The City Government of Valenzuela through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), Local Economic Development and Investment Promotions Office (LEDIPO), and Valenzuela City Development Office (VCDO) in cooperation with Voluntary Service Overseas — Philippines (VSOP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), and Education Development Center (EDC) launch the Volunteering Programme Development and Management at Valenzuela City Town Hall, September 21.

Volunteering Programme Development and Management serves as a support mechanism to Opportunity 2.0 youth program. It aims to raise awareness and support the mainstreaming of volunteerism across all societal development sectors. Through the program, different learning hubs in the government and private sectors shall be established to provide more opportunities for the youths to improve their employability skills and gain more knowledge and insights into entrepreneurial opportunities.

With more than three million youths in the Philippines who are not in school and have not graduated senior high school or college education in the country, the national government faces a challenge of addressing the problem of having many Out of School Youths (OSY) who lack skills to be in demand in the labor world.

Opportunity 2.0 is one of the pioneer programmes of USAID and EDC in the country which operates with different Philippine government agencies and units to assist the Out of School Youths (OSY) of the country in addressing several barriers in learning and gaining technical and intellectual skills to achieve professional success in their lives. Opportunity 2.0 supports 190 thousand youths with quality education and skills, provides 74 thousand youths with opportunities to advance their education careers and gain new and better employment, supports more than 2,000 teachers and instructors in improving their skills, and networks with at least 2,200 employers in 15 cities around the country.

NGO Volunteers
Non Government Organization Volunteers: USAID, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSOP) in coordination with the City Government of Valenzuela through Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and Local Economic Development and Investment Promotions Office (LEDIPO) launch the Volunteering Programme Development and Management (VPDM), a support program for the “Opportunity 2.0” program which is focused on addressing the needs of Out of School Youths (OSY) September 21, 2022 at the Valenzuela City Town Center. This is part of Valenzuela City’s strong efforts to lower the number of OSY in the city, especially those who were affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Present during the event are members of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), students, and other organizations who are the primary drivers of volunteerism in the city.

During the event, PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James Gawe stated that volunteerism is a developmental strategy that affects the sustainability of the community. He added that challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic increased the number of Out of School Youths (OSY) in the country. Director Gawe also emphasized the importance of the private sector and civil society organizations in promoting volunteerism in the community.

Vice Mayor Lorie Natividad- Borja during her inspirational message said “Maswerte tayo dito sa Valenzuela dahil mayaman tayo sa bayanihan, marami tayong programang fueled by volunteerism like the central kitchen and Reading Camp. Patunay lamang po ito na napaka laking bagay ng mga volunteer sa pagkakaroon ng mga matatagumpay na programa at sana ay maging structured na tayo.” [We are very lucky here in Valenzuela because we are very rich with bayanihan, we have a lot of programs that are fueled by volunteerism like the Central Kitchen and Reading Camp. These are proofs that volunteerism is really a big thing in having successful programs and I hope we become structured in the future.]

VSOP Project Manager Ms. Jocelyn Uy shared the history of volunteerism among people which dated long time ago during the World War II wherein several people volunteered to become aids for wounded soldiers, and to how volunteerism is now a standard in achieving several milestones in different sectors.

Volunteerism Signing
Signing: Volunteers sign to the commitment board as their pledge to raise awareness and support to the sense of volunteerism during the launch of Volunteering Programme Development and Management (VPDM), September 21, 2022 at Valenzuela City Town Center. The program also aims to establish different learning hubs in the government and private sectors to provide more opportunities for the youths to improve their employability skills and gain more knowledge and insights into entrepreneurial opportunities.

Valenzuela City, being known as the City of Volunteers has always been a pioneer in initiating programs that promotes volunteerism in the city. One of them is the Red Cross 143 where 3,400 citizens volunteer to serve during times of crisis, another is the Bantay-Sunog and Bantay-Bayan volunteers who serves as force multipliers during events that demands a big amount of man-power. Education 360 Degrees Investment Program is an award-winning initiative of the city that is driven by volunteerism with over 1,516 parents, community leaders, and student volunteers. The city is mostly proud of because these volunteers are the ones who operates the central kitchen and the teaching camp among others. This program is very much in line with the launch of the Volunteering Programme Development and Management because they both pursue a common goal of achieving success through volunteerism.

Volunteerism commitment signing was also held during the event wherein distinguished guests signed as a pledge of commitment to support volunteerism in the community.

Also present during the event were representatives from different private sectors like Best Tank Corp., and Salem Philippines, socio-economic organizations like Rotary Club of Valenzuela and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and academic institutions like Valenzuela Polytechnic College and Our Lady of Fatima University.

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