Gumatdang, Itogon, Benguet- As part of the Child-Centered Disaster Risk and Reduction project of the Cordillera Disaster Response and Development services (CorDis RDS), residents of Barangay Gumatdang seek to complete and rehabilitate a broken and irregular pathway in Sitio Kawa.

The community said the improvement of the pathway would be beneficial to the community composed of more than 65 households. They said there are 37 pupils among elementary and high school students to be benefited by the project. They said students who go down during school days would have to walk the slippery pathway which is detrimental to them.

They also divulged that the project is a boon to other vulnerable sectors in the community like PWD’s, senior citizens and even those who are pregnant walking the pathway.

Meanwhile, Jovelyn Lomong-ey, the project program manager of the CCDRR, said the project has a limited budget so the bayanihan or a mutual cooperation of the community is required for the successful implementation of the said project.

“The project has a budget intended only for the needed materials therefore we expect the community to take their part on its labour and logistics work,” Lomong-ey explained.

She said the project implementing agency needs the beneficiaries to help for the hauling of materials, sand and gravel, and project labour. She then encourages the community to restore the bayanihan system as the primary tool towards community development.

”The CorDis RDS believes on the people’s reliance and cooperative action that will take their community to progress. This is what we want to implant to communities that’s why in every project that we bring, it needs the community shared cooperation,” Lomong-ey added.

During the discussion, the community have agreed that they will apply bayanihan on the project and other community members who have regular work during Mondays to Fridays will also see their availability on weekends for the hauling of materials. They also said they will ask the students to haul after school once the sand and gravel is procured.

The community has started their design on the project implementation coming up with working policies and committees who will ensure the different tasks during the project implementation process. One of the items deliberately planned is working design where at least one member of each family in the community will share free labour whether in cooking, in the proper implementation or if one is not able to work could give his work counterpart either in kind or in cash.

At the end of the meeting, Lomong-ey said there will be one from the office of CorDis to visit the project area for validation before its implementation and at the same time to get the measurement of the portion of the pathway needed for completion and rehabilitation. The project is expected to finish by the last week of March this year.

-Rod Asurin