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Completed footpaths turned over to beneficiaries in Buguias, Benguet


Buguias FP turnover 2016


How does a community express its gratitude to a completed development project?

In Buguias, Benguet, the concerned community gathers its members and partners in a feast to listen to the testimonies and presentations expressing the community’s appreciation and acceptance of the project.

For instance during the turnover of the completed footpaths in barangay Nalibcong, Buguias; the whole community of elders, men, women and children came out to speak of their experience before, during and after the completion of the projects. Aside from sharing stories and lessons, the community also expressed their appreciation in skits, songs and dances indicating their acceptance of the projects during their inauguration and acceptance ceremonies of Natubleng Footpaths held last March 11, 2016 at Nalibcong-Satin Elementary School.

There are a total of 6.2 kilometers of footpaths in three different sites; 4.7 kilometers for the Patkiao- Cabugioasan site, 0.50 Kilometers for the Natubleng proper and 1 kilometer for the Nabalikong site. The footpath costs a total of 4,200,000 pesos with CHARM shouldering 70% of the costs while the Provincial Local government shared 15% and the remaining 15% was contributed by the Municipal Local Government. There was supposed to be only one footpath for the Patkiao- Cabugioasan site according to the contract, however, because there are excess funds the community opted to fully utilize the remaining reserve and add footpaths for the Natubleng proper and Nabalikong sites.

The footpaths are utilized not only by the farmers in order to transport their products to the market. It is also used by all the other members of the community. In fact, people preferred using the footpaths rather than the main road as a shortcut in order to get to the nearby schools.

According to Mr. Pepe Olantes, a beneficiary and Cabuguiasan Farmers’ Association (CFE) president, the residents used to have traveling difficulties before the footpaths construction. There were a lot of safety issues especially during typhoons: “Dati madulas ang daan. Mejo mabato at kailangan naka rain boots lalo na pag bumabagyo.” (The paths used to be slippery. It was rocky and we always had to wear boots especially when it rains.)

Thankfully, the footpath provided better traveling conditions especially for the women and children. Mr. Olantes adds: “talagang nirequest namin sa contractor na wag masyadong taasan yung hagdan para sa mga buntis at sa mga bata na laging pumapasok sa eskuwelahan.” (We especially requested the contractors not to make the steps too high for the convenience of pregnant women and the children who travel to school).

The footpath was only one of the assistances CHARMP 2 has provided to the Natubleng community. During his speech in the turn over ceremonies, Natubleng Barangay Captain, Hon. Camotiao L. Alinso recognized the benefits that the project has brought upon their community: “the foot trails, Multi-purpose building, portable water system and livelihood projects implemented under CHARM 2 has helped a lot in bringing progress and development in the lives of the Barangay folk. These projects can go a long way in facilitating the delivery of basic services to our people.”

The people also recognized their responsibility to take care of the projects implemented in their locality through formulating the Barangay Maintenance Team (BMT). According to Sanguniang Barangay member Bill Salatic: “Kaming BMT na ang bahala sa pagmomonitor ng projects para sa barangay. Kami din ang gagawa ng inventory at tsaka yung enactment of ordinance para sa funds for maintenance at sustainability.” (The BMT will be in charge of monitoring the barangay projects. We will also do the inventories and the enactment of ordinances for funds regarding maintenance and sustainability.)

The residents of Natubleng, Buguias have manifested their sense of ownership and responsibility for the implemented projects in their barangay. In doing so they have shown that their community is truly ready for more development and growth. // Arianne Robea Nebrida

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