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Daculang Bolo: a community of strengths

Maridhel Belen, community volunteer (Photo: DSWD)


A bamboo symbolizes strength and flexibility. It has the ability to stand upright and adapt in difficult situations.

Daculang Bolo, which translates to "large bamboo," is also the name of a barangay in the municipality of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Norte.

True to its name, Barangay Daculang Bolo shows many strengths.

The barangay exhibited remarkable collective action of its members through the implementation of community-managed projects such as construction of school building, day care center, and pathway.

“Lumakas ang involvement namin sa mga aktibidad ng barangay dahil sa mga proyekto,” Maridhel Belen, 44, community volunteer said.

(The involvement of the community members in barangay activities increased because of the projects.)

These projects were funded under the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS).

The program is a poverty alleviation program that uses Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach to increase the participation of communities in decision-making, planning and implementation of projects.

COMMUNITY UNDER CRISIS

Due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) crisis, the community suffered from the lack of quarantine facilities because the school building which was also used as an evacuation center cannot fully accommodate the Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs).

Barangay Daculang Bolo was also affected with the increase of unemployment rate because of the pandemic. To resolve the problems identified by the community, the barangay proposed the retrofitting of existing public toilet and bath, and establishment of modular tent as temporary quarantine facility with provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and amenities.

The proposed project was funded under the Disaster Response Operations Procedure (DROP) of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

DROP is a modified Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) wherein each stage is simplified to hasten the process of approval of community projects and its implementation while still following the principles of CDD approach.

The project generated employment opportunities for construction workers who lose their jobs during the pandemic. This also helps in increasing the participation of women in labor force.

“Malaking tulong ang project kasi nagkaroon kami ng pagkakakitaan,” Maridhel shared.

(The project helped us a lot because it provided us a source of income.)

Maridhel shared that six (6) women are part of constructing the project proving that construction work is not only limited to men.

THE POWER OF EXPERIENCE

Aside from the jobs generated, it also demonstrated the ability of the barangay to implement a project considering they have already three (3) community projects.

“Medyo sanay na ako sa proseso ng Kalahi-CIDSS dahil sa mga seminar at trainings na nagpalawak ng aking kaisipan,” Maridhel explained.

(I can already manage the implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS’ process because of the seminars and trainings I’ve attended that furthered my knowledge.)

For Maridhel, she compared the rapport of the community members to a bamboo.

“Kung may hindi pagkakaunawaan, nagkakaroon ng pasensya ang bawat miyembro katulad ng kawayan na yumuyuko,” she said.

(If there are misunderstandings, each community member is humble enough to have it solved like that of a bending bamboo.)

“Pagbugkos-bugkos, maraming nagagawa,” she added.

(United, we can do more.)

/ramsertan/With report from Tommy Tesoro, Community Empowerment Facilitator