The Cagayan Valley Regional Development Council recognized 11 volunteers who were nominated to the Search for Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteers (SOCV) during its 118th regular business meeting on December 17, 2020.

Of the 11 nominated volunteers to the Search, Dr. Zsa-zsa May T. Meneses of Tuguegarao City was named the Most Outstanding Region 2 COVID-19 Volunteer. Dr. Meneses established several projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic such as the Libreng Gamot ni Stardoc, Hatid Ni Rider Project, free online medical consultations, Munting Learning (ML) Project, distribution of face masks, face shields, and alcohol, Little Care for the Agta Project, and distribution of tablets for Agta scholars for their online class.

Dr. Febe Marl G. Paat, a psychologist and guidance counselor from Tuguegarao City, and Mr. John Mauro Q. Manuel, a high school teacher from Solana, Cagayan, were adjudged as regional finalists. Some of the projects of Dr. Paat in response to the impacts of COVID-19 include the distribution of relief or food packs to frontliners, stranded students, and indigent families; organizing donation drives; and distribution of PPEs, face masks, and face shields. She also conducted telecounseling and webinars to students and professionals to address anxiety and depression brought about by the pandemic.

Mr. Manuel manifested his passion in serving the community through the distribution of packed lunch and snacks to frontliners in checkpoints in Solana, Cagayan and relief packs to families in the poorest barangays of Solana and Butbut, Kalinga; giving of P100-load assistance to high school and college students for their online class; and provision of computer sets, printers, and school supplies in different schools in Cagayan.

The RDC also gave recognition to the following volunteers whose efforts are equally significant in the COVID-19 response: Ms. Marilyn D. Alindayu (Reina Mercedes, Isabela), Mr. Vergel G. Angara (Cauayan City, Isabela), Mr. Bryan Arvin PJ A. Cabanos (Ugac Norte, Tuguegarao City), Mr. Jose A. Panhon Jr. (Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya), Mr. Jeremiah David B. Pichay (Ugac Sur, Tuguegarao City), Ms. Ofelia P. Ravelo (Sta. Ana, Cagayan), Mr. Amiel F. Reyes (Cataggaman Nuevo, Tuguegarao City), and Ms. Cristina G. Reyes (Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya).

The Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) is the centerpiece activity of the National Volunteer Month (NVM) which is observed every December pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 55, s. 1998. This year, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) has refocused the SOV to recognize individual volunteers who have dedicated their efforts to help the government in the fight against COVID-19.### Joel T. Unciano\NEDA-PMED