NEDA MIMAROPA and Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) conducted a regional forum on volunteerism on November 18 at City Garden Suites, Manila. The event aimed to gather inputs for the formulation of the national policy agenda for volunteerism.

The forum was attended by representatives from regional line agencies, local government units, academe, and non-government organizations, whose contributions to the national policy agenda will guide the PNVSCA and the voluntary sector in responding to the needs of vulnerable sectors in the country.

In her opening remarks, OIC Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling of NEDA MIMAROPA, emphasized that volunteerism plays a significant role in nation building and that volunteers, volunteer managers, and volunteer organizations should align their initiatives and strategies in the attainment of AmBisyon Natin 2040.

Ms. Severina B. Volante of PNVSCA briefed the participants on the concepts and benefits of volunteerism, good practices in volunteering, and the role of PNVSCA in the volunteer service program. Meanwhile, Mr. Emerson Kim J. Lineses of NEDA MIMAROPA presented the AmBisyon Natin 2040 and MIMAROPA Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022. He highlighted the chapters in the RDP where volunteerism can be integrated.

Founder and Chairperson of the Keep Hope Alive (KHA) Shernan F. Gamol, shared stories and experiences of KHA volunteers and best practices in volunteerism. the KHA was a national awardee of the Search for Outstanding Volunteers under the not-for-profit category in 2018.

The participants also signed the commitment banner to manifest their support for a proactive voluntary sector.

Visioning and action planning workshops were conducted, on the other hand, wherein participants where grouped according to sector. The workshops aimed to formulate the vision statement per sectoral group, identify issues and challenges in the implementation of volunteer programs, and solicit recommendations in the formulation of the policy agenda and action plan.

Ms. Corazon M. Macaraig, officer-in-charge of the PNVSCA, in her closing remarks, expressed her gratitude to the participants for providing valuable inputs to the formulation of the policy agenda for volunteerism.

The program concluded with the singing of the Philippine Volunteers March.