BAGUIO CITY –  Last year, Cordillera Administrative Region Regional Search Committee nominated five outstanding volunteers to the 2019 National Search for Outstanding Volunteers. Of the five nominees, the La Trinidad Local Government Unit was chosen and awarded for its accreditation and support of the La Trinidad Accredited Community Disaster Volunteers (LT-ACDV). The local government of La Trinidad is one of ten top national awardees and one of three local government units awarded at the national level.

The Regional Development Council granted a certificate of appreciation to each of the other four nominees to the 2019 National Search for Outstanding Volunteers during the RDC 2019 Performance Review and 2020 Planning Workshop on February 21. The nominated volunteers are Dr. Leonora Benedito, The Cordillera Binnadangan Connection (TCC), Bontoc Women’s Brigade, and the SLU Nursing and Health Development Program (NHDP).

A longtime volunteer, OB-Gynecologist Dr. Leonora Benedito provides health services with the Saint Louis University Medical Outreach Missions Foundation, Inc. (MOMFI). She pioneered in providing free PAP smears for cervical cancer detection in remote areas of Abra, Cagayan, Apayao, and Ifugao.

This is the second time that The Cordillera Binnadangan Connection (TCC) was nominated as an outstanding volunteer organization. TCC has expanded to providing scholarships, medical missions, and clean-up drives, among others, while promoting a sense of Cordillera identity through music in a growing international network which sees its own beneficiaries becoming volunteers themselves.

The Bontoc Women Brigade (BWB) is a volunteer organization composed of female retirees in Bontoc, Mountain Province. BWB is recognized by Local Government Units and the PNP as a trustworthy group that ensures safety and strengthen the moral fiber of the community. The members can be seen both during the day combing computer shops for truant children and at night helping the drunk find their way home.

The Saint Louis University (SLU) Nursing and Health Development Program (NHDP) provides free health services to remote villages of the Cordillera, capacitating them to have better access to quality health through research and government linkages.

The national awardee, La Trinidad Accredited Community Disaster Volunteers through the La Trinidad Local Government Unit, provides first-response services during times of disaster. ACDV raises the level of disaster risk reduction and management in La Trinidad by capacitating communities through DRRM trainings and by maintaining a one-responder-per-household system.

The Search for Outstanding Volunteers is an annual event of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) that begins every July. The most outstanding volunteers are announced every December, the Volunteer Month. National awardees from the Cordillera include Engr. Andres Ngao-i in 2016, Dr. Joanne Balderas in 2018, and the La Trinidad Local Government Unit in 2019.