QUEZON CITY – The Civil Service Commission (CSC) is encouraging volunteerism in the public sector as the “National Volunteers Month” is fast approaching.
CSC Chairperson Karlo Alexei B. Nograles is the 15th honorary chairperson of this year’s “National Volunteers Month,” the celebration of which, is held in December.
During a press conference at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) hosted by PIA Director General Undersecretary Jose A. Torres, Jr. on Friday, August 4, Nograles said they are promoting the first ever awarding of the “Media Bayanihan Awards” which is an innovation that seeks to recognize outstanding media practitioners and to also get media involved in volunteerism. Purely voluntary, mainstream the act of volunteerism in our society at nararapat lamang na bigyan ng recognition ang mga volunteer.”
“Each act of volunteerism no matter how small has a ripple effect on our everyday lives. Volunteers are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly and their dedication knows no bounds,” he added.
“Ito (Bolunterismo) ang magandang kaugalian na ating itinuturo sa ating kabataan na minana pa natin sa ating mga ninuno,” Nograles stressed.
The CSC chief cited Republic Act No. 9418, otherwise known as the “Volunteer Act of 2007”, which provides the policy and institutional framework for integrating and harmonizing the various volunteering efforts in the country.
“Our part in the CSC is to encourage volunteerism in the public sector sa ating mga manggagawa sa gobyerno, the state colleges and universities, the academe, the students, the PASCU (Philippine Association of State Colleges and Universities) all over the country, if not in all provinces,” he said.
On House Bill No. 4927, or the proposed Act providing for free professional examinations to qualified indigent Filipinos, Nograles said that they promptly reply when their opinion is sought on a pending bill noting that, “Congress has been passing laws that benefit the general welfare and well-being of indigent Filipinos.”
The proposed bill aims to provide such benefit to graduates from poor families “in order to level the playing field amongst all future professional examination takers”.
Likewise, Nograles said that the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) is currently studying the possibility of granting a salary increase to government employees corresponding to the salary grade of each employee.
Meantime, qualified for the “Bayanihan Media Awards” are those media works which were published or released from August 2022 to July 2023. The deadline for submission of entries will be on Sept. 30, 2023 and the awarding ceremonies will be on Dec. 12, 2023.
The categories are Best volunteerism report in print, Best volunteerism report in television, Best volunteerism report in radio, and Best volunteerism report in online media. Both individual award and print organization will be given.
Online media organization can be nominated in both print and online media categories as long as they feature different set of content or materials in both channels.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) executive director Donald James D. Gawe said “The award has no cash prize as it is in the spirit of volunteerism. Walang bayad at ginagawang kusa. Inasmush as we would like to provide incentives to the volunteers. Ito ay parang token of gratitude. Pagbibigay ng incentive sa volunteers.”
“We are now in the process of reviewing the CSC circular encouraging public to engage in volunteerism. Mayroon naman pong sweldo ang government employees. Binubuhay natin ang spirit ng volunteerism sa lahat ng mamamayan at ang gobyerno ang dapat maging ehemplo. We are encouraging more government employees to volunteer themselves,” Gawe added.
“We are now coordinating with all the local government units to designate their own respective focal volunteer person,” he stressed.
For his part, Dr. Jan Rich A. Guira, representing the Don Mariano Marcos State University, said that “kami ay nakasama sa pag-craft ng mechanics ng first-ever ‘Bayanihan Media Awards’.”
“Kuhang-kuha na mayroon tayong state university o state college sa lahat ng probinsya,” Guira added.
“We did not say no to participate in the crafting of the mechanics/guidelines for the first-ever ‘Bayanihan Media Awards,” he stressed
On the other hand, Prof. Marwin M. Dela Cruz, vice president for NCR of PASCU and president of Philippine State College of Aeronautics, said that the PASCU has 114,000 employees and more than one million students across the country.
“The presence of state university or state college is almost in every province in the country,” Dela Cruz added.
“Napakalaking bentahe na makita ng state colleges at state universities sa media ang spirit of volunteerism,” he said.
“Makakaasa po ang PIA at kasamahan sa media na tutulungan silang mapalaganap ang ispiritu ng bolunterismo,” he added. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.