pabahay project2Houses are supposed to give warmth, comfort, and security to families. If these are made of corroding materials, old bamboo poles covered with recycled sacks, tarpaulins, or posters, and situated in hazard-prone areas, how could a family withstand this wrath of poverty?

In Dingras, Ilocos Norte, eight Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries were provided with safer and stronger abodes through “Pabahay Project”.

To recall, 20 poor families were in need of safe and sturdy houses based on the result of the first administration of the Social Welfare Indicators (SWI) conducted on March 2013. This is a tool that assesses the well-being of a family from levels of survival, subsistence, or self sufficiency.

Since the need was identified during the SWI administration, it was raised to the Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC), which after several meetings, came up with “Pabahay Project”.

Aside from providing better homes, the Project also aimed to strengthen the collaboration and camaraderie of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in building the Pabahay Project by tapping them to build the houses.

The MAC carefully planned income generating activities that supported the “Pabahay Project” such as raffle draw and run-for-a-cause. With the approval of the Chairperson, Budget Officer Marianita Allado, the MAC agreed to have a “Pabahay Project” for 20 households.

The MAC also agreed to the suggestion of Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Jesannie Gay-ya that the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) be an augmentation to provide other needs of the potential households.

Bayanihan still alive in Dingras, Ilocos Norte

Pooling of resources and technical expertise started with the MAC, public and private partners, barangay officials and even with the beneficiaries themselves.

The Municipal Engineering Office (MEO) designed the houses and provided the estimated overall cost; the School Principals and other MAC Members distributed raffle tickets and encouraged others to join the Fun Run; Municipal Operations Office (MOO) monitored the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries for the ‘Bayanihan’ activities and tapped more service providers to join and participate in the said events.

The raffle draw generated total amount proceeds of Php 154,960.00, of which, Php 22,900 was utilized to buy the prizes. As the project went on, the remaining amount was deposited in the Community Rural Bank of Dingras. The remaining amount was able to build 3 houses for the family-beneficiaries Nancy Ballesteros and Elaine Daquioag from Brgy. Lumbad and Merlita Bayeta from Brgy. Parado.

Likewise, a fun run was conducted that raised a total amount of Php 218,711.00 which was deposited to the Rural Community Bank of Dingras and staggardly withdrawn for the construction of another 5 houses for the families of the following: Nelly Manegdeg from Brgy. Baresbes; Marina Salvador, Brgy. Barong; Florentino Aragon, Brgy. Espiritu; Myrna Tolentiono, Brgy. Suyo; and Ruperto Tadena, Brgy. Medina.

Generoso and Merlita Bayeta’s family is among the 8 families who acquired their house through the “Pabahay Project”. They used to stay near the riverbank. They said in an interview, “Agyaman kami kadagiti timmulong a nangipatakder iti balay. Safe kamin, haanen a mai tip tippang. Sapay ta adu pay iti matulungan yo (Thank you to all those who helped us build our new home. We are now safe unlike before when we are near the river bank risky of eroding. We hope that you will help more).”

DSWD’s Provincial Action Team (PAT) in Ilocos Norte monitored the implementation of the Pabahay Project particularly those Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who worked for the construction of houses. The PAT and its municipal counterpart also provided technical assistance in the liquidation process, proper documentation, records keeping, and monitored proper disbursement of funds.

Towards sustainability

To sustain activities to support the “Pabahay Project,” the Local Government Unit of Dingras drafted and passed an Executive Order. This also ensures the continuity of the Project until all needy families are served. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer)