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FEATURE STORY

CHARMful Views

 

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very effort extended in advancing the goods and objectives of the CHARM2 Project is always appreciated. We certainly need to do more until the CHARM2 Project is doing well in advancing the government’s vision, missions, and goals on development specifically promoting economic growth, sustainable livelihood, food security, sound environment, empowered people, increased income, and poverty reduction, among others.

I present this sentiment in light of the negative views on the project that we continue to encounter even now as community mobilization officers (CMOs). Here are some of those views.

Awan oras mi ta busy kami unay ditoy trabaho mi” – (We don’t have time since we’re busy in our work). Those are common statements being heard from some of our partners when they’re asked: “Kumusta ngay ti assignments tayo on CHARMP-2?” – (How’s our tasks related to CHARMP-2)?

Others say: “Uray haanen ti reforestation project, wenno agro-forestry project, karkaro ti AAIGA (Agriculture, Agri-business, and Income Generating Activities component of CHARMP) basta ada ti infrastructure!

Still, others honestly express: “Agsweldo kami met uray han mi aramiden dagita panggep ti CHARMP-2... ag hire kayo met a gamin ti staff yo nga agaramid kadagita” – (we can have our salary without working on CHARMP-2 related activities... why not hire your own staff to do those works). Seriously, it is so disappointing that some Project partners consider the Project as less priority, if not a burden to them. “Burden lang kenyami actually ti CHARM2 Project” they said.

 The lack of commitment by operatives of the project’s implementing agencies is rather depressing. It is actually a continuing challenge to us. If the project must succeed in delivering of development projects and assistance to its beneficiaries, all stakeholders must uphold agreements and commitments prior to project approval and during implementation. To be sure, all project implementing agencies, including beneficiaries were consulted and ultimately committed themselves to support the Project. Marilyn V. Sta. Catalina, Regional Executive Director of the DA-RFO-CAR said that the Cordillera highland communities I consultation with all stakeholders did not just popped-out from the ground. Its realization was through hard work between and among different agencies within Cordillera Region. As CMO’s hired by the Project to assist key implementing agencies and operatives, we expect regular employees to lead in the implementation of project activities and guide us in our work. To our dismay, we are either left alone on our own in pushing the project’s goals and objectives in our assigned coverage areas.

Makapadepress met manang ta awan kanu oras dagiti taga municipyo nga mangkita ditoy naedraft mi nga documents” – it is heartbreaking that MLGU staff have no time to check the documents we drafted. These are the sentiments of the CMOs shared to me as their provincial supervisor. It is out of love for our target beneficiaries and passion for our work that we the community development workers under the Project are compelled to do the work our Project partners should be doing in the field. Since they are the people with authority in the community, it is right and proper to consult them. Moreover, they are the authorized signatory of the documents. We have to do the tasks in their behalf since many of them don’t come to attend scheduled activities as previously agreed despite of written and verbal invitations.

“Inkayo ladtan, makaamo kayon to sikayo met akin activity.” Such statements from our field partners reflect on the understanding and commitment of our partners in the delivery of project inputs for the realization of outcomes or benefits for the beneficiaries. I wish things are a lot different where we are all working and helping each other.

It is not as if we face problems in the field and we must resolve these on our own. We also need sympathetic, caring even inspiring words from our direct supervisors and peers. “Pumanaw kayo a nu haan yo kayan.” (Leave, if you can’t endure!)

As CMO’s and human beings too, we feel the hurts careless words reflect on our wellness. We have come to that point to take all of these as part of our life and struggles. In the future, we certainly know what to do if we are in a better position to be of help or assistance to others. We will do better in seeing to it that community development officers and communities are assisted well, respected and provided their due benefits. CHARM2 Project is still a great project to us.// Rowena Billig, PS-Benguet

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