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.