By: Lorenzo A. Moron
To strengthen the organization by fostering camaraderie among members, highlight significant milestones of the organization, encourage active membership and build network with other partner institutions, the Philippine KOICA Fellows Association, Inc. (PhilKOFA) celebrated its 21st founding anniversary at the Camelot Hotel, Mother Ignacia St., Diliman, Quezon City on 23 July 2022 which anchored on the theme “#TawidKrisis: Overcoming challenges through Volunteerism and Collaboration”.
The occasion was graced by key officials from various partner organizations – Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines (KCCP), Korean NGO Network of the Philippines (KNNP), the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), and the Uni Group and Sorok Uni, among others.
Engr. Lorenzo A. Moron, PhilKOFA President, in his welcome remarks, briefly featured the journey of PhilKOFA since its foundation in July 26, 2001. With much pride, he stressed that the organization had gone so far because of the strong support of the members, the selfless dedication and passion to serve others. He likewise expressed his gratitude to all partners especially KOICA for its untiring support in delivering significant services to the people and making the organization relevant to the communities it serves.
Mr. Saehyun Sagong, President of the Korean NGO Network of the Philippines (KNNP) stressed the activities and support of the Korean NGOs in promoting sustainable development in the country.
Mr. Hyunchong Um, President of the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines (KCCP), likewise expressed his congratulatory message to and highlighted the collaboration between KCCP and PhilKOFA through the years in promoting social services and community outreach programs as well as its partnership in the scholarship program which started several years ago. With much happiness, President Um proudly announced that one of the KCCP-PhilKOFA Scholars ranked 6th in the April 2022 Licensure Examination for Electronics Engineers in the Philippines.
On the other hand, Mr. Donald James Gawe, President of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordination Agency (PNVSCA), represented by Ms. Ela Victoria F. Sarmago, Chief Volunteer Service Officer, also gave his message to PhilKOFA. Mr. Gawe expressed his sincere appreciation to PhilKOFA in promoting volunteerism in the country through the implementation of social and community outreach programs such as LingaPhilKOFA and Tabang VisMin, and for being partner towards nation-building.
Dr. Jae Jung Jang, honorary Chairman of KCCP and Chairman of Uni Group and Sorok Uni, also congratulated PhilKOFA for a successful 21 years of delivering significant services to the country. On his personal note, he thanked the Philippines for being the first Asian country that responded to the call of the United Nation (UN) to send troops and forces to aid Korea to defend the country during Korean War in 1950 – 1953. He said, the government of Korea will forever be grateful to the Philippines for its support.
Mr. Emmanuel Sevilla, PhilKOFA Founding President, likewise his joy for the long successful journey of the organization. He briefly told a story on how PhilKOFA started. He thanked the generosity of KOICA and the support of various partners that aid in bringing the organization to a greater height.
The Keynote message was delivered by Mr. Eunsub Kim, KOICA Country Director. In his message, he expressed his sincere thanks to PhilKOFA for continuously making a difference through the implementation of various programs and projects that benefited various communities. He assured KOICA’s continuing support to all PhilKOFA endeavors and undertakings. He thanked the officers for exerting laborious efforts in delivering significant services to the people.
PhilKOFA former presidents also gave their congratulatory messages and impressions for the journey of PhilKOFA as an organization.
Other parts of the programs include: (a) presentation of PhilKOFA Profiles by Dr. Tyna Yambao, Vice President for Mindanao, (2) Presentation of Korean Culture by Mr. Jay-Ar Igno, PhilKOFA member and Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines Korea Research Center, (3) Message of Gratitude and testimony from Ms. Gale Vera Caceres, PhilKOFA-KCCP Scholar and Top 6, April 2022 ECE Board Exam.
The afternoon session was filled with fun and games to make the celebration more festive and exciting.
The unique and special gathering of KOICA scholars on its 21st Anniversary signified its continuing commitment to serve the people. This year’s anniversary theme gave an inspiration to continue making a difference and be an instrument towards nation-building through the sustained volunteerism and collaboration among members and partners of PhilKOFA. Since its existence, PhilKOFA has untiringly exerted laborious efforts to foster volunteerism and collaboration and contributes to address the pressing and looming issues in the society.