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Forty million pesos’ worth of projects for Barangays Bulan-bulan, San Remigio and Cabladan, Sibalom are realized through the groundbreaking ceremonies conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Antique Provincial Government on December 15, 2021 in both areas. The two barangays received P20 million each in CY 2021, having been identified as insurgency hot spots in the province. After the completion of administrative documents, the provincial government through which the funds were downloaded, has started their implementation.
The farm-to-market road in Bulan-bulan used up their total budget of P20 million, while those of Cabladan were divided into the construction of a school building (PHP 2.15 million), electrification project (PHP 3 million), water system improvement (PHP 2.85 million), and farm-to-market road (PHP 12 million). All were funded through the Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) of the DILG.
DILG Provincial Director Cherryl P. Tacda, Provincial Board Member Fernando Corvera, Municipal Mayors Margarito C. Mission, Jr and Gian Carlo F. Occeña of San Remigio and Sibalom, respectively, and Punong Barangays Pedro Raymundo and Porficio Cabigunda of Bulan-bulan and Cabladan, respectively, led the groundbreaking ceremonies. The event was likewise graced by LtCol. Harold Garcia, Commanding Officer of the 61st Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, and P/Capt Grace Saldajeno of the Philippine National Police-Antique, and Provincial Board Members Mayella Plameras, Pio Sumande and Alfie Jay Niquia.
Both Punong Barangays manifested their thanks and commitment to continue giving good public service. Besides their intended purpose which is to raise the economic, health and social benefits, the projects, they said, could also help in the development of tourism industry in the area. Recognizing the government’s efforts towards ending insurgency which hinders such development, both called upon their constituents to not to be misled by wrong ideologies.
Teary-eyed, PB Raymundo, a sprightly 83-year old, said that for more than the past 100 years, their people had to manually bear their produce to the market and back. This limits the amount that each farmer could sell, as well as the basic needs that he could bring back from the poblacion. The new road would be a great help in bring transportation nearer to their barangay center, thus the possibility of increased access to goods and services for the people of Bulan-bulan.
“What had been impossible for our forefathers is now possible,” he added.
On the other hand, PB Cabigunda, himself a senior citizen, said that good public service is what has earned him more than two decades of his constituents’ trust as barangay leader. The school buildings, he said, are the latest additions to the gradual expansion of the local elementary school. Their people value education so much, that it has been made a priority when they worked on their Barangay Development Plan which has been made as basis for the project proposals. The water and electricity projects would benefit identified sitios, while the road project would concretize part of the road that would connect the barangay to Aningalan, San Remigio, which is a tourist area.
Community support has been palpable in both events. Excited at the prospect of enjoying new benefits from the government, the programs took on a festive mood which momentarily dispelled any worries about the incoming typhoon. Many barangay folks nodded their agreement at the points raised by their respective Punong Barangays, murmuring, “Tuod gid ra!” (That’s right!). Requests for songs were called out to Dante Beriong, the renowned composer and singer of Kinaray-a songs, who emceed both events.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan members and both mayors likewise committed their support towards the completion of the projects, citing that these are in consonance with the development plans of their respective municipalities and the province.
PD Tacda exhorted the people to be vigilant during the project implementation. “You, as beneficiaries, should help us ensure that the projects are implemented as they should be. If you observe any deviation, anything that could compromise the quality of the projects, you may report them to us,” she said.
“Let us work together to successfully complete these projects within 2022,” she added.