Three researches on volunteerism and related topics were approved for UPLB basic research funding this March 2013.
The research on “Promoting Reading among Public Elementary Pupils: the Reading Enhancement and Appreciation Development (READ) Program” was approved with Dr. Rowena Baconguis, former Pahinungod director, as project leader and Ms. Stella Ebio as team leader. The research aims to evaluate the READ program as a volunteer intervention for the improvement of reading aptitude and in the promotion of positive reading habits at early schooling.
Meanwhile, Prof. Romel Daya will serve as team leader for the research on “Effects of Volunteer Development on the Wellbeing and Sustained Involvement of Volunteers” which aims to determine formative effects of current Pahinungod curriculum, evaluate its volunteer training and capacity-building methods and propose necessary improvements on the program. Dr. Baconguis and Ms. Ebio will serve as team members.
Finally, the research on “Emergent Constructs among Volunteers of Selected Southern Tagalog State Colleges and Universities (SCUs)” will determine the effects of volunteer involvement in the formation of constructs and among volunteers particularly in defining leadership concepts and characteristics. Glenn Lubuguin of Pahinungod will serve as project leader with Dr. Pamela Custodio (CDC) and Jose Limbay Lahi Espaldon (Pahinungod) as project staff.
PAHINUNGOD POSITION ON THE DISCUSSION ON VOLUNTEERISM VERSUS COMMUNITY IMPACT AS PRIORITY OF PUBLIC SERVICE
No expressed provision of RA 9418: An Act Institutionalizing a Strategy for Rural Development, Strengthening Volunteerism and For Other Purposes (Volunteer Act of 2007) is necessarily in conflict with RA 9500: An Act to Strenghten UP as a National University in letter or spirit. An interpretation towards striking a balance between promoting volunteerism and evaluating social impact is therefore reasonable.
RA 9418 aims to promote the participation of various sectors of the Filipino society in public and civic affairs and “adopt and strengthen the practice of volunteerism as a strategy in order to attain national development and understanding” (Sec. 2)
Furthermore, Sec. 4, Definition of terms provides:
(a) “Volunteerism” refers to an act involving a wide range of activities, including traditional forms of mutual aid and development interventions that provides an enabling and empowering environment both on the part of the beneficiary receiving and the volunteer rendering the act, undertaken for reasons arising from sociodevelopmental, business or corporate orientation, commitment or conviction, for the attainment of public good, where monetary and other incentives or reward are not the primary motivating factor.
(b) “Volunteer” refers to an individual or group who for reasons arising from their sociodevelopmental, business and corporate orientation. commitment or conviction, contribute time, service and resources whether in full-time or part-time basis to a just and essential social development cause, mission or endeavor in the belief that their activity is mutually meaningful and beneficial to public interest as well as to themselves.