closing, PNVSCA Executive Director Joselito C. De Vera thanked the participants and called on them to continue to make a difference in a person’s life. He also expressed his sincere gratitude to NRO XII for its continuous assistance to PNVSCA.

Participants signed the commitment banner to manifest their support to volunteerism.