Barangay Captain MARIO KADINGILAN did not sleep much the night before. They were so excited upon learning that the government people will visit their place. The ARMM and Maguindanao Provincial Government delegation, consisting of different partner agencies arrived to see the excited faces of the people – children especially were big eyed looking at the convoy of vehicles.
The Barangay Captain in his speech was teary-eyed while repeatedly saying: ”Dito na ako ipinanganak, lumaki at nagkaisip hanggang sa ngayon, pero kahit minsan, maliban sa araw na eto, ay di talaga kami nabisita ng taga gobyerno (occasionally stopped to wipe his eyes), pasensya na po kayo, pero luha po eto ng kagalakan at pasasalamat at nakarating kayo sa aming lugar.”
February 26, 2013 is a memorable day for the people of the chosen area. Three hours of rough road, steep climbing of mountainous terrain, amidst lush surroundings, brought us to Barangay Tubak, Ampatuan, Maguindanao. Forty-eight kilometers away is Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, the only entrance to the secluded but naturally-endowed barangay. Under the forest covering, small but gurgling streams kept our surroundings cooler than what anyone would expect in the hot and humid weather we were experiencing that day. The road we were travelling on was so high up in the mountains, that I felt like ”Piso na lang ang pamasahe, LANGIT NA!”
ARMM H.E.L.P.S. Convergence truly brought out the best in each one of us who were involved. The far flung barangay of Tubak, Ampatuan, Maguindanao is home to more or less 3,000 Manobo-Dulangan tribal people. The throng of people in the small community was in a festive mood, while lining up for the different services offered to them. The tandem of ORVG-DOH had vaccine for children and mothers, DSWD had complimentary feeding for children, DAF distributed coffee seedlings and sample of palay seeds, DTI conducted IEC. BFAR intended providing them with Tilapia fingerlings but on second thought decided not due to the distance which would kill the fingerlings anyway.
The community’s most basic needs are Education and Health for which they only have three classrooms and three voluntary teachers. Mujiv S. Hataman committed his government’s help to the chosen barangay and promised to grant a permanent position to the teacher volunteers. He also promised to construct an additional classroom, a Health Center with complete equipment as well as senior citizens allowance of P250/month.
In coordination with other participating agencies in government, ARMM H.E.L.P.S. hopes to realize its objective to reach out to the far flung barangays and provide basic services and livelihood program to alleviate the present economic condition of the people in said areas. Let’s work together and GET GOING! (Connie Canlas-BFAR-ARMM, Annalie Ostique-BPI-ARMM, Sarok Kayugan-BPI-ARMM with the support of Dir. Nash Maulana of BPI-ARMM)