Abello Frias of Brgy. Dacu Abello is a community volunteer in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a poverty reduction program of the government under DSWD, for almost seven years.
He was hailed as the national winner for the 2nd Bayani Ka! Awards for Luzon cluster because he encouraged his neighbors to participate in all community activities being conducted under Kalahi-CIDSS despite of resistance among his neighbors onset of the program.
His heroic deed in 2012 made him an exemplary volunteer. Two days before the deadline of submission of their documents needed for the construction of their health center being proposed for funding in Kalahi-CIDSS, he forced his way into a storm (Public Storm Warning Signal No. 2 was raised) late in the evening to get their lot document notarized in Masbate City, even if he was suffering from a flu. It took him about two hours to get to town from a 30-minute ride because the way was already flooded.
“Ok lang na ako ang mabasa huwag lang ang mga dockumento. Prinotektahan ko ang papeles. (I don’t mind myself getting drenched, but not the documents. I protected the papers from getting wet),” he said.
Kalahi-CIDSS annually conducts the Bayani Ka! Awards to acknowledge the hard work being put by the local, everyday heroes who put their own communities (“bayan”) before their own selves (“I”).
They are the new generation of champions who will help in the advocacy of making community-driven development (CDD) a reality.
The winners of the “BayanI Ka!” awards will serve as the spokespersons of the program in their respective arenas. As such, the nominees must be willing and able to serve as program advocates in various program events and activities.
The other community volunteers recognized during the awarding ceremony were Mary Fe Antones from La Libertad, Negros Oriental for Visayas, and Marcelo Gusanan from Barangay Eday in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat , who was recognized as Best Community Volunteer in the 2nd “Bayani Ka!” Awards.
Frias was also invited to speak during special gatherings and press conferences of DSWD to share his personal experience in Kalahi-CIDSS.
In addition to the health center constructed through Kalahi-CIDSS, Dacu finished the concreting of their pathways and will also receive funds for their seawall.