BOTTOM-UP BUDGETTING AND PLANNING IN DAGAO, KAPANGAN, BENGUET
The introduction of Localized Anti-Poverty Project (LAPP) in Kapangan opened doors of opportunity for ordinary citizens like me to participate in local governance. There was a great deal of difference in planning for the barangay, allocation of limited barangay funds and decision-making. We learned how to identify and prioritize unmet minimum basic needs of the community members through household survey called Poverty Incidence Monitoring Survey (PIMS). The prioritized needs are presented to the Barangay Council for inclusion in the Annual Investment Plan (AIP).
In 2004, Shontoug Foundation introduced LAPP in our community. Before LAPP became a joint project with the Kapangan Municipal Local Government Unit, decisions on what projects are included in the Barangay AIP were exclusively done by the barangay officials. Most programs and projects came from the top that is, offices of government line agencies and in most cases are not responsive to the priority needs of the community members that is why these usually failed.
IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE
Through LAPP, I attended seminars and workshops sponsored by Local Government Units (LGUs) and Non-Government Organizations such as Shontoug Foundation. I recognized that our culture is also considered in this project. LAPP has become a doorway for us to meet government officials and other people. We are now able to avail of projects that we truly need and value. Within the five years that LAPP was implemented in my community, I witnessed the improvement of our socio-economic situation. We now have better access to basic services like daycare centers for young children, maternal and primary health care services and support to our livelihood activities.
As a leader of the (pls specify PO), I find my involvement in LAPP very challenging indeed. The use the poverty map which is a result our monitoring surveys as our guide to request projects that could change the color code of households from red to yellow. This means, there are improvements in the households after development interventions. While some officials are not supportive of our efforts, I will not give up because I believe that our participation in local governance will break the poverty cycle that hounded us for decades. I also believe that improving our lives is in our hands. With our active participation, we are able to access much needed government and non-government support services.
Our village in Dagao have accessed various projects that were successfully implemented and are now enjoying benefits derived from these:
·Dagao Irrigation (Phase 1) from NIA-CAR (P1.2 million) ·Footbridge Construction from Benguet Province (P150,000.00) ·Dagao Day Care Building (Phase 1) for Benguet Province (P500,000.00) ·Youth Organic Poultry from DA-Region (P100,000.00) ·Farmers Field School from DA-ATI ·Organic Farming Training (OPAG/ MAO) ·Dagao Day Care Phase 2 (P400,000.00) and Dagao Irrigation Extension for 2015 from NIA (P2 million)
Having developed confidence and knowledge on how to participate effectively in local governance, I can attest from our LAPP experience that development and progress can be attained only with the participation of ordinary citizens who are willing and determined to work with elected officials to enhance the resources inside and outside of our community. We could help our officials formulate and implement barangay plans that suit our needs. I encourage Barangay and other local government officials to involve their constituents in their development planning and listen to their suggestions.
A community working and supporting each other provide the much-needed energy and power to overcome the tentacles of poverty.