Three out of the five National Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) awards were given to Region 2 nominees, besting 59 finalists from all over the country. The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) revealed this year’s national awardees in an awarding ceremony in Quezon City on December 12, 2022.

Marlon Catriz Balunsat, a 23-year-old agri-preneur from Tuao, Cagayan, bagged the Outstanding Volunteer Award in the Individual-Youth category. He advocated for youth involvement in agriculture and in policy-making activities of the sector. He initiated livelihood training for the youth, returning Overseas Filipino Workers, and locals. One of his greatest achievements was helping Manung Perry, a differently-abled person, to start his mushroom production business.

Mr. Delivery PH, a local delivery service provider based in Cauayan City, brought home the Outstanding Volunteer Award in the Organization-Corporate category. Since its establishment in 2019, the courier service provider has adopted a platform of volunteerism in the community. It spearheaded the We Deliver Help, We Deliver Love Project that gave a homeless man his own home. It initiated a feeding activity to 5,000 evacuees from typhoon-affected provinces dubbed as “Muling Pag-akap sa Kapwa: Di lang Aahon, Babangon!”.  Moreover, it provided food packs, medicines and vitamins and vegetables to more than 550 indigent families in Cauayan City and Aurora, Isabela. Also, Mr. Delivery PH provides Scholarship Grants to its riders, four of which have already finished college education.

The Liga ng mga Barangay of Cauayan City garnered the Special Award for the Local Government Unit category. It started its volunteerism program through the annual bloodletting project dubbed as “Dugong Alay, Dugtong Buhay” on August 5, 2014. Other than blood donation, the LMB regularly conducts medical and dental missions, free HIV screening and visits to persons deprived of liberty.

This year’s awardees add to the long list of national winners from the region in the annual Search. The SOV aims to identify and recognize outstanding Filipino volunteers and volunteer organizations for their exemplary achievements in empowering communities and promoting volunteerism as a way of life. The National Search is spearheaded by the PNVSCA while the Regional Search is headed by the NEDA Region 2 with the regional offices of CSC, DepEd, DILG, NICA, NYC, and PIA as members. ###