In line with the celebration of the 2022 National Volunteers Month (NVM), the NEDA Regional Office MIMAROPA conducted the MIMAROPA Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) Regional Awarding Ceremony on  November 29 through  Zoom video conference and Facebook live. This year’s NVM theme is “Volunteer Now: Spark Hope, Create Solutions and Respond to Pandemic Challenges.”

In his opening remarks, Regional Director (RD) Agustin C. Mendoza of the NEDA Regional Office (NRO)  MIMAROPA expressed his gratitude to the 2022 SOV Regional Search Committee (RSC) members for participating in the search process and congratulated the nominees and awardees for their selfless volunteer works that bring about positive effects to communities and contribute to regional development.

​​​​​​​The SOV RSC, chaired by the NRO  MIMAROPA, received three nominees under individual-youth category, five in individual-adult category, and two from non-profit organization category after the call for nominations ended in September. The search committee selected one outstanding volunteer for each category.​​​​​​​

RD Karl Ceasar R. Rimando of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) MIMAROPA presented the nominees and announced the SOV awardees.

Ms. Carmela O. Bautista and Ms. Abigail A. Pabro, the individual-youth awardee and individual-adult awardee, respectively, expressed their heartful thanks and shared some of their experiences in their volunteer work.

“Even though what we do is extremely hard, we will continue to dream and we will continue to fight,” Bautista said.

​​​​​​​“I wish to shift the eye to WE, as I didn’t win, but WE won. In reality, there is no singularity in volunteerism, it’s always plural,” Pabro added.

The Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services, Inc. was awarded as the outstanding volunteer under the non-profit organization category. Its president, Mr. Dwayne Harris, accepted the award. He shared that the difficulties of reaching the remote areas in the mountains can be overcome whenever they draw strength from God to help these communities. ​​​​​​​

Meanwhile, Ms. Ramonesa R. Ricardo, an independent management consultant, shared her volunteering experiences and insights on the role of volunteer work in community-building and organizing.

Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency or PNVSCA congratulated  the awardees and nominees through a video message.

In his closing remarks, Assistant RD Apollo Edwin S. Pagano thanked Ms. Ricardo for sharing inspiring stories and insights on volunteerism. “Let us move, let us give, let us help, and let us volunteer, and let us be volunteers! And in so doing, spark hope, create solutions, and respond to the many challenges of life. We are, after all, the fruit of one tree,” said Pagano.