The National Service Training Program (NSTP) Diliman Office and the National Service Reserve Corps (NSRC) organized Sikhay Lingkod 3: A Volunteerism Convention, on November 18, 2019 in two venues, namely, the School of Economics and the School of Statistics Auditoriums at the University of the Philippines Diliman. This activity was in partnership with DZUP 1602 and UP Corps of Sponsors.
NSTP Diliman Director Prof. Arlyn P. Macapinlac and NSRC Deputy Director Dr. Jonalou S. Labor simultaneously opened the event. Director Macapinlac discussed the meaning of sikhay and its deeper connection to volunteerism. She stressed that NSTP Diliman’s efforts in cultivating the spirit of volunteerism is in keeping with its mandate as provided by Rule II Sec.3-a of the NSTP IRR (2009) and EO Number PAEP 16-02 and with the mandate of the University as a public service university. Dr. Labor, on the other hand, highlighted the importance of service in being an iskolar ng bayan. Both welcomed the attendees with great hope that the event will ignite their passion to zealously involve themselves in volunteerism and public service activities.
Sikhay Lingkod 3: A Volunteerism Convention showcased various service-oriented organizations to help reintroduce the students to volunteerism as well as to a variety of advocacies where they can offer their services. The event aims to promote the culture of volunteerism in the University and to instill the importance of volunteerism in the students.
Professor Francisco Rosario Jr. of the Department of Linguistics of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy provided the volunteerism framework both for the morning and afternoon sessions. He tackled the fundamental principles and importance of volunteerism. Being a former CSSP OSLO-Pahinungod coordinator, Prof. Rosario also mentioned volunteer opportunities that the University can offer to its constituents through the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod.
During the morning session, Ms. Beverly Gofredo from Save our School (SOS) Network discussed the issue of Lumad displacement in Mindanao. She enjoined the students to offer their services by volunteering as teachers for the displaced and discriminated Lumad students. Aside from this, she also urged the audience to help fight for the rights of the Lumads in their ancestral lands.
After the SOS Network, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) introduced the many ways that students can contribute in strengthening the global response to the threats of climate change. WWF Philippines’ Program Manager for Environmental Education Mr. Dino Calderon stressed the importance of all aspects of our environment such as wildlife, forests, and bodies of water in securing the Earth’s health in the future.
Meanwhile, Ms. Flordeliza Almoete, Chief Officer for Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid Foundation (2KK), talked about the opportunity for NSTP students and reservists to volunteer in helping the Filipino out-of-school youth through their organization. 2KK constantly launches educational programs for the less-privileged youth with the help of their partners and volunteers.
In the afternoon, Volunteer Program Coordinator for Kythe Foundation Ms. Carolyn Tongco shared their organization’s programs for children with chronic illnesses such as cancer. Ms. Tongco invited the audience to participate in their Kythe Child Life Program that aims to ease the suffering and anxiety of patients through activities that help support these children emotionally.
In the same session, Amnesty International Philippines, through their Activism and Growth Officer Ms. Tiffany Suniga, also presented its programs for the worldwide campaign in combating inequality in the country. Amnesty International aims to educate, engage, and empower people subjected to human rights violation through its programs that involve communities all around the country.
Ugnayan ng Pahinungod Diliman Director Dr. Jocelyn Caragay echoed Prof. Rosario’s discussion of the importance of pahinungod in the University. Much of her sharing revolved around the efforts of her Office to open up a variety of volunteer opportunities not only for the students but also for other interested members of the UP community. All these are congruent with UP’s mandate as a public service university.
NSTP Diliman Director Macapinlac closed the program by encouraging each one to step up and actively engage in volunteer activities inside and outside the University. She emphasized that the students’ identity as iskolar ng bayan must include zealous public service or masikhay na paglilingkod sa bayan. Lastly, she expressed her gratitude to the resource persons, NSTP Diliman partners, NSTP coordinators, teachers and students for their active participation in the event. She likewise thanked UP Padayon Public Service Office Director Dr. Jeanette L. Yasol-Naval and UP Board of Regent member Atty. Frederick “Spocky” Farolan for gracing the event.
NSTP Diliman believes that the students of the University must not only embody honor and excellence in their academics, but also in extending help to underserved sectors of our society through volunteerism. Sikhay Lingkod 3 opened many opportunities for the students to promote, initiate, and participate in volunteer activities.
by Arron Paul M. Lambon