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About the Author

A pastor and registered social worker, Rev. Edwin I. Lariza  has integrated spirituality in the   service of the people  in his administrative and leadership  functions in the academe, church and community endeavors,  and professional organizations, respectively.

A product of  the Central Philippine University and  Convention Baptist Bible College where he completed his Bachelor of Theology; Bachelor of Science in Social Work and  Diploma in Theology, respectively, Rev. Lariza. earned his Master of Social Work  from the University of the Philippines- Diliman.

He has  served Central Philippine University in various capacities: as a classroom teacher at the Department of Social Work, Social Sciences, Religion & Ethics and of the School of Graduate Studies; publication officer; outreach coordinator;  chairman of the Department of Social Work, coordinator of the Civic Welfare Training Service, National Service Training Program,  and Director of the University Outreach Center. He is also a  member of the CPU  Corporation.

Rev. Lariza is a consistent advocate of volunteerism. Among his voluntary involvements are as follows:  president and chief executive officer of CPU Katin-aran Communities Inc.; executive director of Iloilo House of Refuge (Crisis Center for Women and Children); president, Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON); coordinator, VOICE-Western Visayas, network of volunteer organizations; president, Centralian Volunteers; regional chairman and member of the national board of the Philippine Association of Social Workers and the National Association for Social Work Education; and member of the Executive Committee of the Regional Development Council  Western Visayas, being the chairman of the Social Development Committee.

An organizer of various  NGOs and  networks,  Rev. Lariza has become an icon of networking and volunteerism. Having been  elected  as  NGO representative to the Executive Committee  of Provincial Development Council (PDC), he served as co-chair of the Governor of the Province in the PDC for three consecutive terms. It was in such capacity that he initiated the move which resulted to both provincial and city  ordinances that institutionalized the celebration of the  NGO-PO Week in Iloilo every first week of December to give due recognition to the role of NGOs, POs, and other civil society organizations in nation building.

The annual celebration has given birth to the organization of the broadest coalition of NGOs and POs in the city and province of Iloilo, which he heads as founding president. Known as ICON, Inc. which stands for Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs, the coalition serves as umbrella organizations of all networks of NGOs in Iloilo.

Rev. Lariza consistently led the advocacies in line with  the social work profession and pastoral ministry. As such, he was awarded as  one of the Ten Outstanding Social Workers of the Philippines  in 2004. The Convention Baptist Ministers Association which he led as national president for six years bestowed on him the honor as President Emeritus in 2010.

Currently, he heads the Learning Institute for the Fullness of Life and Empowerment (LIFE), Inc. A professional body of volunteer social workers, educators, clergy, lay, youth, community development workers  that  advocates the attainment of the fullness of life and empowerment by  providing lifetime  opportunities for learning and service.

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