KALAHI empowers PWD community volunteer in La Union

SAN FERNANDO CITY – Literally, the road to the village of Cambaly is winding, narrow, and long. Cambaly in Bagulin town is one of the remotest and highest villages in La Union province.
From San Fernando City, it can be reached by a public utility vehicle for roughly a three-hour ride.
Bagulin, a mountainous municipality, is home to the indigenous people community of Kankana-ey.
For Remedios Candid, more popularly known in the community as Nanay Remy, neither the road nor her physical limitations as a polio victim and with hearing impairment could limit her active participation in the activities of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Nanay Remy is a community volunteer of KALAHI-CIDSS and a regional awardee as “BayanI ka!” for Persons with Disability category.
She started as a Participatory Situational Analysis Volunteer and head of the Project Preparation Team for the first cycle of the program in the village.
Despite her lack of financial resources as housewife, Nanay Remy shared her time, basic skills, and knowledge to plan and work with the community, with the municipal government, and with the staff from the said community-driven development project of the government.
“Dito ko natutunan at naranasan ang empowerment bilang isang person with disability,” Nanay Reny said, adding that being a volunteer has enabled her to learn skills on budgeting, managing, supervising, and documenting their sub-project.
She also became the head of the Bids and Awards Committee for their sub-project, so she learned and performed the responsibilities associated with it.
“Nakakarinig ako ng mga salita na hindi ko kaya ang mga trabaho at tungkulin ko dahil PWD ako o kaya mga komento na dahil babae lang kami pero pinapaliwanag ko na may mga gawain din na kaya naming mga kababaihan at ipinakita ko na hindi limitasyon ang kalagayan ko bilang PWD para sa paggampan ng mga gawain para sa aming mga proyekto,” she shared.
Despite not being prioritized during the first cycle of the Community Empowerment Activity, Cambaly was given an opportunity in 2016 to implement their priority project of an access road.
Like the journey to their village, the implementation of the project was not smooth with some obstacles to overcome but the spirit of true bayanihan and volunteerism still prevailed in the community.
In the region, a total of 133 barangays in the 11 municipalities of Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan are target beneficiaries of KALAHI-CIDSS.
At present, 46 out 49 sub-projects for the first cycle and 30 out of 47 sub-projects for the second cycle have been physically completed.
A total of P48 billion per year is allocated for Region 1 for the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS sub-projects and programs. JOANNA DIAZ SABADO/PIA La Union / ABN

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