I. Rationale

Through the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) which started in 2001, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) has been recognizing the exemplary individuals and organizations which have significantly contributed to the country’s development goals and objectives through volunteering.

The SOV is conducted in partnership with the Regional Search Committees (RSC) chaired by the NEDA Regional Offices (NROs), the Department of the Interior and Local Government – National Capital Region (DILG-NCR) for the National Capital Region (NCR) and the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

With the implementation of the Community Quarantine beginning March 2020 as one of the precautionary measures of the government to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conduct of field work and mass gatherings have been strictly prohibited. These activities are crucial part of the Search validation and selection process; hence, the conduct of regular SOV 2020 was cancelled last year.

But despite the restrictions and risks brought by the health crisis, volunteerism still thrives, as individuals and organizations mobilize resources and render assistance to address the needs of patients, frontliners, and other individuals and communities adversely affected by the pandemic. PNVSCA, NROs, and BARMM-BPDA have also been collaboratively implementing the “Be a Volunteer Platform”, to encourage the general public to become partners of the government in its COVID-19 response efforts. Non-profit organizations and corporations have also extended invaluable assistance and utilized volunteerism as a strategy in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

As a tribute to the COVID-19 donors and volunteers and in lieu of the 2020 SOV, the Search for Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteers (SOCV) was launched last year. This recognition project was implemented in collaboration with the NROs, DILG-NCR, and BPDA.

The RSCs are in charge of the advocacy, receipt, validation and documentation of nominees in their region. Regional nominees are endorsed to the SOV National Selection Committee, which in turn conduct further validation and deliberation to select the national awardees subject to confirmation by the National Volunteer Month – Steering Committee (NVM-SC). The Search concludes with an Awarding Ceremony which also serves as the yearly centerpiece event in the celebration of the National Volunteer Month (NVM) every December. In addition, an appreciation ceremony is spearheaded by each of the SOV-RSCs in cooperation with their Regional Development Councils (RDC) as applicable.

II. Objectives

Towards the vision of a society where volunteerism is a way of life of everyone, this initiative aims to:

      1. Recognize the contributions of individual and group volunteers (including organizations) to the COVID-19 response;
      2. Promote the experiences and good practices of these volunteers in responding to a pandemic; and
      3. Encourage the general public to continuously engage in volunteer work even in non-emergency/disaster situations.

III. Duration of Volunteer Service

The period covered for volunteer work/services shall be from October 2020 up to September 2021.

IV. Eligibility/Qualifications/Criteria for Recognition

    1. Individuals

      • Has rendered at least 20 hours of volunteer services in response to COVID-19 for the period of October 2020 to September 2021;
      • Has served/assisted at least 20 individual beneficiaries; and
      • Volunteer work may be carried out solely by the nominated volunteer or in partnership with groups, companies and/or organizations.
    2.  Organizations
      • Has rendered at least 20 hours of volunteer services in response to COVID-19 for the period of October 2020 to September 2021; volunteer hours will be computed as the total number of hours rendered by the company (per project/activity) and not per volunteer mobilized;
      • Has mobilized at least 20 individual volunteers in carrying out their volunteer projects/activities;
      • Has served/assisted at least 20 individual beneficiaries; and
      • Volunteer work may be carried out solely by the nominated organization or in partnership with groups, companies and/or other organizations

V. Recognition Ceremonies/Activities

The Search will have two levels of recognition: regional and national.

Regional Recognition

  • An online ceremony for the recognition of regional recipients will be spearheaded by NEDA-CAR.
  • Each of the eligible volunteers will be given a Certificate of Appreciation. On the other hand, a plaque of recognition will be provided to the Most Outstanding Volunteer (individual and organization) and they will be endorsed for recognition on a national level.

National Recognition

An online ceremony will be conducted in December to formally present the recipients of the national award. Each awardee will be given a plaque of recognition and a simple token. (All awardees of the Most Outstanding Volunteer per region will be invited to attend the said event.

VI. Nomination Forms


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