City of Koronadal, South Cotabato – The Regional Search Committee (RSC) XII Technical Working Group conducted validation visits for the 2017 Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) nominees in SOCCSKSARGEN Region on August 1-9, 2017.

Regional Director Arturo G. Valero of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) XII chairs the SOV-RSC XII with the following member agencies and private sector representatives (PSRs):  Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Mr. Carlito Y. Uy, Mr. Jose Ronnie Mondragon and Ms. Eulit  F. Torres.

The TWG members who joined the validation visits to the seven (7) nominees in the region were as follow:  Dr. Jonaib Usman (CHED), Ms Mikaela Rae Ladera (DILG), Ms. Shahana Joy Duerme (PIA), Mr. George Lemuel Sarao (TESDA), and the rest were from NEDA XII.

The seven (7) nominees were:

  1. Fulung Dan B. Alim of General Santos City, is a Person with Disability (PWD) and a member of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs). He established the PWD General Santos City Multi Purpose Cooperative and a Panagdait Awardee on his contribution as IP partner in peace effort. For him, “Do Not Focus On Disability, But On The Ability”.
  2. Bautista C. Agbay of Maitum, Sarangani is a recipient of DSWD’s 2016 Bayani Ka! Award. He spearheaded the construction of Mabay Housing Project under Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHI-CIDSS).
  3. Association of South Cotabato Earth Savers (ASCES) is a non-profit organization based in Tampakan, South Cotabato who acts as environmental vanguards. Their activities led to the apprehension of 162,052.03 board feet of illegally cut lumbers and implementation of reforestation projects along the Roxas Mountain Range.
  4. Junelia E. Domel of Tantangan, South Cotabato is a consistent Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar Regional Awardee and placed 5th at the national level who is keen in promoting quality health and nutrition in her barangay and instrumental in strengthening families and couples relationship.
  5. Regaldo P. Bantilan of Tboli, South Cotabato initiated the unification of interfaith leaders in Tboli to help maintain peace and order, and promote moral recovery program in the community. His motto in life is “Born to lead, called to serve”.
  6. Norma G. Adamat of Kidapawan City is a retired teacher and a girl scout troop leader. She led the organization of the largest contingent of cha cha cha in Kidapawan City in 2016 defeating India as holder of the Guinness Book of World Record.
  7. Jowahdi M. Salik of Cotabato City helps Muslim communities in terms of environmental concerns and on peace building in conflict affected schools in Maguindanao.

The SOV-RSC XII proclaimed the 7 nominees as Regional Winners for SOV 2017 during its meeting on August 24, 2017 in Koronadal City, in recognition of their exemplary contribution and dedicated service, and enduring commitment to help and inspire others through their volunteer works.  The Plaque of Recognition as regional winners shall be awarded during the 59th Regional Development Council (RDC) XII regular meeting on September 19, 2017 at Villa Amor Hotel, Koronadal City.

Presidential Proclamation No. 55, Series of 1998 mandates the celebration of National Volunteer Month in December of every year which is being spearheaded by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA). The celebration is highlighted by the awarding of national winners for SOV 2017. (Evie Arabis Cabulanan/DRD, NEDA XII)