Molding Responsibility in Pasil Community

In the village of Dalupa in Pasil, Kalinga, people have been practicing clay pot-making for decades. While pottery is a one-man job, it has nonetheless served as the main source of livelihood for the people. Even  the village name is pottery-related, being derived from “Chayupa”, the lady who gave out beautiful pots to visitors of the community.

Unlike pottery, molding a community toward development is not a  challenge that can be done by only one person. This, however, did not deter people from attempting to do so, or at least limit the number of people working to those who are part of their inner circle. In the past, infrastructure projects were implemented by just a few people who are related to each another. The concept of a Barangay Assembly was practically unheard of, with the persons handling projects hiring a group of laborers without getting the rest of the community involved in the process.

This was the system followed in Dalupa for several years. Things changed, however, when Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) was introduced in the community. As a barangay belonging to one of the municipalities chosen to implement this developmental project of the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the responsibility of pushing for the implementation of sub-projects was put in the hands of the community for the first time.

The 160-m drainage canal system proposed by Dalupa was one of the prioritized projects in Pasil on the first year of implementation in the municipality. Their drainage canal system would greatly reduce health risks in the community by improving sanitation and reducing the stale water breeding grounds for mosquitoes. While the villagers expected to benefit from Kalahi-CIDSS, what they did not anticipate were the other rewards from the Project.

The barangay councilors were given a section to manage and construct based on the decision of the barangay assembly. Each kagawad would then lead their team of laborers, who also come from the community, in constructing their assigned section.

As part of their community counterpart to the project cost, each household gave a free day of labor that was used in the clearing and cleaning of the project site before actual construction. All these were approved and decided upon by the barangay assembly in their meetings.

As the Barangay Treasurer, Richie Tumalding saw for himself the level of transparency in the management of funds and status of finance in the project implementation that is required by Kalahi-CIDSS, something he is glad for. He is also thankful that he, like the other community volunteers, were able to go through trainings and workshops so they will be able to do their roles in project implementation well.

Currently, the construction of the drainage canal is underway. The progress has been slowed down because of the onset of rains and the difficulty of hauling materials through their mountainous terrain. Even so, the volunteers are very optimistic that they can finish before the cycle ends this July. They hope that when the sub-project is completed it would improve the sanitation in their barangay.

It takes time to create the perfect pot. Much like in pottery, instilling the values of responsibility and accountability may take time to be instilled into the people of Dalupa. Right now they are shaping up to become a strong community-centered village as they take steps toward the right path. It is just a matter of time for them to break the old mold and create a new and better one.