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Community women make transport easier for co-farmers


mercy 2

An ever reliable housewife, she has never fails to support her husband’s flight.

Mercy Estrella, 48 years old, a native of Margosatubig, Zambonga del Sur was married to Mycon Estrella, a local of barangay Tilasan, RT Lim, Zambonga Sibugay. Being married for 25 years, they are blessed with four children, two sons and daughters. Mercy works in the farm together with his husband who is a tractor and a thresher operator. They plant corn, bananas and other vegetables.

As a resident of the barangay, Mercy saw the importance of community involvement to which she learns from his husband Mycon, an active volunteer and the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee Chairperson (BSPMC) of Kalahi-CIDSS as well.

mercy 1“Pinaagi sa pag-tambong sa mga assembliya ug mga meeting, nahibaw-an namu ang programa sa Kalahi –CIDSS” she said, (It is through attending meeting and assemblies that we have heard of the Kalahi-CIDSS).And to show her support to her husband, she has also devoted her time to volunteer in the program.

Kalahi-CIDSS employs community-driven develop (CDD) strategy that gives people power to decide for their community in ensuring that their needs are addressed and empowering them to become active citizens of the country.

“Nagvoluntaryo gayod ko aron lamang mahatagan ni kahapsay ug kasayon kay kani among lugar medyo lisud-lisud kon hisgutan natu ang pagpagawas sa mga produkto bisan sa ing-ani lang makonhoran ang kalisud sa pagpagawas sa among mga produkto”, Mercy cried. (We volunteered to make things better and easier for us because noticeably our place is really difficult in terms of transporting our farm products, even in this particular issue alone we can help lessen the difficulty we are experiencing with our products).

Since farming is the primary source of living of Barangay Tilasan, the increasing struggle in transporting products from their farm to the barangay center has driven them to identify their desired sub-project, which paved way to the construction of concrete pathway connecting the farm area of Purok Coconut to the barangay center of Purok Bamboo.

The people of Tilasan were pleased to find out that their sub-project was approved and prioritized, infact they’re one of the 11 barangays whose sub-project were prioritized under first cycle. Mercy couldn’t contain her happiness and excitement primarily because they knew about the opportunity awaits the women of Barangay Tilasan as soon as the implementation of the sub-project begins. The opportunity of working will help their husbands in terms of earning for their families. And aside from the earnings, she was also grateful of the learning she has gotten from the program. This is also a chance to show the people that it is not just the man who can do the work in this certain project; hence she served as role-model to them.

“Isip ka BSPMC chairperson nakita naku akong mga kauban nga mga volunteers aktibo pud sila nga mag-apil apil ug gani sa pagtrabaho daghan ang nag-apil. Ang mga tao determinado nga mahuman ang sub-project, para lamang matuman ang proyekto ang mga kababyen-han nagtabang sa paghakot ug tubig, pagpala ”, Mycon Estrella relates. (As the BSPMC chairperson, I saw my fellow volunteers actively participating especially in the hard labor. The people were so determined to get the sub-project done, driven with eagerness; the women also help in getting water and in mixing cement).

Noticeably, during the pre-construction conference a lot of women were eager to participate in the construction of the project. Undeniably, they were skillful enough to take on the man’s job.

While during the implementation stage, the challenges was on the limited quality washed-sand due to the ineffective sand delivered by the supplier, and also the need for large amount of water on site.

“Daghan natabang ang mga kababayen-han, aktibo ang mga babaye nga volunteers sa pagdawat ug pagbantay sa mga materyales nga mercymadeliver sa project site”, their foreman Archie Rivera confirmed. (The women volunteers did help a lot; as a matter of fact they were so active in securing the right materials delivered at the project site).

The youth in their community were encouraged to help because they were moved upon seeing some women working in the construction and the rest of the people in Tilasan saw that women can also do some work and take part in the sub-project of Kalahi-CIDSS.

“Sa akong naexperiensiyahan ug nasaksihan lahi sa una og karon, ang among kalisud pag-uma ra ug panimalay, karon naa na ang kalahi nagtaas ang panginabuhi gumikan sa pagtrabaho”, she recalls. (Based on what I’ve experienced and witnessed, which is different from before, we lived a hard life considering its only farming we do for living and doing household chores. With the entry of Kalahi-CIDSS we’ve notched a level higher in terms of earning a living through the job-opportunities).

With a physical accomplishment running to 87.16%, people of Tilasan couldn’t wait to see how this sub-project will take effect on their farming activities.

Mercy felt really grateful and proud to be part of Kalahi-CIDSS. More importantly she believes she has been a model to her children and to the people in barangay Tilasan, for she has shown them how resilient she is with work despite being a woman how she takes part in their community. ###


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