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PIA Press Release
2006/10/05

PPAO strengthens volunteerism in Siquijor

By Rizalie Calibo

Dumaguete City (5 October) -- The Parole and Probation Administration Office here is once again strengthening the Volunteer Probation Aid (VPA) Program in the province.

Rene Remollo, VPA Coordinator of the Negros Oriental-Siquijor Cluster during a conference-dialogue underscores the need for more VPAs to play active role in crime prevention and rehabilitation program through the spirit of volunteerism.

“This has been sort of being neglected in the past but we are here to revive the program with the end view of seeing a more peaceful, crime-free community in the future”, Remollo said.

Remollo who refers the work as “ministry” said these volunteers are those who will serve as guidance counselors to those who have once gone astray from the right path of life – which are the probationers, parolees or pardonees”.

He noted the government’s pressing need of more VPAS with the 800,000 parolees and probationers all over the Philippines against only 2,000 parole and probation officers”.

Believing Siquijor is an area offering the greater potential for the country’s peace because of its lowest criminality rate, Remollo is optimistic that the province is not far from becoming s a field training laboratory in the Philippines, which will be a model for adoption by other places of the country.

“We need you, however, to achieve this”, he said to the attending VPAs that include church ministers, and other government/private employees in Siquijor.

“The truth is that many people are so into their lavishly comfortable lives and consider self-fulfillment in a very literal sense – filling up the self with a lot of things, ideas, words or actions. Self-fulfillment is more than just sticking up things in one’s life. But there are those who prove their own experiences that having more does not make one more fulfilled; that possessions only provide temporary happiness” he said.

“We are changing lives here, he added saying that a paradoxical but more truthful understanding of self-fulfillment is seen through someone who selflessly empties himself of his own desires and pleasures and pours out his whole being for the lives of others."

A basic training seminar for the new recruits of VPAs is scheduled on the second week of November. (PIA) [top]

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