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BukSU faculty among finalists in NEDA-10’s Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteers

Ms. Leni Grace L. Benolirao, Supervising Admin Officer and Focal Person for Search for Outstanding COVID Volunteers (SOCV) from the National Economic Development Authority-10 Regional Office hands over the plaque of recognition to Mr. Zenas Paloma on January 12, 2021 at the NEDA-10 office/CON photo

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (OP-IPS) The National Economic Development Authority – 10 has awarded a faculty member of the College of Nursing of Bukidnon State University as one of the top nominees of its Search for Outstanding COVID-19 volunteers in Northern Mindanao.

Mr. Zenas B. Paloma, College of Nursing chairperson, received a plaque of recognition from organizers as one of the top nominees.

Mr. Paloma urged others to give back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic by mobilizing a team of volunteers composed of his colleagues of BukSU, specifically the College of Nursing. They have coordinated several donation drives to the selected areas in Bukidnon, even extending to three vicinities outside the province.

Fr. Conrado L. Casas, Parish Priest of San Fernando Rey, San Fernando, Bukidnon, won the most outstanding volunteer award. The priest helped the indigenous peoples (IPs), which he considered the last and unlisted sector of society. Together with his volunteers, he brought food items weekly, enabling the community to cope with the COVID-19 community lockdown.

Standing for the Filipino’s health and wellness, the Search for Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteers (SOCV) for 2020 was launched by NEDA-10 through Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) in November 2020.

The search aimed to recognize individual males and females’ contributions to the COVID-19 response, promoting these volunteers’ experiences and good practices in responding to the pandemic and encouraging the general public to engage in volunteer work in non-emergency disaster situations continuously.

NEDA-10 identified the top nominees who volunteered and made significant contributions in addressing the challenges bought brought by the pandemic. The other nominees include Ms. Josephine Joy A. Labandia, a community health volunteer of the City Health Insurance Office Puntod, Cagayan de Oro City and Mr. John W. Asuncion, a businessman and founder of Dragon Boat Kagay-an.

Ms. Labandia assisted barangay constituents, even extending long work hours to facilitate the medical care needed, especially for COVID-19 related cases.

Mr. Asuncion designed and developed face shields at the early onset of the pandemic and mobilized his network of volunteers to produce them in large quantities. Front liners in CDO, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Agusan, Butuan City, and even as far as Cavite and Batangas in Luzon received the face shields.

The Northern Mindanao awardees, along with those from other regions were recognized by the PNVSA/National Steering Committee (NSC) in an online national awarding ceremony in December 2020 (Aubrey S. Sudaria-Edio/CON publication contributor) 

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