The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) in collaboration with NEDA Region 5 conducted a multi-sectoral forum on volunteerism last October 5 at RDC Hall, NEDA Region 5. Legazpi City.
The activity with a theme “Forum on Volunteerism: A Vision for the Future” was conducted to create awareness and appreciation on the value of volunteerism; create awareness on the role of the PNVSCA; and to engage multi-stakeholders in the development of a policy agenda and action plan on volunteerism.
Thirty-five participants from the local government units, private companies and government owned and controlled corporations, regional line agencies (RLAs), private sector representatives, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, and the academe attended the forum.
NEDA Region 5 Regional Director Agnes M. Espinas-Tolentino in her welcome message emphasized the crucial role of citizens’ participation in the development process and encouraged the participants to take active role in the attainment of the goals of the regional development plan.
Ms. Joie Y. Cultivo of the National Economic and Development Authority, presented the Ambisyon Natin 2040, the Philippine/ Regional Development Plan 2017- 2022 and the Opportunities for Volunteerism while Ms. Corazon M. Macaraig of the PNVSCA discussed the role of volunteerism in the development, PNVSCA’s programs and services, volunteers for development communication and advocacy; and the benefits of volunteerism to individual, institution, community, and society.
The most common visions identified by the participants were: a motivated, committed, innovative, “systematic” or organized volunteer sector converging with other development partners; enabled and can effect change in people’s lives; empowered or transformed communities towards sustainable development; and a “matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay para sa lahat”. The policies recommended were: issuance of a policy statements promoting volunteerism at the barangay level; review tax rules by strengthening tax incentives to corporations involved in volunteer works and tax exemptions to importation of equipment for volunteer work; establish clearinghouse or mechanism for coordinating volunteering activities at the regional level; build a regional network of volunteers; develop/build/maintain database or information system for volunteers and volunteer organizations and conduct regular forum, information campaign and advocacy on volunteerism.
In his closing message, PNVSCA Executive Director Joselito C. De Vera expressed his gratitude for the active participation of the volunteers in the forum and emphasized that the activity served as a platform to learn about the region’s volunteering initiatives. He also expressed the need to establish a volunteer clearing house or mechanism to synchronize the volunteering activities at the regional level. He likewise thanked the NEDA Region 5 staff for extending its support in the conduct of the forum.
The commitment banner expressing support to the volunteering initiatives was also signed by the participants.
MTB Añonuevo – DRD NEDA 5