“Tubig ang simbolo ng magandang buhay para sa amin dito sa Sapa Pequena (Water is the symbol of good life for us in Sapa Pequena)”, said Ruth L. Bondal, 33, married to a farmer, with three children, and a Kalahi-CIDSS Project Preparation Team (PPT) community volunteer who works hard to ensure that the community has what it takes to be prioritized in the Kalahi-CIDSS Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
One of the 14 barangays of Burgos, Pangasinan, Sapa Pequena endures a long occurrence of water scarcity. Farming being the major source of income of the residents, insufficiency of water and its source poses damaging threats to the farmers and their crops every harvest season once a year.
“Ang hirap po ng tubig dito sa amin, sa pisikal na usapan at pinansyal. Ang layo ng pag-iigiban at higit sa lahat mahal ang tubig pang-inom na binibili namin mula pa sa bayan na kung saan siyam na kilometro ang layo at mahal ang pamasahe, dagdag pa ang mahinang ani dahil sa kakulangan sa tubig.” (Water is difficult to source out in our area both physically and financially. The water source is far from where we are and potable water is very expensive; we still have to buy in town which is still nine kilometers away, not to mention the expensive fare and insufficient harvest due to water shortage).
With the Kalahi-CIDSS Program embracing Community-Driven Development (CDD), Ruth perceives it as the hope they have been waiting for. She deems it an opportunity for her and her kabarangays to ease their desolation brought forth by poverty through the proposed water system sub-project which they work hard for and aim to be prioritized. It has always been her aspiration to reach out to her community thus she does her best as a volunteer and commits her time in every barangay and municipal assembly and assistance for the finalization of their barangay’s water system project proposal; demonstrating not only her commitment but also her faith in the realization of the objectives of the program on community empowerment, good governance, and poverty reduction which will soon be more felt in their area.
Ruth further expressed, “Ang DSWD para sa akin ay tubig na nagbibigay ng buhay. Bilang isang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary, pinagaan ng DSWD ang buhay na meron kami ng pamilya ko ngayon, pagkatapos ay dumating pa ang Kalahi-CIDSS na pag-asa naming tutugon sa kahirapang dinadanas ng aming barangay.” (DSWD is like water that gives life. As a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary, DSWD has helped improve the quality of life that I and my family currently enjoy, then along came Kalahi-CIDSS which we hope will alleviate our community’s burden). (by: Jomara S. Chan, Kalahi-CIDSS SMO)