Friday, July 6, 2012

Stories of Inawa Panaynep

“Inawa Panaynep” is the Alangan term for English “Fulfilled Dream” and “Natupad na Pangarap” in Filipino. And this is also how the around a hundred of Mangyan dwellers in So. Calamansian in Brgy. San Agustin, Sablayan here in Occidental Mindoro describe the two (2) main construction projects in their community.

Last July 4, 2012 the Ground Breaking Ceremony was held for the One Unit Two Classroom School Building intended for the IP pupils in said area. Also that day, the inauguration and turn-over of the almost 2 Km. Inawa Panaynep Road came into reality. The access road is a project under the Kalahi-CIDSS-Makamasang Tugon Project under the Department of Social Services and Development or DSWD. The more than P1M worth project was funded by the US-based Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCF) where LGU-Sablayan also placed a counterpart. On the other hand, the building for Calamansian Minority School came from the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Performance Challenged Fund or PCF. The P1M fund utilized for the project actually came from PCF as prize money when LGU-Sablayan bagged the Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2011. The award is annually given by the DILG to deserving LGU’s nationwide to recognize their exemplary performance in terms of transparency in governance. In whole Occidental Mindoro, Sablayan is its first recipient. LGU-San Jose and the Provincial Government just followed the trail.

The visiting officials from DSWD and DILG national offices consist of DILG Assistant Regional Director James F. Fadrilan, CESO IV and Octavio M. Tamondong, Chief of Project Development Management Unit of DILG. Also present are DSWD’s, Deputy Kalahi-CIDSS Coordinator Joel Mijares, Ms. Ligaya Morales, Deputy National Community Development Specialist and Ms. Angelica delas Alas, Social Marketing Specialist III. They, along with his department heads, Mayor Eduardo B. Gadiano, together with MGLOO Jerry V. Santos and Hon. Ruben P. Dangupon, IP/ICC Representative to the Local Legislative Council initiated and witnessed the twin ceremonies. San Agustin Brgy. Chairman Rolando G. Felipe and his council hosted the two momentous events in the life of the indigenous peoples (IPs) of San Agustin.

In a little ceremony held direct at the heart of the community under the rain, Chairman Felipe remembers how they collectively prioritized the project through series of consultations, assemblies and other community driven development (CDD) approaches and ultimately been qualified for the project and became one of its eight winners from Sablayan’s 22 barangays. He even mentioned how the IP themselves came up with the name of the road. The project is seen as symbols of Captain Felipe’s and Mayor Gadiano’s genuine concern for the Alangans or the Mangyans of Sablayan in general, and of Brgy. San Agustin in particular.

Arsing Sarmiento, a tribal elder, likewise extended his word of thanks to the concerned government officials. He even recalled that it has been a long time since they have ventilated to then leaders of both national and local government their dream of having an access road for swift delivery of their produce to the market and for easy access to the town proper or urban centers. He added that the road will be used not only by the residents of Calamansian but by other nearby IP villages. Sarmiento extended his words of commendation to the LCE whom he knew since Gadiano’s NGO days. That was long before the mayor entered into politics.

The following day, we came to witness also the inauguration and turn-over of the Road Construction with 3-Barrel Box Culverts in Brgy. Paetan. The group is welcomed by Barangay Chairman Rodolfo S. Jacinto. The amount of project extended to Paetan is the biggest among the 8 Makamasang Tugon “winners”. Paetan residents tediously followed the CDD process specifically in attending meetings and assemblies and maintained the 100% attendance rating. The savings that incurred from the project was utilized for rip-rapping and construction of a waiting shed nearby.

In his Paetan speech, Mayor Gadiano reiterated that the recipients should monitor and assist in maintaining the project. He also stated that his government will also be employing the CDD process in allocating the LGU’s 50% of 20% Development Fund (DF) amounting to P24M. The total 20% DF of Sablayan is posted at P48M. Mayor Gadiano gave the assurance that 14 barangays who did not make it to the Kalahi-CIDSS will again be processed and be given projects since they have already complied with the initial requirements. At present, 7 different projects are on their way coming from said fund.

The Paetan project is indeed a solution to the community’s long and perennial rainy-day problems which make the lives of the people very difficult. Now they will no longer be disconnected to adjacent barangays especially during floods. Brgy. Captain Jacinto said that the project was a fulfilled dream.

Not unlike in San Agustin, this one in Paetan though not directly an IP project, is in a way another “Inawa Panaynep”

(Photo: File)

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