Nestled in Tinoc, Ifugao is the tranquil Barangay Tukucan that shares its border with Benguet province. Life here is far from easy, especially in the remote mountainous areas. The residents of Barangay Tukucan heavily rely on cultivating crops such as tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes as their primary source of income. The hard journey to market their precious produce on unsafe dirt roads poses a formidable challenge. These roads not only devour time but also subject vehicles to mud-sunken tires and fragile vegetables battered by the unforgiving terrain.
In 2010, the journey to open up a road from the highway to the vegetable gardens began, initiated by the communities of Sitio Natpugan, Cocoy, Lebeng and Calaban. Volunteerism was more than just an idea; it was a way of life in Tukucan. Drawing from their rich cultural heritage, the Kalanguyas, with their age-old tradition of “Da-ngah” or “Bayanihan” together, they lightened the load, making the job less daunting.
Hope blossomed with the advent of a grant on September 2023 from the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan-Indigenous People-Community Driven Development (PAMANA-IP-CDD) under the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD-KALAHI-CIDSS). Driven by unwavering community spirit, volunteers gathered around the cause and successfully proposed the Construction of PCCP along Cocoy-Natpugan-Lebeng-Calaban FMR sub-project amounting to Php 600,000.00.
Despite the scorching heat of the sun, 12 women and 22 men from the community worked tirelessly on various aspects of the sub-project, from clearing and grubbing to sub-grade preparation, and concrete works. Although the sub-project was contract-based, the volunteers willingly contributed their time and labor.
“This sub-project will be our legacy, and knowing that our future generations will have a safer road is a comforting thought” Prim Salwit declared, a landowner who had generously donated his land for the proposed sub-project and for the collective welfare of his community.
Manuel Salwit shared that the arrival of the DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS in their community, particularly in Sitio Natpugan, Lebeng, and Calaban has ignited their determination to extend the road concreting because they desperately needed it. “Over the past years, we have experienced the positive impact of various services from different government agencies, and your arrival reaffirms our belief that there is a caring government that truly serves its people,” he added.
The community volunteers also generously contributed 390 bags of cement and various construction materials to extend the planned length of the Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) from 90 meters to 180 meters, with a width of three meters. In addition, the programmed work was scheduled for 30 calendar days but through their unity and support, they achieved completing the concrete pouring for the entire 180 meter PCCP in just one day.
The story of Barangay Tukucan in Tinoc, Ifugao is not just one of resilience and determination, it’s a testament to the indomitable spirit of a community united by a common purpose. The land donated by Prim Salwit, Gema Guinyawan together with the women who poured concrete, and the construction materials given by Manuel Salwit, his brothers and the community shine as beacons of selflessness, illuminating the path toward a brighter future for Barangay Tukucan. # DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, ACT TECHNICAL FACILITATOR JEBBIE D. BAYAWON