The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), Manila, in its letter dated 27 November 2014 to NEDA XII RD Arturo G. Valero, Chairperson of the Regional Search Committee-SOV 2014, announced that the individual nominee (adult category) from SOCCSKSARGEN Region is among the national awardees in the Search for Outstanding Volunteers. CY 2014.

RD Valero identified the recipient of National Outstanding Volunteer Award (NOVA) as Datu Lamberto A. Delfin, an Obo Manobo tribal leader of Kidapawan City. Datu Lamberto A. Delfin vested 26 nominees from different regions of the country in the individual-adult category. The other awardee was Mr. Manuel P. Vallejo, Ed.D. of Region XI.

The NOVA is conferred to an individual or organization for outstanding volunteer service that has made a significant contribution to uplifting the lives of people and communities served.

Datu Delfin is the current Chairman of the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Conference for Peace and Development (MIPCPD) in Kidapawan City. He was nominated by Mr. Januario S. Espejo, Jr., Private Sector Representative to Regional Development Council (RDC) XII.

The national awardee is also known as the “peacekeeper for progress and prosperity” by the Manobo community and development workers. He is actively involved in the conduct of medical outreach activities, training/education against drug, senior citizen care, regular hosting at the Radio Ukay, and conduct of information/dissemination on the effects of violence.

Datu Delfin was one of the founders of the MINDAHILA created in 1976 and TRICAP in 1986 whose advocacy was for the recognition, protection and promotion of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples. MINDAHILA was cited for its contribution to the pacification and reconciliation of the highlanders in improving the quality of life of the cultural communities in Mindanao.

Being an active member of the Cotabato Tribal Consultative Council (CTCC), Datu Delfin was chosen to seat in the Scholarship Selection Panel of the Mount Apo Foundation Inc (MAFI) which granted the CTCC sixty (60) tertiary scholars per year. His membership with MAFI also caused the establishment of day care centers, hanging bridges and toilet facilities in every barangay with IP communities within the ten (10) kilometre radius of the highest mountain the Philippines which is the ancestral domain of the Obo-Manobo Tribe.

As a national awardee, Datu Delfin received a trophy in the awarding ceremony held on 10 December 2014 at the Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Hall, House of Representatives of the Philippines, Constitution Hills, Quezon City. With him during the awarding ceremony were his loved ones and the representative of NEDA XII, ARD Noel E. Quiratman.

Datu Delfin and other regional winners in the organization category, the UTODCO and United Transport Operators and Drivers Cooperative (UTODCO), Koronadal City, and the General Santos City-Small and Medium Enterprise Council, Inc. (GSC-SMEDCI), General Santos City also received recognition for volunteerism during the RDC XII Meeting on 3 December 2014 at FB Hotel, Koronadal City.

In the past, SOCCSKSARGEN Region produced five SOV national winners in the Individual-adult category that included Conchita Mistral, Bai Fatima Sinsuat, Bro. Andres Betita, Yusoph Mohammad, and Col. Celestino F. Desamito. (Lalaine M. Sajelan, FAD)