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In light of TD Usman, there’s still community effort

Sandra Barruga, 44, a resident of Brgy. Burocbusoc in Buhi, Camarines Sur recounts her experience when Tropical Depression ‘Usman’ hit town last December 29, 2018.

A family’s slumber was disturbed with a loud sound of rocks crumbling down the hillside that feels like a strong earthquake.

With safety on the palms of their hands, the father can’t contain his fear, so he took courage to get out of their house at 10 o’clock in the evening. He was in great shock upon seeing the waist-high flood waters about to conquer their home.

This was the dreadful experience of Melchor Narra, 59, a resident of Barangay Burocbusoc in Buhi, Camarines Sur when Tropical Depression ‘Usman’ struck Bicol Region on the 29th of December 2018, a few days before New Year’s Day.

From downtown Buhi, their house can be reached through a 45-minute motorcycle ride.

Nakalipat kami sa harong kan tugang ko kan bumisita man ang kapitan, mga kagawad pati man ang mga rescuers (We transferred to my brother’s house when the barangay captain, councilors and rescuers visited us),” Narra explained.

On the aftermath of TD Usman, their area was surrounded with uprooted trees and enormous rocks that come from the mountain on the other side of the road.

According to Narra, this is the first time he experienced this kind of distressful incident.

Medyo na-trauma kami kaya nagsimba kami sa Iriga para magpasalamat siguro kung natuluyan kami nin mga gapo asin kahoy digdi baka ubos kami sa laog kan harong (We were traumatized so we attended a Holy Mass in Iriga to give thanks because if our house were struck by rocks and tree trunks, we might also die),” he said.

Guiding Light for Safety   

For Sandra Barruga, 44, also a resident of Burocbusoc, the Tropical Depression ‘Usman’ has left a great ordeal on her life.

According to Barruga, they were attending a neighbor’s wake when the electricity supply was cut-off, so they’ve decided to return to their respective homes.

Due to fear, Barruga came outside of the house to observe the surroundings.

Maray na sana ngane po igwang solar-powered street light, sa paghiling ko igwa na palan tubig samo kaya nagparakurahaw ako na igwa na nin baha asin magdulag na ta may tubig na (Good thing, we have the solar-powered street lights. Upon seeing the flood waters, I shouted to my neighbors that there’s flood and we need to vacate the area),” she recounted.

Even before the calamity, the community has already decided to install solar-powered street lights through the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS).

Maray na may tigkabit na street lights bago mag-uran dahil dae ko mailing su baha ta banggi (I’m thankful that there are street lights installed before the strong rains came because I won’t be able to see the flood that night),” Barruga continued.

Narra also shared the impact of their community project in times of disasters.

Igwa pang ilaw habang nagalakaw kami maski ngane baha igwa pang ilaw (When we are evacuating, the street lights are still fully functional despite the flood waters),” he said.

Barruga also shared that she attended barangay assemblies and even aided in determining the possible solutions for their needs, thus; the installation of street lights came into fruition.

“Tama talaga an pighagad mi na dapat street lights ta magayon ining produkto sa barangay (It’s a good decision to put up those street lights since it’s a good product of the barangay),” she stated.

Through community meetings, we are all given the significant opportunity to voice out concerns as well as decide for our community.

But, we must also reflect on the responsibility appointed to us when identifying issues and outcomes because, in every choice we made, it will enormously affect not only us but also fellow community members.    /ramsertan/

About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Camarines Sur has implemented Kalahi-CIDSS in 35 municipalities with a total implementation grant of PhP 1,950,716,688.10 and local counterpart contribution of Php 75,273,846.32 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated Buhi with PhP 59,991,924.00.

The installation of solar-powered street lights has a total project cost of PhP 1,393,150.00 which benefitted 75 households.

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

http://ncddp.dswd.gov.ph/site/faqs

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