Measuring Volunteering in a Jesuit university in the Philippines

To be Men and Women for Others

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2007

49 Pages, Grade: none




“To be men and women for others,” this Ignatian motto is ingrained in students, staff and faculty members of any Jesuit universities in the world. One way to find expression of this motto is through volunteering. After three decades since Pedro Arrupe, SJ, coined this Ignatian motto, how is one Jesuit university in the Philippines living up to the motto through volunteering?

The Ateneo de Naga University as a modern university serves in four functions; instruction, research, extension and public service, and preservation and transmission of culture. The four are expected to flow from and contribute to each other (Javier 1995). Thus far in Ateneo de Naga University, various councils and committees were instituted to put premium on the first two traditional functions, instruction and research. Consequently as in other universities, among the four, the third function -extension and public service as well as the fourth one, are sparingly given the same regard as instruction and research.

To give weight to the extension and public service function which is said to breed and foster volunteering, the University's CORPLAN 2010 has articulated its formation policy on the students through the Profile of the Graduate, and on the administrators, faculty and staff members, whether lay or religious, through the Profile of the Pedagogue. Both Profiles call for active participation in the life of society and both acknowledge that the “excellent methodology for learning” is on the acquired knowledge that leads to action.

In the 1998 Philippine Accrediting Association of School, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) report, one of the recommendations was to have “a greater involvement of the various sectors of the college community (administration, faculty, staff, alumni) for a meaningful extension programs.” It was noted also in the same report that the kind of involvement in the community of the college was limited in the form of participation in seminars, conferences and trainings, and membership and leadership in organizations at the local, national and international level.

However, even before the operation of CORPLAN 2010 in August 2000, there had been activities, events, projects and programs initiated and implemented by students, faculty and staff members and administrators that asked for their time, talent, and resources. In other words, volunteering is not new in the life of the University. Through the years, they willingly and freely have engaged in services and actions that manifest care and concern for others especially that the University has made a stand against poverty in the Bicol region.

In the book “Development Powered by Volunteers,” the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) has documented how volunteers made a difference in the lives of people and communities (PNVSCA, 2000). But these actions might not be identified as part of the University effort to alleviate poverty. Whatever reasons they had when they volunteered form part of the objectives of this survey. Overall, it is an attempt of this survey to know the most participated types of activities and distribution of volunteering among faculty and staff members and students in the University since CORPLAN 2010.


The survey investigated the types of activities and distribution of volunteering in the Ateneo de Naga University through the different and specific activities identified and considered as community extension services in which students, faculty and staff members participated. It also identified the reasons and motivations for volunteering and for not volunteering as well.

Specifically, the survey would find out the following:

1) The type of activities that are most and least participated in by faculty and staff members and students, the organizer or sponsor of those activities, and the duration or length of time the volunteers spent on those activities

2) The major reasons and motivations for volunteering and not volunteering

Significance of the Study

The study would be useful to the University as a whole for many reasons; it would

a.) track trend in the kinds, ways, means and practices of volunteering in/out the campus,
b.) provide data that will help in policy formulation for community extension function of the University that will create the conditions for volunteerism to thrive,
c.) encourage students, administrators, faculty and staff members to engage in voluntary services,
d.) provide information about volunteering in the campus for its promotion and coordination,
e.) appreciate those who have already been rendering voluntary actions/services,
f.) serve to evaluate and strengthen the existing programs and projects of the students organizations, department, colleges and clubs for community extension services,
g.) identify reasons and motivations for volunteering as well as for not volunteering.

Scope and Delimitation of the study

With all the nuances and possible forms of volunteering, this survey tries as much as possible to enumerate activities that embody the spirit of volunteerism. Activities should meet the three (3) criteria given by International Year of Volunteers 2001 (IYV) Measuring volunteering toolkit, namely; 1) It is not undertaken essentially for financial gain, 2) It is rendered of one's free will, 3) It bears benefits to a third party and the volunteer her/himself. Any activities that are mandated or required by the job, department, office, curriculum, and any activities that make one receive remuneration or compensation, are not considered as volunteering. To be covered by the survey, activities should have been done since August 2000, the time the ADNU Board of trustees had approved CORPLAN 2010, until 2003. More so, this survey would identify the reasons and motivations for volunteering as well as for not volunteering. Yet the survey would not look into the rewards and benefits people get out of volunteering. It is also beyond this survey to find out the effects of volunteering to the participants and communities they intended to serve.

Review of Literature

Drawing from the 1998 Social Weather Station (SWS) national survey on topics such as religiosity, religious beliefs, moral standards, religion as an institution, and social concerns, Abad (2001) cited an item, volunteer work, under the topic social concerns. The table below presents the results of that survey on volunteer work.

Table 1. National Data on Volunteering in Various Activities

Question: “During the last 12 months, did you do volunteer work in any of the following areas?

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The table shows that more than half (57%) of the 1,200 respondents nationwide have engaged in charitable activities such as helping the sick, giving relief goods, etc., followed by church-related activities with 41%, political activities with 24%, and lastly, only 11% have volunteered in any kind of activities other than the three activities stated here. Likewise, the table shows that the greater majority of the respondents have not rendered volunteer work in the given activities except for charitable activities.

The faculty and staff members of Ateneo de Naga University are “encouraged to participate in worthy civic, educational, religious or charitable activities.” Those faculty and staff members who undertake community extension services in line with its specialized field or interest as part of the University's mission to contribute to the development of Bicol through direct and indirect assistance to communities will earn merit points in the performance evaluation system.

A number of studies have identified qualities of an effective teacher in Ateneo de Naga College and none has mentioned about attending or participating in extension activities as a quality of an effective teacher (Abanes 1996; Abergos and Geronimo 1999; Chancoco and Yu 2005). William Data (2003), in his graduate thesis Teachers Performance and Students' Achievement, mentioned about cooperating in all school activities as a personality trait of an effective teacher. It is not clear though what type of school activities. But it can be implied that among the school activities are those that have volunteering aspect.

In her graduate thesis Performance Evaluation of Ateneo de Naga, Debbie AbiogAdriano (1996) included in the interpersonal relations of non-teaching staff an item which indicates readiness to help, but it is limited to co-workers.

Correo (2001) evaluated the Teacher Education Program of Ateneo de Naga University for her graduate thesis. She found out that “the college conducts literacy and numeracy classes in some selected barangays in the city and neighboring municipalities of the province” in coordination with the Community Outreach Program (COP) of the Center for Community Development (CCD). COP is the institutionalized program of the University that facilitates volunteering by organizing and providing the students, faculty and staff members activities which foster, inculcate and enliven the spirit of volunteerism in them. For the Ateneo college students, Saavedra (1992) looked at the implication of Ateneo education to the level of their consciousness. She discovered that the students “possess a consciousness which shows to be in the direction of one of the Ateneo's mission - to form men and women for others.” This mission is directed towards actions for others which could be expressed in volunteering.

The students, through the Supreme Student Government and their organizations, also engage in activities that necessitate voluntary service. The University Policy and Program for the formation of the atenean through student organizations sees “students organizations as instruments for engaging the world.” The policy sets the criteria for accreditation of students organizations in the school. One of which is to have at least one project or activity in a year that “responds to the needs of basic sector groups or local communities.” Graduating students who have done volunteer works are given weight in the selection of graduation awardees (personal communication with Bu Almoneda, 2006).

In Abad’s (2001) study, there were four general categories for volunteer work, namely, political, charitable, church-related activities, and any other kind of activities. This survey enumerates 22 specific activities and is open to other activities not included in the list. These activities cover a wide range of categories, such as politics and advocacy, social services, education and research, housing, philanthropy, and culture and recreation. Similar with Abad’s study, volunteering in this survey is measured through the number of instances of volunteer work although there is an additional measurement used which is the accumulated number of hours spent for an activity.

Looking at the motivations of people volunteering, Vidal (cited in Aguiling-Dalisay et. al 2004, 41) identified the possible motivations of Filipino volunteers. These were “the personal need for independence and the need to develop one’s own capabilities and potentials; the importance given to the kapwa (shared identity) to whom the service is for; the desire to fight for the welfare of the country; the ability to understand the problems of the world; and the freedom to create ambitions and dreams and create alternative ways to achieve them.”

In various Ugnayang Pahinungod’s narratives of volunteers’ experiences, Aguiling-Dalisay et. al (2004, 41-43) noted that for most pahinungods, volunteering is a commitment to serve the kapwa and bayan (country) especially the poor. There were some who volunteered because they wanted to have a new experience, opportunity to travel, and an outlet for adventure, curiosity, excitement, and even glamour. There were volunteers who were influenced by their teachers, friends, family, education, religion, or were inspired by the stories of other volunteers. In fact, they identified 13 factors in their Ginabayang Talakayan or “facilitated discussion that takes into consideration the equal status of researcher and data source” for volunteering. These factors were “the need for satisfaction, achievement and personal meaningfulness; the need for social interaction; the need for adventure; the need for self-improvement; the need for recognition; well-being; having available time; referral of peers and friends already involved in volunteer service, and support from peers and friends not in volunteer service; referral of family members already in volunteer service and support for volunteer service from family members; inspiration derived from a testimony of a volunteer; positive experience from involvement in a related activity or program; negative experiences or circumstances that moved the person to strive for change; and knowledge of organization’s mission through formal invitation to join or direct recruitment by organization, or through the media” (ibid 2004, 53).

Opiniano (2000), in his survey for volunteering in the University of Santo Tomas, identified the top ten reasons why people volunteer. The runaway top reason is to help others. Second was to do fulfilling work. Third was for religious reasons. Tied for fourth were to meet new friends and personal liking. Sixth reason was due to influence or invitation of others. Seventh was to gain experience. Tied for eight were to be socially aware and to have fun. The last reason was due to the need for one’s services.

However, Aguiling-Dalisay et. al (2004, 44) found out that “having a busy job seems to be the major reasons why people are not volunteering.”

In summary, the review of related literature has presented previous studies related to volunteering in Ateneo de Naga University. Every year the merit committees for the faculty and staff members collate the extension work which includes volunteer work. The Office of Student Affairs re-accredit or recognize student organizations having done or having a planned list of activities which entail volunteer work for members and aspiring members. These documentation and collation of volunteer works are done on individuals or organizations and not as a group of faculty and staff members or studentry. This survey tries to grasp the volunteering ways of these homogeneous groups; faculty and staff members and students by year level.

Definition of Terms

1.Volunteering is defined as an act of “entering into or offering oneself for any service of one's free will without solicitation or compulsion” (Webster 3rd New International Dictionary). To be considered volunteering, an act should meet the three criteria given by International Year of Volunteers 2001 (IYV) Measuring Volunteering Toolkit, namely; 1) It is not undertaken essentially for financial gain, 2) It is rendered of one's free will, and 3) It bears benefits to a third party and the volunteer her/himself.

2. CORPLAN 2010 is a body of documents approved by the ADNU's Board of Trustees last August 19, 2000 that sets the vision, mission, and direction of the University for the next ten years.

3. Profile of the Graduate is the inventory of the characteristics of an ADNU graduate.

4. Profile of the Pedagogue is the descriptors of ADNU's administrators, faculty and staff members.

Conceptual Framework

Volunteerism or, its close counterpart in Tagalog, bayanihan is a trait not peculiar to Filipino culture. Jocano (cited in Aguiling-Dalisay et. al 2004, 33) related bayanihan to “cooperative endeavor” of like brothers and sisters in a give and take cycle. It is like a mutual assistance among equals. For Ofiana (cited in Aguiling-Dalisay et. al 2004, 34), bayanihan is a different assistance for it connotes heroism (from the word bayani meaning hero) regardless of existing “social ranking and structures, leadership roles, and authority relationships.”

De Leon (1996) traced the roots of bayanihan in agricultural communities where a symbolic nipa hut is being relocated to a certain place by the locals without compensation and compulsion. Bayanihan permeates in various agricultural activities, such as, transplanting and harvesting. Neighbors and relatives come to help without compensation and compulsion. It is understood that when the time comes they need to transplant and harvest, they will be helped too in the same manner they did to others. In urban areas, this bayanihan spirit is also alive. In times of fire, buckets of water are passed by people lining up from the source of water to the nearest house on fire.

Today, volunteerism could be found in various sectors; in private sector, corporate social responsibility promotes volunteerism among its workers, the government sector has PNVSCA under the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to coordinate the volunteering efforts and services of foreign volunteers as well as local volunteers since the government has already recognized the role of volunteerism in nation-building and development. In schools, there are institutional volunteer programs that promote, facilitate and manage volunteering of students, faculty and staff members, and alumni. The Ateneo-based Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP), Ugnayang Pahinungod of UP, Years of Service (YOS) of Xavier University and Miriam Volunteer Mission and Gurong Lingkod of Miriam College are just few of the examples of school-based volunteer programs.

Volunteerism, in the different Ateneos which follow a Jesuit education tradition, is grounded on the concept and practice of being “men and women for others.” The Characteristics of Jesuit Education (CJE) document released in 1987 by the International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education states on its characteristics number 5 - Jesuit education “seeks to form ‘men and women for others’ and manifests a particular concern for the poor,” - and number 6 - Jesuit education “prepares students for active participation in the church and the local community, for the service of others.” The CJE was relayed, explained, and illustrated through experiential sharing of senior employees of the University to other faculty and staff members who wished to refresh and understand more about and be introduced to Jesuit education in a seminar organized by the University. In 2001, there was a CJE seminar for both faculty and staff members. Moreover, the mission of Ateneo de Naga University as a Catholic university is “committed to the service of the faith that promotes justice.” This mission is further elaborated in the CORPLAN 2010 declaring the University to be “in the world” through its instruction, research, and outreach programs, particularly those programs and activities that are “developmental, liberational, and transformational relative to concrete situations of poverty.”

As a concept, volunteerism is differentiated from the practice of volunteering. Volunteering is the act of practicing being men and women for others. It is an action and expression of the concept of volunteerism. Thus, for those in Ateneo de Naga University, as stipulated in CJE, CORPLAN 2010, and University mission, volunteering is likely to be normative.

One of those organizations that provides opportunities for volunteering, the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP) Foundation, Inc., a volunteer organization which recruits prospective volunteers from all Ateneos and other schools in the country including Ateneo de Naga, reported that there was an unexpected decline of the number of volunteers. From 1980s to mid-90s, there used to be an average of 45 volunteers each year. Then between 1996 - 2000, the number went down to an average of 35 volunteers. In 2001 - 2003, it further declined to 26 volunteers on the average per year. On the maiden issue of JVP's newsletter, Trip, an article by Mark Lopez cited three possible reasons based on the findings of the Youth Study of 2001 for this decline in the number of volunteers; namely, communication matters, finding other avenues for service, and the youth profile. In that study, the youth profile describes the youth as “having low awareness and apathy towards cultural values and national affairs.” This seeming apathy of the youth leads this survey to ask, are ateneans any different from the youth today? How do students practice their formation of being men and women for others? Is volunteering alive in Ateneo de Naga University?



This chapter describes the research design and sampling, survey instrument, and data collection and analysis procedures.

Research design and sampling. The research design is a descriptive study which uses a self-administered survey-questionnaire. This survey-questionnaire was given to all 213 faculty members in August 2003 based on the list of faculty members with teaching load on that particular month. Faculty members were classified into fulltime and part- time faculty.

Staff members are classified as either academic or non-academic staff. Academic staff members are those who have “academic functions directly supportive of teaching,” such as guidance counselors, researchers, registrars, campus ministers, librarians, etc., while the rest are considered non-academic staff. In 2003, there were 164 staff members who were all given copies of the survey through their offices.

For the college students, stratified random sampling by year level was used. There were 5,609 students officially enrolled in the 1st semester of school year 2003-04. Sample size of the students was derived using the formula found in Data Gathering by Social Survey by Frank Lynch, S.J. et. al. in Philippine Social Survey Series No. 2.

illustration not visible in this excerpt


n = sample size N = population

Z = the value of the normal variable (1.96) for a reliability level of 0.95

P = the largest possible proportion (0.5)

d = sampling error (0.05)

Using the formula, the n for the students is 359.54 or 360 with a sampling error of 0.05. Our student-respondents (678) for this survey are more than the computed n which is 360.

Instrument. The pre-tested survey-questionnaire is the modified version of the sample inventory of volunteering activities by the International Year of Volunteers 2001 (IYV) Measuring Volunteering Toolkit. It was modified to consider the context of situation, conditions, and circumstances of the research site which is Ateneo de Naga University in Bicol region. On it were 22 specific activities that a faculty or staff member or student had performed as volunteer work. The questionnaire also wanted to know whether the sponsor or organizer of the activity was a parish or civic organization or school or the activity was a personal undertaking of the respondent. To determine the duration of volunteering, it asked the accumulated number of hours spent for that activity. Then possible reasons and motivations for volunteering and not volunteering were listed towards the end of the survey.

It also includes the respondent's course, year and organization, if a student; if a faculty member, his/her department and classification either as part-time or fulltime; if a staff member, whether academic or non-academic. Classifications of the faculty and staff members are based on the staff and faculty manuals. Due to a large number of respondents, the survey-questionnaire is the basic tool for gathering data.

Data collection procedure. There were three research assistants (RAs) that facilitated the conduct of the survey. They divided the work based on the kind of respondents. One RA handled the faculty while another RA focused on the staff members. Since the bulk of the respondents were students, the three RAs helped in the data-gathering by taking different year levels.

The survey-questionnaires with a cover letter were distributed to all faculty members through their respective departments. The RA assigned to faculty was then working with the Academic Vice President's office which had a list of faculty with teaching load. From the list, she got the names, classification of faculty members whether fulltime or part-time, and the college where a certain faculty belonged. Collection of the accomplished questionnaires was done by going to various departments. Some teachers personally returned the accomplished questionnaires to the RA assigned to faculty while a few as expected had to be reminded about the questionnaires.

The staff members were cooperative in completing the survey-questionnaires. Through their respective offices, the questionnaires were distributed to all staff members. The assigned RA who happened to be a staff member as the other two RAs did the rounds and collection of accomplished questionnaires. A number of staff members voluntarily turned over the completed questionnaires.

For the students, the registrar provided the total population of students enrolled in the 1st semester of S/Y 2003-04. From there, at least 100 samples for each year level except 5th year which comprised a small chunk of population were targeted. The 3 RAs strategized to get the target samples for students. They identified subjects which were taken by students approximately of the same year level. These subjects were the National Service Training Program (NSTP) for first year, Philosophy and Theology, Physical Education, and other major subjects which could predict the year level of students enrolled in those subjects. On the side though, they also considered the distribution of sampled students according to colleges by their block's number. Then they selected sampled classes whose teachers were either their friends or acquaintances.

Data analysis procedure. The unit of analysis of this survey is the aggregates or groups of part-time and fulltime faculty members; the academic and non-academic staff members; and the students per year level. To analyze data, simple frequency ranking of the activities and frequency count for both the sponsor and organizer of such activities and duration of participation. An averaging method would be used to get what particular activity had the highest level of participation based on the number of yes responses and hours spent on activities. For the reason/s or motivation/s both for volunteering and not volunteering, frequency ranking and percentage would also be used.


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Measuring Volunteering in a Jesuit university in the Philippines
To be Men and Women for Others
Ateneo de Naga University
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ISBN (Book)
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volunteering, Jesuit university, Ateneo, students
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Menandro Abanes (Author), 2007, Measuring Volunteering in a Jesuit university in the Philippines, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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