October 7, 2022

The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) is strengthening its advocacy for volunteerism as a driver of community development especially at this time that the country is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PNVSCA, in partnership with the United States Peace Corps-Philippines (USPC PH), brought a series of Volunteerism Mainstreaming Training in Baguio recently.

The training was attended by designated volunteerism focal persons of the local government units of Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Ilocos Sur, Bataan, Bataan, Pampanga, Pampanga, Benguet, and Baguio City.

 PNVSCA Deputy Executive Director Ela Victoria Sarmago said the Covide-19 pandemic showed once again the spirit of volunteerism is very much alive among the Filipinos.

In line with the goal of ensuring an enabling environment towards impactful volunteer engagement at the local levels, PNVSCA and the USPC decided to conduct a series of volunteerism mainstreaming trainings for LGUs.

“This training will just serve as a tool to support what the Filipinos are already doing which is the spirit of bayanihan and pakikipag-kapwa,” said USPC PH Director for Programming and Training Lyn Cheevers.

She lauded the Filipinos for their strong sense of volunteerism.

Cheevers said the USPC is ready to support partnerships geared towards ensuring that volunteerism becomes a development strategy and an important tool towards the recovery of communities from the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said the USPC continued with its volunteer work for the Philippines through online platforms at the height of the pandemic.

Cheevers said starting January 2023, the USPC will bring back their volunteers to work with the communities.  

To further promote volunteerism mainstreaming as a driver of development and for it as part of the daily life of people and communities in the country, the PNVSCA and USPC PH also led a media forum.

Baguio City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office OIC Antonette Anaban shared the volunteerism experiences of the city government. 

Saint Louis University Community Outreach and Extension Program Director Charmagne Mendoza and SLU medical mission volunteer Lance Choy also talked about their volunteerism programs and experiences centered on the Cordilleran culture of binnadang or cooperation or helping others in times of need or difficulties.

Other advocates who joined the panelists to promote volunteerism mainstreaming are USPC Program Manager for Children, Youth and Family Project Ambet Yangco, and Australian Volunteers Program Manager for the Philippines Myles Liquigan. – Carlito Dar