Baganga, Davao Oriental – Convenience is a given for travelers in urban areas, where multi-million budget bridges connect and help bring them to their destination. On the contrary, in remote Barangay Campawan here, residents literally need to cautiously traverse on a single cable wire-bridge (with a matching wire atop for residents to hold on to) in crossing a raging river, a daily ordeal that has ended in tragedy for some.

The inconvenience that became a daily grind to the community is now a thing of the past as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through Kalahi-CIDSS, funded a Hanging Cable Footbridge sub-project at PhP 2,428,541.00 with local (government) counterpart contribution (LCC) of PhP 113,787.00.

Bayanihan spirit

In barangay Campawan, travelling from a certain village to the poblacion would take an hour. Brave school children eagerly cross the river when the water level is low just to be able to attend class.

“We were hoping our government could help us by building a proper and safer bridge to prevent more accidents in our village,” said Julieto M. Songale, Kalahi-CIDSS Barangay Sub-project Management Committee (BSPMC) chair.      

However, local officials were unable to address the problem perennially experienced by residents because of limited resources.

When the barangay was granted funding during the 2nd cycle of Kalahi-CIDSS implementation in 2017, local officials and project staffs wasted no time and started to work not only for the construction of the sub-project but also in capacitating the residents as they will be on top of the implementation.  

“We attended seminars organized by Kalahi-CIDSS and we were able to identify the sub-projects that address our most pressing needs,” Songale said.  

The 65-linear-meter hanging bridge is a product of the collective effort of the people, demonstrating community ownership of the project.

Per program of works, the hanging bridge was expected to be completed in 120 calendar days. But community volunteers came up with a plan that would ensure the speedy and quality construction and they were able to finish the sub-project within 114 calendar days.

Songale shared that their group actively monitored the project during the construction phase.

“Amoang gi schedule kada semana ang among monitoring ug pag trabaho para naa gyud transparency ang tanan sa progress sa sub-proyekto (We scheduled a weekly monitoring and construction to ensure all are updated of the project’s progress).”

He added this would also ensure that the construction is according to the agreed timeline.

Positive impact

“The goal of the program is to ensure sustainable development by ensuring the safety of communities and providing more income-generating opportunities as they can now conveniently transport their produce to the nearest market place,” said DSWD Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.

She added that residents are now equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to push for their own development

“All the hardships that we experienced in the past are rewarded with relief now that Kalahi-CIDSS granted us a hanging bridge sub-project. More importantly, the sub-project came to fruition through the effort and massive volunteerism of the community,” said Lydia F. Lanaban, 33, member of Kalahi-CIDSS Project Preparation Team (PPT).

The 65-linear meter hanging cable footbridge is a success not only because it provided protection to the people, but it also bolstered collaboration and cooperation among the people of Campawan by coming together to make the project become a reality. (DSWD)