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Steadfast community effort for refuge

Leona Ornido, a community volunteer helps her community by donating her real property to build the evacuation center community project.

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good,” Elizabeth Edwards, a best-selling author said.

Through the years, Bicol Region has been struck by disasters such as typhoons, heavy rains or volcanic eruption. For the community of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Ocampo, Camarines Sur, it is important for them to strengthen their preparedness in times of disasters considering the distance of their community from the town main district.

Located at the lower slopes of Mt. Isarog, Barangay Sta. Cruz is a 45-minute motorcycle ride from the town proper. Since the community continues to grow with over 59 households situated in Zone 6 of the barangay, there is a plight on securing safety of these people during disasters.

To ensure the wellbeing of the community, the people decided to build an evacuation center that will withstand a typhoon since most of the residents’ houses are made of light materials.

Through the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS), the barangay folks have built the infrastructure with their collective action yearning for the improvement of their community.

According to Leona Ornido, 64, community volunteer who helped built the evacuation enter, the building will also serve as a day care center so that the children won’t have to go to school at the town proper.

Nagsisilbi din itong day care center kasi kawawa naman ng mga bata at ang kanilang mga magulang kailangan pa nila bumiyahe ng malayo lalong lalo na tuwing tag-ulan (The building also serves as day care center because we think it will be of great use for the children and their parents so that they won’t have to travel for a long distance especially during the rainy season),” Ornido explained.

Seeing the project as a great need to solve the problem, Ornido donated her land to build the evacuation center.

Naisipan ko magdonate ng lupa upang makatulong ako sa kapwa ko kasi kung mayroong bagyo kahit saan tumatakbo ang mga tao para lang masiguro ang kaligtasan nila (I thought of donating my land to help my fellow folks so that they won’t have to go in different places just to ensure their safety),” the volunteer added.


The project implementation was never easy especially when their efforts were put to test. According to Julie Paz, 48, Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chairperson, they have experienced a lot of struggles.

Ang naging problema namin ay ang panahon kasi yung kinalalagyan ng evacuation center ay malayo sa kalsada kaya tuwing tag-ulan hindi nai-dedeliver ang mga materyales kaya nagkaroon ng delay (One of the problems is the weather. Since the evacuation center is far from the main road, the contractor has difficulty in delivering the materials especially when it rains),” Paz expounded.

To solve the delay of delivery, the volunteers have planned different ways such as manual carrying of materials and scheduling of delivery in consideration of the weather condition.

Syempre, tao na lang gagawa, magtulung-tulong upang maipasok ang mga materyales at magawa ang project (Of course, we will be ones to implement so we just helped each other to construct the project),” the BSPMC chairperson stated.

For Paz, the folks have seen many changes in their barangay after they have implemented their community projects.

“Yung unang project namin na pathway doon sa Zone 4, mas bumilis ang labas ng produkto o paninda habang sa Zone 6 naman panatag ang loob ng mga pamilya na mayroon silang tatakbuhan na ligtas sila (Through the pathway we have constructed, we deliver our products easily to the town proper. For Zone 6, the families are confident that they have a shelter to go to during calamities),” Paz said.

Paz also added that she saw the prosperity in their community after they have implemented the project.

Sana hindi magsawang tumulong ang mga residentes kahit wala kaming natatanggap na anumang sweldo. Basta maisip lang namin na makatulong sa barangay at sa kapwa naming, okay na iyon (I hope the residents won’t stop from helping even though we don’t receive any salary. If we can help to the barangay and fellow residents, it’s okay for us),” the volunteer stated.

“Doble sipag, huwag magsawang tumulong (Double the efforts, don’t get tired of helping),” she advised.

The power to spring back from difficult situations has been part of our system but the capacity to mobilize a community for greater endeavor shows the true essence of humanity.   /ramsertan/

About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Camarines Sur has implemented Kalahi-CIDSS in 35 municipalities with a total implementation grant of PhP 1,924,761,914.55 and local counterpart contribution of PhP 71,708,082.57 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated Ocampo with PhP 60,928,835.00 with a counterpart from the LGU of Php 8,879,385.57.

The construction of evacuation center has a total project cost of PhP 1,863,500.73 which will benefit 59 households.

For more details about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, follow this link:





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