BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council recognized the region’s three most outstanding Covid-19 volunteers during the 4th quarter RDC meeting on December 15, 2020, namely: Clemencia Basilio Lapas, Elmer Macalingay and Rizavel Addawe.  The Cordillera Regional Search Committee endorsed Ms. Lapas as CAR’s nominee for the Philippine National Volunteer Services Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) nationwide search for outstanding Covid-19 volunteers.

Clemencia Basilio Lapas, a farmer from La Trinidad, organized vegetable donation drives among her fellow farmers and vegetable suppliers. At her own expense, she transported and distributed these donated vegetables for free to countless households in four provinces, covering sixteen municipalities and two cities not only in Cordillera but also the Ilocos Region at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Elmer Macalingay, owner of the health-focused chain of food establishments, “Restoreant”, provided free healthy meals daily to front-line volunteers in Baguio and Benguet at the height of the pandemic when businesses were struggling or even closing. He donated packed lunches to DSWD-CAR personnel during its COVID-19 emergency response from April to May 2020 with a monetized value of Php 153,330.00. He did these while keeping his employees and avoiding workforce contraction. Mr. Macalingay was conferred by DSWD with a Certificate of Appreciation during the Iyaman: A tribute to DSWD Volunteers and Donors held at the Baguio Convention Center on October 9, 2020.

Mathematics Professor Rizavel Corsino Addawe of UP Baguio initiated and led a research team that analyzed COVID-19 data in Baguio City. She is instrumental in the identification of the quarantine status of the city by providing the doubling time and time-varying reproduction number (Rt) of Covid-19 cases in Baguio City. Her team’s Covid-19 data analysis and public presentations formed the basis of appropriate policies of the city’s top officials to stem the tide of COVID-19 transmission in the city. Addawe also mentors and counsels students suffering from depression and encourages them to join her research team. Additionally, she is a volunteer consultant at the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute.

An honorable mention was given to Marah Joy Nanglegan, Director of Extension Services of Ifugao State University, who initiated the school-based “Project Baddangan” and “Muntanom ta Waday Kanon” under the IFSU Emergency Response Program Against Covid-19. The group was able to raise cash donations of P 400,000 and relief goods valued at P 200,000 distributed to over 15,000 beneficiaries in Ifugao.  Nanglegan also contributed in training women volunteers on food processing and soap-making to raise P 50,000 as capital for farmers and adopters for soap business.  Nanglegan further took part in a church-based donation drive generating P 300,000 benefitting church workers.

The Regional Search Committee also sent out certificates of appreciation to the 63 other regional volunteer nominees from DSWD, DPWH, National Youth Commission, DENR, EMB, NCIP, BSU, KSU, DepEd, the local governments of Baguio and Itogon, barangay neighborhood watchers, and civil society organizations such as Kabalikat, Civicom, Take Action, Ifugao Helping Hands, Deltans, and Youth for a United World during its search for most outstanding Covid-19 volunteers.