The only way used by the residents of Sawang going to the center of the barrio to which daycare center, elementary school, health center and barrio hall are situated is the Sawang/Datag Road, and people from the southern part of Barangay Agojo who wants to go to mainland Looc during Monsoon/Typhoon season is through the same road, the Sawang/Datag Road. Using this road during such season is a dangerous journey not only for children and women but to the elderlies as well.
Flood during rainy season reaches to 3-4 feet that is why pupils will absent in their class most of the time during this season that leads to declining grades of the pupils. Aside from that, this road becomes muddy that when floodwater subsides, mud is knee depth. Agricultural products and marine products by the fishermen cannot be peddled to the mainland due to bad condition of the road, and if luckily reaches the market in Looc proper, it is sold in much lower price because it is not fresh anymore and even in deteriorating condition, that really affect the economic survival of the people of Agojo. Patients and pregnant women cannot immediately brought to the hospital which is again located in mainland Looc and sometimes it resulted to worsening condition or death. Local and foreign tourist and even visitors from Looc are discouraged to visit Agojo because of the unfavorable condition of Sawang/Datag Road.
Sufferings of people of Agojo from this Sawang/Datag Road is prevalent for a long time. According to Ruby Mondia, a resident of Sitio Sawang and became Community Volunteer (BAC member) “simula pa noong bata pa ako at nag-aaral ng elementarya hanggang noong akoy nagkaanak, di ko naranasan magsuot man lang ng sapatos dahil sa putik ng daanan galing dito sa aming sitio papuntang Barrio. Hanggang yung mga ank ko ang nag aaral at hinanhatid ko sa school ay ganun padin ang kalagayan ng kalsadang iyan”. She was narrating her dilemma while crying. She added, “ayaw ko na sana maranasan ng mga anak ko ang mga naranasan ko dati pero wala naman akong magawa”. The same sentiment was expressed by other resident living in Sawang and Datag (adjacent sitio) Lito Santillan. They added that some of the residents of Sitio Sawang sustained injuries beacause of accidents in the same road that was confirmed by Brgy. Secretary Jovel Socito based on the Barangay Tanod’s logbook.
RAY OF HOPE
All the worries of the Residents of Agojo was turned into excitement when their Barangay was prioritized during MIBF in KC-NCDDP 3rd Cycle and the project proposal submitted for prioritization was for the concreting of 1.3 Km Sawang/Datag Road with RCBC and Stone Masonry. Majority of the Community Volunteer are from that Sitio who were most affected by the Sawang/Datag Road problem. They are much willing to help and work for the fulfillment and realization of their dreams to have a concrete road to alleviate the hardships of the people for so many years. The Sub-projects has a budget allocation of Php 5,603,574.00 and it was started on November 7, 2017.
SUB-PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PROBLEM
Sub-project allocation for the Sawang/Datag amounted to Php 5,603,574.00 but half of that budget cost was for the hauling cost of materials. There were no construction materials available in Barangay Agojo like sand, gravel, cement, stone (rubbles) and round bar iron. All these materials were purchased and hauled/transported from Looc mainland to Barangay Agojo by boat that cost a lot, aside from the risk from strong winds and rough to very rough sea caused by monsoon and typhoon season.
Apart from hauling problems by the suppliers, weather conditions and low tide dilemma, lack of laborers contributed to the delay of implementation the Sub-Project. Additional problem cropped up prior to the Sub-project Implementation when Suppliers are hesitant to bid because of the huge expenses that they will incur in delivering the materials, the risk and safety of their personnel and supplies is also at stake during transporting of the same. Also, no pump boats are allowed to travel during typhoon and monsoon season because the sea is rough due to strong winds that was the policy of Philippine Coast Guard and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Laborers are also scarce in Barangay Agojo, because of its location which is near to the island of Boracay, workers are enticed to work in that island which is paying double rather than working in KALAHI Sub-Project which is just paying Php 250 (Municipal Rate). Barangay Agojo already delivered its Bayanihan commitment worth Php 200,000 but it not enough since work to be done is huge especially on the embankment this is to raise the road so that flooding will not be a problem anymore.
“WORK NOW PAY LATER SCHEME” PROPOSAL
In the middle of Sub-Project implementation when the Community Volunteer were able to hurdle many problems related to supply of materials, weather conditions, lack of laborers and failure in bidding; Another major problem cropped up, the budget for the laborers for first tranche was already consumed and the next budget for labor is to be requested in 2nd and final tranche. The materials were available but there is no available budget for the payment of the laborers to sustain the remaining number of days of work. The requested fund for 2nd and final tranche is about 1.2 million and it will take many weeks before it can be downloaded from the Regional Office and these are still subject to review
During 4th Barangay Assembly last February 2018, issues and concerns with regards to the halt of work on the Sub-Project and labor cost were tackled by ACT, MCT and BLGU officials. According to the Municipal Area Coordinator Neil Fopalan, there is a need to finish the Sub-Project before the timeline of Asian Development Bank on April 2018. According to him, failure to obligate the fund for 2nd and final tranche before the deadline, will mean fund for the requested tranche shall not be downloaded to the community bank account, which means that in order to finish the project the M/BLGU will shoulder the remaining balance for the project cost to complete the project 100%. According to the Technical Facilitator Cyril Gado, requirements for the request of 2nd and final tranche is to have 60% Physical accomplishment, and according to him, the Physical Accomplishment of Agojo is just 50% below the required target of Kalahi-CIDSS.
Barangay Captain Minnie Torrente challenged her constituents to come up with a positive action in order continue the implementation of the project and ultimately finish the Sub-Project before the timeline even if budget for Labor is still to be requested and soon to be downloaded and she fears also that weather condition might change from good to worse for the next month, which could cause further delay in the implementation.
Community Volunteers and willing citizen responded to the call of the ACT/MCT and BLGU by presenting themselves to help resume work or volunteer to work as soon as possible for continuation of Sub-Project Implementation even if the payment/salary for laborer is to be paid after the downloading of funds for 2nd and final tranche, just to meet the timeline of ADB and the project could be used as soon possible by the people. That proposal was approved by the Barangay Assembly they called that scheme “WORK NOW PAY LATER”. Under this arrangement
Approved by the community, CV’s and Laborers will do the following:
- Mag tratrabaho sila habang hinihintay ang pag download ng 2nd and Final tranche na kung saan doon kukunin ang kanilang pambayad.
- Mag papaluwal si Kapitan ng sarili niyang pera para doon sa mga emergency na pangangailangan ng mga trabahador.
- Mag tratrabaho ang 15 o mahigit pa na trabahador na ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan at walang sapilitan
- Kahit linggo ay magtratrabaho ang mga laborer na gusto para lang matapos ang project bago sumapit ang deadline
- Mag dodonate ng meryenda sa mga trabahador ang ang mga pamilya na malapit at madadaanan ng ginagawang kalsada.
- Magbibigay din ng meryenda sa mga trabahador ang mga kagawad at iba pang gustong mag donate nito.
For the people of Barangay Agojo, MONEY IS SECONDARY and what is important to them is their commitment to finish the Sub-Project as soon as possible for the benefits of the community.
BEAT THE DEADLINE
Because of the willingness and sacrifices of the people of Barangay Agojo using the scheme
“WORK NOW PAY LATER” and able to fulfill the following
- Installed the stone masonry on the side of the concreted pavement
- Box Culvert was completed within 3 days
- Riprapping was accomplished by one week
- From 50% Physical Accomplishment they were able to complete the concreting of the road by 15 days.
The 2nd phase of Sub-Project Implementation go on smoothly and finished it last March 16, 2018 and inaugurated April 20, 2018. Fund for 2nd and final tranche was downloaded to the Community Bank account on April 3, 2018 and all the Laborers were paid immediately (good for 30 days works) and including the Suppliers of the materials.
The commitment of the people of Barangay Agojo paid off and they can use the SP earlier than expected and the whole community are happy to their accomplishments. “Completing the Sub-Project on time is much sweeter than the salary we received, but we got it both “Dominador Gregorio Jr. (Foreman) said.
When the Sub-Project was finished, the lives of the people of Agojo changed, according to Kagawad Segundino Buenaventura these are the changes happened in their community:
- Maaga nang nakakapasok ang mga bata sa iskwelahan na safe at naka sapatos na
- Madali nang sunduin ang mga bata sa school ng mga nanay at tatay sakay sa mga motorsiklo
- Hindi na nalalamog and mga gulay at prutas kasama na ng mga lamang dagat papunta ng palengke ng Looc at dahil diyan lahat ng ito ay nabebenta sa mataas na presyo
- Madali nang madala sa hospital ang mga may sakit at buntis.
- Dumami na ang mga turista at madami na ang bumili ng lupa dito sa Agojo.
- May bumabyahe nang mga single na motor at tricycle para maghatid ng mga bata sa school at mga pasahero
- May peace of mind na at di na nag aalala sa mga anak na pumapasok sa daycare at elementary school.
- Maliwanag na maglakad sa gabi at masarap na mamasyal
TEARS OF JOY
Sub-Project of Barangay Agojo was built by unity and sacrifices of the people. As a result, the finished road according to the people is “Sadya-sadya guid” (beautiful) “ag tibay guid” (well-built/quality work”. During inauguration last April 20, 2018, community volunteers specially the Project Implementation Team (PIT) Head Victor Tayco cried while narrating the hardships they experienced during implementation of the SP. He thanked everybody for the help and he said, “Why I am crying? It is a tears of joy” he said. He is happy because the project was finished and the people of Agojo specifically the children will never experience the hardships of travelling the muddy road anymore, but instead they can now use their bikes and can wear their shoes everyday going to school.
RECOGNITION BY THE STAKEHOLDERS
The Municipal Mayor of Looc, Hon. Leila M. Arboleda expressed gratitude to the Community Volunteer for the successful SPI and thanking the Laborers and the people of Agojo for their unselfish effort to work even if salary was not yet available only after the downloading of 2nd and Final Tranche. Because of their noble deeds, all Community volunteers were given a plaque of Recognition/Appreciation by the Mayor.
As a result of the extraordinary accomplishments of Barangay Agojo to beat the timeline of Sub-Project Implementation compelled by the funder, it was considered as a contributing factor why the Municipality of Looc was given again a BONUS CYCLE by KC-NCDDP under the THEMATIC/CDD Cycle.
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