The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) and National Economic and Development Authority, Region VI conducted the Forum on Volunteerism in Western Visayas on October 16, 2018 at the Days Hotel, Iloilo City.

A total of 50 participants from regional line agencies, local government units, academe, non-government organizations and corporation institutions attended the forum.

Engr. Gilberto A. Altura, OIC-Assistant Regional Director of NEDA-VI, welcomed the participants to the forum. He highlighted the important aspects of being a volunteer and their significant roles towards realizing the vision and aspirations of the Filipino people. He also emphasized that the Forum is an important NEDA activity as PNVSCA is under the umbrella of the NEDA family.

Videos were presented during the forum to review with the participants basic information on AmBisyon Natin 2040 and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.  OIC-ARD Altura discussed the salient points of AmBisyon Natin 2040, the PDP, the Western Visayas Regional Development Plan and the various development challenges in the region. He pointed out the aspects of the development plan where the engagement of volunteers will be most needed.

PNVSCA Senior Volunteer Service Officer Kenneth C. Siruelo presented the objectives of the forum while Chief Volunteer Service Officer Corazon M. Macaraig discussed Volunteerism for Development.

To inspire the participants, 2015 National Outstanding Volunteer Awardee Mr. Benfred Tacuyan shared his story as a community leader and organizer who is instrumental in educating and uplifting the lives of the urban poor, especially in relocation areas, as well as, in times of calamities.

The Visioning and Action Planning workshops were conducted by the technical staffs of NEDA-VI and PNVSCA. The participants were divided into four groups composed of RLAs, LGUs, Academe and NGOs/Corporate and the workshop outputs were presented in the plenary.

Another highlight of the forum was the Signing of the Pledge to support Volunteerism by the participants where they committed to take an active part in advocating and promoting the volunteerism spirit. The synthesis of workshop discussions and outputs were presented by Ms. August Melody Andong, EDS-II of NEDA-VI.

PNVSCA Executive Director Joselito C. De Vera discussed the next steps and gave the closing message where he reiterated the role of volunteers in nation-building. The forum concluded with the community singing of the Philippine Volunteers March. (DRD)