“Abuyog”, “Og-ogbo”, “Ubbu”, “Panag-aabuyog” – these are different Cordilleran dialects that all mean bayanihan or cooperative undertaking. As we know it, not a cultural or linguistic difference can ever stymie this Filipino spirit. In fact, it is the same spirit of unity that led to the completion of 19 subprojects of the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) in Chico Upper River Basin (CURB).
The second quarter of 2020 proved to be a challenging period for Filipinos because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, especially in Luzon, nearly all sectors halted their operations to heed the call of the government for unity in “flattening the curve” of the highly contagious viral infections. However, the willingness of INREMP partner people’s organizations (POs) to exert their best effort and take part in the bayanihan resulted in the completion of 15 Livelihood Enhancement Support-1 (LES) Subprojects, one Community-based Protection and Monitoring Subproject, and three Rural Infrastructure Subprojects. The POs were all motivated by the understanding that the completion of these subprojects would make a huge impact on the sustainability of livelihoods within the project areas covered.
In Apayao, the construction of a 69.55-square meter Cottage Facility for Indigenous Handicraft of Bubog Iseg Tribal Organization (BITO) and a 39.6-square meter Hot Pepper Processing Center of Talifugo Indigenous Farmers Association (TIFA) were both completed on May 31, 2020. Moreover, the drying pavement proposed by BITO under the Community-Based Protection and Monitoring was also completed.
Meanwhile, in Ifugao, the construction of an 18-square meter Peanut Processing Center of Ahin Farmers Development Organization Inc. and the 4.72-kilometer Tulludan-Ahin Road Improvement were completed as well. Similar subprojects in Mountain Province and Kalinga have graduated from the construction phase and were just waiting for their formal turnover to appropriate local governments for their operation and maintenance. (INREMP-CAR/ Norell Jay Osting)