BESAO, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE- “Ay uray mo anet kami matey, et mayat mo wada nan sa dakngan nan anan-ak ya aapo ay mayat ay proyekto ya mayat nan anet da ikakan ay menbiyag.” (Even if we die, we would like to leave something, a good project, for the children and grandchildren for them to have a prosperous life.)
This is the message of the community volunteers of Besao Municipal Senior Citizens Organization (BMSCO) when asked on the impact of the sub-project implementation of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services or KALAHI-CIDSS program in their municipality.
Besao is a fifth income class municipality with 14 barangays located in Mountain Province with a total population of 6, 873 and total household population of 1,738 as of 2020. The municipality is a farming community where most of the population are small and marginal farmers. Other social indicators include 957 senior citizens, 292 social pension beneficiaries, and 230 registered Persons with Disabilities.
During the sub-project implementation of DSWD’s KALAHI-CIDSS National Community-Driven Development Project Additional Financing (KC-NCDDP-AF) and Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay Cash for Work (KKB-CFW) cycles, the town was able to accomplish the sub-projects and what made their implementation remarkable is the active and constant participation of the elderly population.
Notwithstanding the challenges with their age, they were still able to contribute through their capabilities and active participation to help in the development of their respective barangays. The elderly population of the different barangays has been consistently attending the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meetings, capability-buildings, and other activities that are considerably contributing to the development of Besao communities.
BMSCO member and community volunteer Joan Ngalob narrated that they also obtained skills and gained valuable lessons during the implementation of various KALAHI-CIDSS projects in their community.
Adu nan improvements in-ali nan KALAHI-CIDSS ngem san abus kayat koy appreciaten kadakayun KALAHI-CIDSS ket in-iali yun values isnan ili mi. Nasurwan kami ay wada ay mangrespeto isnan kakadwa mi ay amed sinan panagtrabaho. Wada nan trabaho din esang ken esa kabaelan nen esang ken esa ket nai-place kami isnan waday kabaelan mi. Dakami ay senior citizen wada ay, uray nu maki-meetmeeting kami laeng wada nan nasuru mi ay values isnan ay isursuru yu naikkan mang-iimplementan isnan day projects. (There are a lot of improvements brought by KALAHI-CIDSS but I would also like to appreciate from KALAHI-CIDSS the values it had brought to our community. We were taught to respect each other especially during the implementation of the project. Everyone has a certain work to do. Everybody has their own capabilities. We were placed into the work that we can do. From attending meetings, we, senior citizens have learned values from what you have shared to us. We are really grateful, the community was improved and as to implementation, all funds were put into the project.),” Ngalob added.
In another testimony, BDC-TWG Chairperson of Lacmaan, Gregorio Bolinget said that their involvement is not only for their benefit but for the benefit of all. In the implementation of the KALAHI-CIDSS program, every Besao Community applies ‘Wasdi en SUMYA’ translated to ‘progress for all’ or “No one is left behind”. Communities implementing the programs of the Department adheres to attain the Municipal Development Goals of the town including Sustained Development, United Community, Managed and Protected Ancestral Domain, Yearly high yield produce, Achieved, Empowered, Healthy and Resilient Umili (SUMYA).
The BMSCO is only one of the living proof that our elders are good models in our modern time. No age limit can be set for us to serve, may we be the sole protectors and leaders to keep these priceless product of hard work and sacrifice to last. # DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, KALAHI-CIDSS Social Marketing Officer Lauren A. Alimondo with reports from DRMD Information Officer Mylyn C. Maitang-Bongsian
The Besao Municipal Senior Citizens Organization was awarded Champion during the 2023 Regional BAYANi Ka! Awards held last 29 August 2023 in Baguio City while the 2nd Federation of the Senior Citizens of Tadian from Tadian, Mountain Province and the Nabuagan Elder’s Association from Conner, Apayao were conferred as Finalists for the Elderly 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.