PWD's limitless vigor for development
Anyone can notice the beauty of her gleaming smile because it shows her endless passion to help. It is also very evident in her that having a disability is not an excuse not to yearn for the community’s development.
Regina Buban, 39, a person with an orthopedic disability who was crippled in her left leg by polio at a young age is a community volunteer of Barangay Lantangan, Mandaon, Masbate.
According to the Republic Act 7277 also known as Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, disabled persons have the same rights as other people to take their proper place in society. They should be able to live freely and as independently as possible. This must be the concerns of everyone the family, community and all government and non-government organizations.
Regina’s disability did not hinder her aspirations to join the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) as community volunteer to implement a development project in the barangay in 2015.
Based on the Participatory Situation Analysis (PSA) results gathered by the community volunteers, the barangay has proposed the concreting of barangay road on the 2nd cycle of Kalahi-CIDSS implementation last 2017.
The PSA is a process to identify and analyze the problems and needs of the community as well as propose solutions to address the needs.
According to Regina, all residents suffer from walking on the rough and muddy trail to reach the health center and school.
“Malaki ang naitutulong nito dahil lahat ng residente ay dumadaan doon upang makapunta sa health center at paaralan (The project is a big help to the residents going to to the health center and school),” she said.
Challenges faced during the project implementation
The construction of their road is not always an easy task. According to Regina, the community volunteers have received ridicules from the residents questioning their ability as volunteers.
“Sabi nila, dapat professionals ang sumali sa ganitong implementasyon hindi katulad namin (According to them, it has to be professionals who should oversee the implementation, not us),” she recounted.
Despite all the mockeries, Regina and the community volunteers used it as their driving force to finish the barangay road.
“Isa lang ang goal ko sa buhay, tumanda man ako sa aming barangay mailagay sa puso at isipan nila na ako isang PWD [person with disability] na tao lamang ay nakakaya ko na makagawa na ganoon na project (I have only one goal in life, even though I may grow old, I hope they will put in their hearts and minds that even though I’m a PWD, I am capable of implementing a project),” she said.
Her pregnancy with her youngest child got more difficult because she was part of their road’s implementation team. However, her husband supported her endeavors outside their home such as giving her confidence and logistical support.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa asawa ako kasi full support siya dahil pinapayagan niya ako na magvolunteer at sa paghahatid-sundo niya sa akin kapag may inaayos na documents para sa proyekto. Kung hindi dahil sa kanyang suporta wala din yung proyekto (I am grateful of my husband who gave his full support because he allowed me to volunteer and accompanying me in transmitting the documents for the project. Without him, the project was not completed),” she exclaimed.
Regardless of all adversities, the community has finished the 400-meter barangay road last December 7, 2018.
“Kahit grabe yung ulan, init, pagkadulas at pagkadapa na naranasan ko, iniisip ko na lang na ang aking mga anak ang makikinabang nito (Even though I have experienced extreme weather, slips and falls, I just think of the welfare of my children who will benefit from the project),” Regina said.
The Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) of Lantangan led by Regina was recognized as the regional winner for Person with Disability category of 5th Regional Bayani Ka! Awards.
Regina is also one of the delegates who represented Bicol Region during the 3rd Community Volunteers’ Congress and 5th National Bayani Ka! Awards in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte last August 13-15, 2019. ###