The Regional Search Committee (RSC) XI endorsed Norman B. Baloro (Individual category) and the Filipino-Chinese Firefighters of Davao, Inc.  (Organization category) as Davao Region’s 2021 SOCV most outstanding volunteers in the regional awarding ceremony during the 4th Quarter meeting of the Regional Development Council XI on December 7, 2021.  The two regional awardees will also receive national recognition from the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency on December 16, 2021 through Zoom platform and FaceBook live.

Norman B. Baloro was awarded as the Most Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteer in Davao Region for his significant volunteerism activities during the pandemic time from October 2020 up to September 2021 and even the pre-pandemic period.  Baloro, a government employee, applied his profession and skills in rendering social action work in addressing the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.  With his academic and professional expertise, Baloro also organized and coordinated donation drive; distributed food packs and grocery items to the frontliners; gave gift checks to his subordinates for noche buena; volunteered to every distribution of the cash assistance of work for Davao, Eskwela Davao, and the continuous giving of the gadgets for the Student Siblings’ Tablet Sharing Project, among others. His volunteerism works are highly supportive of the national and regional development thrusts on community and social development.

The Davao Region’s most outstanding organization volunteer, the Filipino-Chinese Firefighters Davao, Inc. rendered significant volunteerism activities during the pandemic time from March 2020 up to present. The organization donated makeshift faceshields and Personal Protective Equipment for front liners; distributed food packs to families affected by COVID-19 lockdown; assisted vaccination program; and provided fire and rescue services during disaster and other emergencies.

Likewise, in recognition of their noble acts of volunteerism and invaluable service in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 17 other Davao Region qualifiers to the 2021 SOCV were also recognized during the regional awarding ceremony. The awardees under the individual category were the following: Jacqueline B. de Asis of Tagum City, Davao del Norte Province; John Paul R. Pacyao of Malita, Davao Occidental Province; Elinor B. Marcelino of Talomo, Davao City; Josephine P. Robertson  of Brgy. 8-A, Davao City;  Paul Ryan P. Llanes of Bajada, Davao City; Ricardo  C. Tupaz, Jr. of Brgy. 7-A, Davao City;  Ruel D. Dequiña of New Corella, Davao del Norte Province; Remedios C. Patana also of New Corella, Davao del Norte Province; Reysen  O. Monserate of Digos City, Davao del Sur Province; Loreta T. Amante of Panabo City, Davao del Norte Province; Krentz E. Orbigo of Brgy 7-A, Davao City; Demi John S. De Vila of Brgy. 1-A Bolton, Davao City; and Ronniel  M. Jamero of Brgy. 5-A Poblacion, Davao City.

For the organization category, the awardees were the Food Processing Innovation Center – Davao of Matina, Davao City; USeP DRRM (COVID-19 Task Force) of Obrero, Davao City;  Philippine Red Cross of Digos City; and Rural Improvement Club Federation of Panabo City.

The Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) is a platform for recognizing the exemplary performance and dedication of Filipino volunteers and their contribution to development and nation-building. This year’s search is open for individuals and organizations who have volunteered and made significant contributions in addressing the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is conducted annually by the PNVSCA, with the assistance of the Regional Development Councils and the NEDA Regional Offices.

The RSC XI is composed of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) XI, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) XI, Civil Service Commission (CSC) XI and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) XI.

-Janice May A. Cerezo, NEDA XI