Kalinga negotiator, Baguio advocate conferred National Outstanding Volunteer Award

>> Tuesday, January 3, 2017

By Maria Aprila Cruz

BAGUIO CITY –  Two Cordillerans   were conferred the  2016 National Outstanding Volunteer Award  by   the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) Dec. 13  in Manila.
Engineer Andres Ngao-i an expert in tribal conflict resolution and an advocate of the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) together with Dr. Robert Tolentino,  a medical doctor by profession who chose to offer his volunteer services to the Cordillerans over lucrative positions at hospitals in Manila and medical trainings abroad,  were among the NOVA  recipients of the individual-adult category.
Described by his colleagues as “The Man” in tribal conflict resolution,   Ngao-i is recognized for negotiating more than 100 tribal and non-tribal cases involving 46 tribes of Kalinga, 10 sub-tribes of Mountain Province and 6 sub-tribes of Abra, of which about 90% were successful.
Ngao-i is also cited for his advocacy on IPED for being instrumental in the formulation of a memorandum of agreement between the Department of Education and the Province of Kalinga in the promotion of the Kalinga culture, tradition and practices.
Dr. Tolentino heads the Medical Outreach Missions Foundations, Inc. (MOMFI), an extension service of Saint Louis University in Baguio City, where he has been affiliated for 30 years.
Together with his team of volunteer medical practitioners, he hikes for hours through steep mountain sides and turbulent rivers to conduct medical-surgical-dental missions and primary health care education especially in isolated communities of the Cordillera and as far as Zambales, Manila and Maguindanao.
To enhance the volunteerism and missionary attitude of MOMFI volunteers, Dr. Tolentino developed the Volunteers’ Development Program which resulted to increased participation of doctors and MOMFI alumni into community works.
He   continues to serve the needy and mentor his students to become good, compassionate and sensitive doctors.
Other national awardees include Ryan H. Homan for individual – youth category; Marcelo L. Gusanan,  Individual Adult category; Yolanda Canseco Hernandez,  Individual Adult category; Dreams Rescue 166 and   UP Lakan , both Organization – Not-for profit; Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers – Special Citation in Volunteerism, and  Corazon Alma G. DeLeon – Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award.
 Darren Carino, a volunteer nurse from Abra is one of the regional winners under Individual- youth category.

The annual search aims to give recognition to the unsung and ordinary Filipino citizens and organizations who have contributed extraordinary milestones for the country through their small, yet invaluable, acts of service towards nation-building and national development. The SOV is the yearly event culminating with the celebration of the National Volunteer Month every December. 


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