COMPOSTELA VALLEY - From several requests coming from both government and private entities, Compostela Valley Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy has once again shares the best practices of his province. This time, the invitation comes from the Ateneo de Manila University’s Office of the Vice President for Social Development together with the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) on April 17 at the Escaler Hall, AdMU, Quezon City.
According to Atty. Jaime Hofilena, AdMU’s Vice President for Social Development, they have been “undertaking a study on ‘What Works’ in a diverse selection of efforts to help people move out of poverty and understand ‘how to scale up’ what has worked so far.”
“We would like the conference to be a venue where participants learn from each other on how to find solutions to social problems…how individuals, groups, and organizations scale up by thinking in terms of institutions and in the long term will be a primary interest,” he said.
Sharing on social change initiative in Comval, Gov. Uy highlights the Filipino culture of “bayanihan” (loosely termed as volunteerism) as his way in government service.
“The spirit of volunteerism came at the darkest time when one of our barangays was swept away by series of landslides in 2008. Through the inspiration of the Gawad Kalinga, we made miracle of building houses,” Gov Uy said.
To date, Comval LGU spearheaded 14 Bayani Challenge producing 1,000 houses scattered in various Uswag-GK Villages in the 11 towns of the province. Prioritizing the poorest of the poor, this was made possible through generous donors providing for the materials and by thousands of volunteers who build the houses, thereby, saving the labor cost component.
With its wide acceptance, the same “bayanihan” spirit extends to the building of school classrooms through the “Kalinga sa Kabataan: Bayanihan sa Paaralan” program and helping address the shortage of classrooms in the province.
The “Adopt-a-Child” program was also implemented as a direct intervention among malnourished children where provincial government employees, themselves, shell out their own resources. Through pooling of their own resources, the offices provide for an “adopted” child and nourish them back to health. This assistance including other interventions extends to the family and even to the community.
It was not surprising then when the biggest challenge, the province encountered on December 2012 with Typhoon Pablo, the Comvalenyos’ resilient spirit has made it possible for them to get back on their feet. They have banked on “bayanihan,” helping each other as they slowly rebuild their lives.
“For all the challenges we have been through, I would like to believe that I have stood with my pursuit for transparency, unity and good governance,” Gov Uy said. (Fe Maestre/IDS Comval)