Archive | March 2nd, 2017

From Woods to Stones, Prepare to Dock on Barangay Pancol

Every two years, the people in Barangay Pancol in Taytay, Palawan has a new wharf for small fishing boats and small passenger boats to dock.

But people dare not to use it.

This boat dock they create every two years was made of rustic wooden planks nailed together. Stepping on these produce squeaky sounds that showed how weak the structure was.

To make the conditions worse, there were members of the community who steal the wooden planks and use it as firewood, leaving a scanty and an almost useless boat dock.

The strategic location of the boat landing in Pancol provides great economic opportunity for the community, if only it was not made of frail materials.

Pebble by pebble

In 2012, the municipality of Taytay was one of the randomly selected municipalities to receive funding from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to implement the community driven development (CDD) approach of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-CIDSS).

The people of Pancol were delighted when they learned from the Area Coordinating Team (ACT) of Taytay the process of Kalahi-CIDSS in which the community would be involved in the planning, selection, and implementation of their identified sub-project.

Several projects have been proposed by the people of Pancol such as a water system and a school. However, after a series of participatory situational analyses and meetings with the community, they finally decided to propose the improvement of their little boat landing.

The high hopes of the people of Pancol plateaued when their community was not selected as one of the barangays to be funded by Kalahi-CIDSS MCC on the first Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) on the first cycle of the program.

Nonetheless, the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chairperson Mr. Roderic Aguda served as a witness on how the people of Pancol showed the true spirit of Bayanihan to build a strong and functional port.

Built from Outmost Dedication and Heavy Boulders

Mr. Aguda was selected by the community as the BSPMC chairperson of Pancol; he said that he volunteered to Kalahi-CIDSS because he was encouraged by the process of the program. “Maraming dokumento, pero ang dokumento ang magpapatunay na ang lahat ng ginawa namin ay totoo. [There are lots of documents but the documents would prove that everything that we did were true.]”

On the second cycle of Kalahi-CIDSS in Taytay, Pancol was finally included as one of the barangays to be funded. The hopes of the people skyrocketed again upon hearing the good news. They participated actively in the Barangay assemblies and from Mr. Aguda’s account, their Barangay Assembly participation were always greater than the required 80% of the Kalahi-CIDSS.

The improvement of the boat landing was never easy for the people of Pancol. From the light wooden planks that they used for construction of the boat landing before, each worker must now carry heavy boulders from the shoreline to the site. They never used heavy equipment to carry the boulders nor to pile the rocks.

Their working hours also vary on the times of the tides.

Mr. Ricardo Salazar, one of the community workers of the boat landing shared his story on the difficulties he experienced working for its construction.

“May mga pagkakataon na bumabangon na ako ng alas tres ng umaga para makarating sa trabaho ng alas kwatro kasi hinahabol namin yung hibas o yung pagtaas ng tubig. Mahirap kasi mag patas ng mga bato pag mataas yung tubig, parang doble yung bigat pag nahakbang.[there were times where I rose at three AM  to be on the site by four AM because we were chasing hibas or the rise of water. It is difficult to pile-up rocks when the water is high because as you step, its weigh is doubled.] said Mr. Salazar.

Engr. Benjie Cardejon the Deputy Area Coordinator of Kalahi-CIDSS Taytay has served as the motivator of the community volunteers and the workers in ensuring the rigidity and the stability of the boat landing. He always reminded them that they were the end-users of the project and they need to work hand-in-hand for the successful implementation and creation of their boat landing.

According to Mr. Aguda, they strictly follow the orders of the Engr. Cardejon as he always emphasized to them the meticulous construction of the project, from the proper piling of rocks to the correct mixing of the cement, to ensure the stability and sustainability of the boat landing.

“Dugo at pawis ang ibinuhos ng community volunteers at iba pang miyembro ng komunidad para lang magawa ang boat landing na ito kaya iingatan namin ito. [The blood and sweat of the community volunteers and other community members were shed just to create this boat landing thus, we’ll take care of it.]” Mr, Aguda said.

The Fruit of Bayanihan

The late wooden boat dock was now transformed into a concretized boat landing. Miss Ophelia Sumuroy one of the community volunteers said that the boat landing can now withstand overarching waves and harsh weather conditions.

Hindi na kailangan na papalit palit kada makalwang taon dahil konkreto na yung daungan ngayon. [It doesn’t need to be replaced every two years because the port is already made of concrete]” she added.

With the erection of the new boat landing, the economic opportunity of Pancol was realized not only by its people but also by their nearby barangays.

Many passengers coming from different coastal areas of Taytay, Coron and El Nido who wished to go to Taytay chose to dock to Barangay Pancol. The tricycle drivers then were waiting for the arriving passengers and brought them to their destination of choice within Taytay.

More so, the pay-out of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program was now held at Pancol and people in nearby barangays went there to claim their allowance. During those times, the people in the Pancol sell different goods such as vegetables, rice, fish, etc. near the payout site to entice people to shop.

The people of Pancol also wanted to have a small market place near the boat landing to allow the exchange of commodities for the convenience of traders and marketers as well as improving the income of the people of Pancol.

The boat landing has impressed a lot of people including Mr. Andres Moll of the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P is the institution that manages the fund of the MCC grant to the Philippines) and the group of tourists from Manila who once visited Pancol and were impressed when they learned that no heavy equipment were used to build the port.

Other coastal barangays in Taytay also visited Pancol to look and study the structure and use it as a model of their boat landing.

The Municipal Mayor of Taytay Hon. Romy Salvame has even remarked this was better in terms of its look and functionality than the boat landing in Taytay proper.

At present, the community of Pancol is proposing to add a breakwater to the boat dock to prevent the destruction of the parked boats during stormy weathers. In addition, for the safety of the passengers travelling at night, they also proposed the installation of solar street lights on the port.

The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) is one of the core poverty reduction programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Its aim is to reduce poverty by empowering the communities through the community driven development approach wherein the communities are involved in the planning, decision making and implementation of their identified project. ###

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