Virgilio M. Tengogue, a former New People’s Army (NPA) member and now a Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer, regained his trust in government and became its partner in building the one million peso potable water system in Barangay Kingking.
Pantukan, Compostela Valley – “Ang pagpagahum sa katawhan pinaagi sa pagsalmot diha sa mga proyekto mao ang kabag-ohan nga akong gihandum ug kini akong nakaplagan diha sa Kalahi-CIDSS (Having a vision of empowering communities through enhanced participation in their projects, Kalahi-CIDSS is the change that I longed for when I searched for reforms in the government),” former rebel Virgilio M. Tengogue declared.
The construction of a Php 1,162,749.00 potable water system sub-project in Barangay Kingking through Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan–Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), has changed Tengogue’s perspective on government’s sincerity.
“The project, aside from providing access to clean and safe water to over 26 thousand residents, prevents insurgency and promotes peace in the area,” said Tengogue, now a Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer.
Known to many as Kuya Chikee, Tengogue, 56, admitted he joined the armed rebel group after he experienced brutal extortion during the Marcos regime. He was with the NPA (New People’s Army) for 27 years.
In 2012, the tides changed for him. He regained trust in government and decided to be its supporter when Kalahi-CIDSS entered his barangay.
Barangay Kingking, a two-hour ride from Davao City, is one of the villages of Pantukan where the NPA operates. Socio-economic development here was stalled since government had a hard time delivering basic services to the community.
Tengogue said the people in the outskirts side felt neglected and had started losing trust in government. “Wala na maabot ang mga proyekto sa komunidad, mao nagtuo sila na gipasagdan na sila sa gobyerno (Projects did not reach the community. People thought government abandoned them).”
It was a wake-up call for Tengogue to take a leap of chance. “Breaking the never ending cycle of dispute is futile. The community will always suffer if the government, the armed rebels, and the community will not find common goals.”
Tengogue and the rest of the villagers unified and became partners in building the potable water system sub-project in the barangay.
“The people attended barangay assemblies organized by Kalahi-CIDSS area coordinating team. They underwent capacity building activities on how to effectively implement the potable water system sub-project,” recounted Quillano Sabello, Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chair.
Now, people enjoy clean, drinking water, and a more stable water supply for all their household needs. This changed a lot of lives in the area.
Sabello happily added, “We are thankful Kalahi-CIDSS granted us sub-projects like this. The villagers, especially children, will no longer walk miles to reach the nearest source of water.”
DSWD came to the barangay starting in 2012, ushering Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA sub-projects such as multipurpose pavement, school library and drainage canal.
Tengogue emphasized, “I am truly grateful to the government for this project. Even if our community is far from the city, they attended to our needs and made sure we had enough to get by. I now believe there’s hope in combatting poverty as long as we unite ourselves in helping our communities.”
Tengogue and several residents also reaped benefits from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Pogram, two of the poverty reduction programs of DSWD.
To date, Barangay Kingking has 5163 beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya and 295 are engaged in livelihood.
“Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA supports peace-building efforts and addresses the needs of people including peace concerns,” said Rhona Theresa Siojo, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer.
Barangay Kingking Kalahi-CIDSS community facilitator Mark Anthony Bacus said, PAMANA projects became the instrument why the community restored its trust in government.
“The community felt their importance because the government gave them the opportunity to lead the process of project implementation.”
LGU Pantukan shelled out a local cash counterpart of Php 174,914 for the water sub-project that now benefits 5920 households.
Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development project of the Philippine Government that aims to empower communities through their enhanced participation in local governance and poverty alleviation projects.
PAMANA or PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn is a Kalahi-CIDSS modality that aims to improve access of conflict-affected barangays (CABs) to quality basic social services and responsive, transparent and accountable local governments.
With the scale-up of Kalahi-CIDSS into a national program, it targets to cover 21 municipalities in Region XI in 2015. DSWD