Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Stephanie F. Christiansen of the NEDA Regional Office Cordillera (NRO-CAR) emphasized inclusivity and participatory approach in the planning process during the capacity development on mainstreaming volunteerism in local policies and development plans on October 3 – 7, 2022 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.   

She shared that inclusive development planning, which reflects leaving no one behind, will lead to the attainment of the collective vision of every Filipino of having a strongly-rooted, comfortable, and secure life contained in the Ambisyon 2040.

ARD Christiansen calls for the need to engage volunteers as early in the plan preparation because they go beyond the traditional government perspective. She added that they are critical and important partners in the implementation and monitoring of the plans because they hold the wellbeing of communities and the nation in their hearts.

Moreover, the 3Ks of volunteerism which are – kusa, kapwa at kapalit ay di hangad (voluntary, fellow, and altruism) were inculcated in the hearts of the participants during the activity.

Ms. Fatima Ross Perez of NRO Ilocos Region presented the possible funding sources for volunteer programs and projects. Project Manager Jocelyn Uy of the Voluntary Service Overseas discussed partnership management and shared her experiences in international volunteerism.

Executive Dir. Donald James Gawe of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) challenged the participants to be champions of volunteerism and ensure that volunteerism is truly and meaningfully mainstreamed in their local policies and plans.

The activity capacitated participants from Regions 1, 2 and CAR in integrating volunteerism in their development plans and establishing volunteer programs in their offices.  This was spearheaded by the PNVSCA, an attached agency of the NEDA, that leads the nationwide coordination of policies and programs on volunteerism.