Volunteerism, as embodied in the Central Luzon Regional Development Plan, is a cross-cutting strategy in delivering basic social services and promoting human development. The Regional Development Council (RDC) III initiated the conduct of regional forum on volunteerism on 15 August 2019 at the NEDA Regional Office 3 to have a better understanding of the status of volunteerism in the country; appreciate the value of volunteerism in empowering communities and transforming governance; and, advocate for more volunteer engagements towards realization of Ambisyon Natin 2040. Invited resource speakers were Ms. Severina Volante of PNVSCA, Mr. Robert Tiangco and Mr. James Co, both past regional awardees of PNVSCA’s Search for Outstanding Volunteers.

The activity was also timely for the selection of the new set of RDC III Private Sector Representatives (PSRs) since member PSRs, once elected, become a volunteer rendering service without any compensation. For the 16th RDC III (2019-2022), the Council will have 18 PSRs where 11 will be elected as sectoral PSRs while the seven will be endorsed by the Provincial Development Councils as geographic PSRs.

A total of 23 private sector organizations (PSOs) and their respective nominees were evaluated for the election of the PSRs to the RDC. The winning candidates proclaimed by the COMELEC San Fernando City were as follows:

For Social Sector, Mr. Severino Santos – Bahay at Yaman ni San Martin de Porres Inc.; Ms. Elena Tesoro –  Philippine Association of Social Workers Inc. Pampanga Chapter; Mr. Reynato Arimbuyutan – Central Luzon Association of Higher Education Institutions; and, Ms. Anecita Iran – Pambansang Kilusan ng Paggawa/TUCP.

For Economic Sector, Ms. Gregoria Simbulan – Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr. Hilarion Patawaran – Greater Clark Visitors Bureau; and, Ms. Magdalena Bondoc – Philippine Federation of Credit Cooperatives-Central Luzon.

For Infrastructure Sector, Mr. Renato Romero – Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.; and, Dr. Francisco Villanueva, Jr. – Metro Angeles Chamber of commerce and Industry, Inc.

For Development Administration, Mr. Casiano Supan – Tarlac Media Association Inc.; and, Mr. Romel Vallejo – Empowering Leaders for Transformation Inc.

Volunteers, like the PSRs, are considered partners in serving communities and promoting nation-building to realize Ambisyon Natin 2040. Their volunteer works play a vital role in enhancing citizen engagement in government affairs, decision-making processes, financial management and programs/projects development.