Ribbon Cutting, from left, Corazon Jimenez (General Manager, MMDA), Thelsa P. Biolena (Director, Standards Bureau, DSWD), Malou Pantua-Juanito (Executive Director, VSO Bahaginan), Bill Tweddell (Australian Ambassador to the Philippines) and Colin Glen (Second Secretary, British Embassy).

Led by its Chairman, Mr. Vitaliano N. Nañagas III and Executive Director, Ms. Marilou Pantua-Juanito, Volunteer Service Organization (VSO) Bahaginan launched their “3-year country plan to address poverty in priority areas in the Philippines.” This ground-breaking event toasted synergy to the max, among local organizations and government agencies, volunteers and supporting communities at the Ayala Museum last June 25, 2012.

VSO Bahaginan aims to make a significant, enduring impact on the lives of marginalized and poor Filipino communities, with capacity-building and climate resilient projects anchored an active citizenship and asset reform.

VSO Bahaginan’s three-year plan includes:

¶  Peace-building efforts in Mindanao, particularly in the areas of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur provinces.

¶  To improve the quality of life of local people by building climate change resiliency in forest and coastal communities, through its Model Forest program in Samar and Bohol provinces.

¶  The deployment of VSO Bahaginan’s Filipino and international youth volunteers for participation in the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRMM) system instituted by the Municipality of Hagonoy, Bulacan.

¶  “Increasing Participation of PWD [persons with disabilities] in 2013 Elections,” a project launched in Cebu now being rolled out in the country’s key cities, to push for “disability-inclusive” elections in a big way.

(Prepared by: Ms. Josephine Despi-PDO II, Technical Cooperation Division)