DON MARIANO MARCOS, LUPON, DAVAO ORIENTAL - True to the Filipino tradition of “Bayanihan,” A Water Improvement Project was completed in Purok Waywayan Centro-Bitan-agan 2 through the cooperation of the Don Mariano Marcos Barangay Council, local residents of beneficiary Purok and the Peace and Development Team of Alpha Company, 28th Infantry (Kamagong) Battalion deployed in the said Barangay.
“Kung wala naningkamot ang mga Army, dili gyud namo ni maangkon nga project” (If not for perseverance of the Army, we will not be able to have this project) said Purok Leader Samuel Santos after the project was completed last March 6.
The project was initiated after residents during a meeting brought up their problematic water system with the soldiers conducting Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP) in the area. They said that although they have an existing water system, it is not able to supply many of the residents especially their neighboring Purok which is farthest from the water source. Incidentally, the meeting they were conducting was for the organization of the Barangay Development System (BDS), a people’s organization that fostered togetherness and cooperation in the neighbourhood for their improvement. The soldiers then realized that what better way to emphasize their point of coming up with such organization than a project that will benefit the whole Purok but would also require cooperation of the whole Purok.
Private First Class Oliver Paguirigan, who is a skilled carpenter and mason, was the “engineer” of the whole project while First Lieutenant Alex Cabales came up with a proposal based on the plans of PFC Paguirigan. Although the project was completed in a day and a half, the more daunting task that confronted 1Lt Cabales and Barangay Captain Eduardo Orias was the sourcing out of the materials needed for the project. 1Lt Cabales explained that more than just a developmental project, it was a classic example of how the local residents can participate in the delivery of services without purely relying on the government. He further said that they were in fact hitting two birds with one stone for they do not only solve the problem of the residents they also foster responsible citizenship on them. Hopefully, this attitude will redound to other projects with greater community involvement. Eventually, the council was convinced and funds were released. The Barangay Council shouldered the materials except for four (4) bags of cement which was provided by the soldiers.
The materials were brought to the Purok amidst jovial residents excited that their problem is being addressed. Through the leadership of their Purok Leader, about 10 residents worked hand in hand with a handful soldiers. Some carried hollow blocks from the Purok to the construction site, others collected sand for the concreting of the structure while others worked on the structure itself. PFC Paguirigan managed the construction while 1Lt Cabales supervised the whole activity. By noontime of March 6, the construction was finished and once the concrete has dried the residents of the Purok will experience a better water system.
Eventually, the water system will be extended towards Purok Upper Waywayan. They agreed to discuss amongst each other how they are going to maintain their water system which is now a greater possibility as they have now understood the value of working together and cooperation. They are even more excited for the formal organization of the BDS in their Purok as they have now seen the light… the light of Bayanihan… the light that will shine bright everytime they use the water provided by their collective effort as a community.