KIBUNGAN, BENGUET- Their forefathers have told them that it is almost impossible for a road to reach their place in Tacadang Proper in Kibungan, Benguet province because of the isolated landscape of their village. When an opportunity came through a grant from KALAHI-CIDSS program of the agency, improvement of roads was proposed to respond to the dream which they have been longing for.

Community Volunteer Mary Ann Dominguez thanked the government because of the allotted funds through the KALAHI-CIDSS or Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Program of the agency, the road built by the community is now fully utilized and has enabled communities to easily access health, birthing facilities, and supplies.

“Nalaklaka di emey ed siudad. No waday lugan yan wat dan kasakyab. No way mansakit uno man anak. Al alisto ay en maitagtag. No way karga si magapo ed siudad. Pang skwelaan, clinic ya komunidad. Manam ay ay kailugan da damdama. Adi dan sat itikid ed tagpaya. Iyaman abes nan project di umili. Ay pinondoan eman di KALAHI-CIDSS et nay din sledge trail ay kanan da nay manruprupa ay kalsada. (It’s now convenient for us to visit the city, the road truly makes our life easy. Our access to health and birthing facilities is no longer a problem today.  If we have supplies from the city for our school and health needs the road is indeed a big help because we do not need to hike the terrains anymore. We also thanked the project of our fellow community volunteers which was funded by KALAHI-CIDSS. The sledge trail as we always say, have become a road a reality),” Domiguez added through a heartfelt rendition of “daniw” (song).

Barangay Development Council Technical Working Group President and Tacadang Organic Coffee Growers Association (TOCGA) Richard T. Acdang said as majority in their village involve farmers, community members pushed the implementation of a project for the improvement of Sledge Trail from Proper Tacadang to Lingey in order to aid in their day to day activities and livelihood.

“Nu agbunag farmers produkto ken materyales, idi ket manual hauling idi ada daytoy kalsada, makauneg motor ken animal nga mausar aghaul kasapulan ti umili. (Farmers manually hauled their products and materials however with the sledge trail, motors and animals can enter through the road and haul the materials needed by the community),” Acdang stated.

Aside from the communities celebrating the completion of the sub-project, community volunteers in Tacadang also acknowledged their journey and learnings gained.

“Adu naadal mi. Isubsubli iti KALAHI-CIDSS Program daytoy empowerment, opisyal ka man, farmer ka man, maka-adal ka ladta iti proseso iti panag implement iti proyekto. Hankuma mapukaw daytoy nga sistema, isu kuma iti suruten dagitin ubing. (We have learned a lot. KALAHI-CIDSS Program is bringing back empowerment to the community. Whether you are an official or a farmer, one can still learn the process of implementing a project. This system should not disappear. It should be followed by the younger generation),” the 65-year-old volunteer added.

Meanwhile, in a neighboring barangay located in the northern part of the town, the improvement of access road along Liteban to Legleg in barangay Palina was also prioritized by the community in order to address the rough and rocky access road that made it dangerous to transport goods.

“We are so happy that the Government has a program like this because the completed sub-project will surely be of great help to us. We can transport our crops easily and can travel at ease without the fear that we may encounter accidents because of the poor condition of the road. May the government bring more projects like this and hopefully we are still one of the targeted areas because there are still roads to be improved,” added Community Volunteer and Monitoring and Inventory Team member Martin A. Palukpuk.

In the eastern part of the town, the community of Madaymen also extended their gratitude to everyone who helped in the successful implementation of the improved access road along Ambalideng-Napsong-Guiswak (Olineg section).

The project was prioritized because of the rocky condition of the road washed out during rainy season resulting to the hampered delivery of vegetable crops of the community such as: strawberry, potato, cabbage and sayote. The transportation of goods also imposed a challenge as community members needed to take longer route which is time consuming and resulted to additional cost on fuel.

The three community sub-projects amounting to Php 1.2 million each were funded through the KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA IP-CDD modality. The Barangay Accountability Reporting and Turn-Over Ceremonies for the sub-projects held this February were actively attended by the different Municipal Heads of the Local Government Unit (LGU), Community Volunteers, Barangay LGU Officials, DSWD Field Office CAR Staff through KALAHI-CIDSS Area Coordinating Team, and SWAD-Benguet.

For more than 20 years, the KALAHI-CIDSS program, a poverty alleviation program implemented by the department seeks to empower communities to achieve improved access to social services, and to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting and implementation. Through the program which utilizes the Community Driven Development approach, community members are empowered to identify and address their communities most pressing needs.

What was once a dream of the communities being now a reality is attributed to the collaborative spirit between the LGU, Barangay LGU, Volunteers, DSWD and the unity of the community. DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR KALAHI-CIDSS SOCIAL MARKETING OFFICER LAUREN A. ALIMONDO

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