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FEATURE STORY

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

The best way to get things done

ARIANNE ROBEA P. NEBRIDA

community involvement

For the whole month of August, CHARMP2 with the facilitation of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (PMEU) is conducting the Outcome Evaluation Training for Barangay Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Teams (BPMETs).The workshop was piloted in four different barangays of Kapangan, Benguet namely Cuba, Belingbelis, Pudong and Gaswiling.

 

For the first week, the workshop focused on the accomplishments made by the Social Mobilization, Participatory Investment and Planning (SMPIP) component which are the Participatory Project Investment Plans (PPIPs) and the People’s Organization (PO) strengthening. Various BPMETs and barangay officials have fully participated in sharing the effects of both these sub projects based on their own first hand experiences. 

 

community involvementPARTICIPATORY PROJECT INVESTMENT PLANS (PPIPS)

All the beneficiaries appreciated the fact that they were involved in the PPIP formulation. Through their participation the project was able to identify the different CHARMP2 sub projects that are best suited for the community. The consultations were held not only for the identification but also for the implementation of the sub projects.

 

The PPIPs have been used in gathering technical assistance not only from CHARMP2 but also from their LGUs. As a result there was a smoother implementation of the other sub projects. Gender awareness and development was highlighted in the PPIPs. This resulted in an equitable partnership between men and women in the implementation process.

 

Gathering the community and eliciting their participation has not always been easy. According to barangay Beleng- belis captain Mr. Thomas Begawen, “sa decision doon kami nahirapan kasi di sila open kaya naisip naming kailangang tanungin namin sila para makuha ang opinyon nila.” (Our struggles were on decision making. They are not open so we had to ask them directly in order to get their opinions.)

 

Despite the obstacles Kapitan Begawen with all his constituents were able to solve theirproblems through probing the community beneficiaries and convincing them to voice out their opinions. He then shares that the community outputs, especially the PPIPs will be of great help in the future: “kung may bago siyempre may papalitan dun,  pero nandun na ang guidelines  eh. Dahil sa CHARM nagkaroon kami ng parang guidance para sa mga susunod na proyekto.”  (If there is new information, of course we will modify, but the guidelines are already there. Because of CHARM we were able to have guidance for future projects).

 

community involvementPEOPLE’S ORGANIZATION (PO) STRENGTHENING

 

Some of the POs were initially inactive before the CHARMP2  but when the project was implemented, they were able to formulate a renewed constitution, bylaws and policies which served as a more concrete guidance for the members.

 

POs united the beneficiary communities. Through these organizations, the people were able to discuss and solve the sub project problems together.  New knowledge was gained by attending trainings in support of the implementation. They were also able to avail equipment in support to the activities of the association. The POs also paved way for the formulation of Livelihood  Assistance Groups which provided additional income for the beneficiaries.

 

As of the present, the associations plan on expanding  to other areas and therefore  increasing the number of their members.

 

Cuba workshop facilitator and Community Development Officer Mrs. Cecil Capegsan encouraged the participants to continue on enhancing their POs through registration.” No kaya iregister tayo jay organizations tayo with SEC and then ipa accredit tayo dagijay accrediting bodies tattnu nu agbirok da jay monisipyo no sino dagijay mabalin nga organizations nga ag tanggap  iti support ada tayo jay listahan ijay monisipyo.” (if possible, let us register our POs with SEC and other accreditation bodies so that when they find organizations for possible fund allocations, your organization will be included on their list.)

 

MOVING FORWARD

Community participation in CHARMP2 has always been a game changer for the project implementation. Because of their involvement, the project was able to determine the authentic needs of the community and hopefully as the project draws into a close, these communities will hopefully retain their involvement for future projects so that they can continue to develop and grow.//PHOTOS: Charles A. Picpican


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