The Search for Outstanding Volunteers Regional Search Committee headed by the NEDA Region VI, together with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordination Agency (PNVSCA), awarded the regional winners in the 2019 Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) during the 4th Quarter Meeting of the Regional Development Council on November 22, 2019 at The Venue, San Jose, Antique.

Antique Governor and RDC-VI Chairperson Rhodora J. Cadiao together with NEDA-VI Regional Director and RDC-VI Vice Chairperson Ro-Ann A. Bacal conferred plaques of recognition to three individuals and three organizations for their exemplary performance and achievements in empowering communities and promoting volunteerism as a way of life, thus contributing to nation-building. The awardees include Henedina N. Gregorius, Pablito C. Gonzales, and Lourdes Y. Hofileña for the Individual – Adult Category and the Order of Asclepius, World Vision Development Foundation, Inc., and Camp Goducate Phils., Inc. for the Organization – Non-Profit Category.

Gregorius spearheads the conduct of faith and spirituality-based programs and advocacies, health missions, and after-care for Persons Deprived of Liberty in Iloilo while Gonzales assists indigenous peoples in Negros Occidental to become partners in nation-building. On the other hand, Hofileña supports the development of Shermanhill Elementary School in the remote Purok Silica, Brgy. Baviera, Sagay City, Negros Occidental to eradicate poverty through quality education in the rural areas.

Meanwhile, the Order of Asclepius, a student organization based at the West Visayas State University-College of Medicine in Iloilo City, conducts medical missions and community health programs and advocacies while the World Vision Development Foundation, Inc, an international non-profit organization with local chapters in Western Visayas, promotes the spiritual formation and productivity enhancement of children. On the other hand, the Camp Goducate Phils., Inc, a non-government organization in Iloilo, provides trainings and community development programs and projects for the youth and various organizations to hone productive citizens and future Asian leaders in the 21st century.

The regional awardees have been endorsed by the RSC composed of NEDA-VI as chairperson, Philippine Information Agency, Civil Service Commission, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and a RDC Private Sector Representative to the National Selection Committee for consideration at the national level search. The national winners will be awarded during the celebration of the National Volunteer Month 2019 in Manila.

The Search for Outstanding Volunteers is an annual activity of PNVSCA, together with the National Volunteer Month Steering Committee and the SOV-RSCs in line with the celebration of the National Volunteer Month every December. It aims to promote volunteerism as a tool for development by virtue of Republic Act No. 9418 or the Volunteer Act of 2007. Since 2001, more than 147 volunteers and volunteer organizations across various sectors in the country have been recognized through the search, five of which comes from Western Visayas (rgc/drd).