True to their vision and mission, the Barangay Local Government Unit of Barangay Camatagan in Sabangan, Mountain Province ensured that in every decision they made is for the good and development of their community.

The successful sub-project implementation of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) in their community was attributed to the teamwork of barangay officials of Camatagan and the community volunteers. Although it was their first time, they learned the processes and its relevance to the quality of the sub-project. To ensure smooth implementation of the project, officials actively participated in the activities, and they made sure that all the residents are informed and involved. They also conducted information education campaigns to make sure everyone is involved and participates for the welfare of the community.

Due to the need of an isolation facility, the BLGU Camatagan prioritized the construction of the Barangay Multi-Purpose Hall through the barangay development fund however, it did not suffice the needed amount to complete the project. The community wished for the completion of the said project to be utilized as an isolation facility especially during the time of the pandemic. In addition, its location is also beneficial to Persons with Disability and Senior Citizens as it is along the road and accessible to transport services.

During the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council orientation on 23 February 2022, the construction of the building was unanimously identified and prioritized to be completed and to be used as temporary isolation facility through KALAHI CIDSS Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay Balik Probinsiya Bagong Pag-asa (KKB BP2) modality in the barangay. The completion of the said building sought to help in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

During the construction of the building, the laborers involved residents from the barangay who were provided short term employment to the community members which helps during the implementation, lending their resources or equipment that can be used in the sub-project. Women in the barangay also played significant roles in the implementation joining the laborers, and participated in the hauling of materials, cooking of meals of the workers, and maintained cleanliness at the sub-project site. They mainly participated during the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) activities of the program and helped the program staff in facilitating the signing of documents in the barangay level.

With the COVID-19 pandemic being more manageable, the building now serves as a venue for community meetings and activities. Sharing the lessons learned from the KALAHI-CIDSS program, Barangay Kagawad William Galeng reiterated the experiences of the laborers during the construction of the building.

“Ti kasla naging experience ko akas mangdadaulo ket kastoy, kasla ti gagat da ken ragsak da ti trabaho ti enyeg daytoy KALAHI-CIDSS ket gapo iti daytoy KALAHI-CIDSS program nga inmay. Imbis nga mapan da kuma sabali nga lugar nga apan agbiruk iti trabaho ket ada met daytoy nga inmayen isunga naragsak da nga mangibaga kenyak nga kastoy salamat ta ada daytoy nga trabaho ket han tayo pay lang nga umadayo iti sabali nga lugar dipay ada tayo iti ayan ti ili tayo, asideg tayo iti pamilya tayo.” (What seems to have been my experience as the project leader, it seems that their (workers) enthusiasm and joy of work is brought by the KALAHI-CIDSS. Because of the KALAHI-CIDSS program, instead of going elsewhere to go look for work but with the arrival of the program, they were happy to tell me that they were happy to have this job because they do not need to go anywhere else and they here working in our community, they are also still close with their families.), Galeng stated.

He also expressed their gratitude and happiness to have the multi-purpose building as the barangay hall would not suffice to accommodate the meetings of different organizations.

The BLGU was also active in different environmental protection programs of the barangay, information dissemination, barangay disaster risk reduction activities, activities for the protection of children, violence against women and children, elderly and barangay health workers. They are also a recipient of certification as drug free community since there are no reported drug related cases and they also made sure of its non-existence in the barangay.

Barangay Captain Jacinto Tecan narrated they have learned a lot during the arrival of the program in their community.  “Manipud iti munisipyo mi a Sabangan, iyebkas ko ti dakkel nga panagyaman ken nabara nga pasalamat iti panag-apresyar yu iti naaramidan mi iti barangay mi gapu iti proyekto nga enyeg yu ditoy ili. Idi inmay ti KALAHI-CIDSS, adu ti nasursuro mi, ken na-empower dagituy babae.” (From our municipality Sabangan, I would like to express our gratitude for your appreciation of the works of our barangay in relation to the [KALAHI-CIDSS] project that was brought in our hometown. When KALAHI-CIDSS came, we have learned a lot in the implementation of projects, and women in our community were also empowered.), Tecan added.

The Barangay LGU of Camatagan was awarded Champion during the 2023 Regional BAYANi Ka! Awards held last 29 August 2023 in Baguio City while the BLGU Abatan from Hungduan, Ifugao and the ABC Besao from Besao, Mt. Province were conferred as Finalists for the Improved Local Governance Category. BAYANi Ka! Awards is the highest recognition given by the DSWD Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) to its exemplary communities and partners in implementing and promoting the community-driven development (CDD) approach. DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, ACT COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT FACILITATOR MYLA PANISOC, & SOCIAL MARKETING OFFICER LAUREN A. ALIMONDO

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