Posted on 20 October 2014.
By Maricar M. Calubiran
For the decades, the road network from Calatrava town proper to Barangay Cambayobo is not found in the town’s map. Residence thought is a “sugar road” owned by sugar baron in Negros Occidental.
But the entry of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services- National Community Driven Development Program (KC-NCDDP) changed the picture.
About 24-kilometers away from the town proper, the hilly portion of the barangay cuts off the barangay’s transportation link to poblacion.
An agricultural village, the residents rely on cash crops, sugar cane and coconut farming for a living. Farmers transport their produce to the market on foot or by carts pulled by horses or carabaos, enduring the two-meter wide rugged road, which is muddy and dangerous during rainy season.
Locals use horses as means of transportation.
Despite the presence of sugar cane plantation near the village, Cambayobo’s economic growth is hampered by the absence of reliable and safe farm-to-market road.
Jovencio Flores, Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chairperson said that everyone in their barangay wants a road project KALAHI CIDSS presented the Project concept in their barangay assembly.
Starting the project was a challenge as there were no proofs that the project site the villagers proposed a barangay road or that it was donated if owned by private individuals, he said.
“Kalain man oy. Daw sa ano bala tawagon ang dalan sa inyo barangay nga colorum. (It is depressing that they will call our road a colorum),” said Monica Empase, who is a member of the KALAHI CIDSS preparation team.
The lack of supporting documents tested the community volunteers’ fortitude in realizing their dream of having better farm-to-market road that would transport of their produce easy and safe.
To address the problem, the community appealed to the land owners to sign a deed of donation for the 1.45-km KALAHI CIDSS farm-to-market project, in which the donor did. Two other adjoining barangays, namely Winaswasan and Hilub-ang, also pass by Cambayobo. The Sangguniang Bayan passed a resolution declaring the road a barangay road. Their hope of better road was boosted by the support of the municipal government.
For decades, residents of Barangay Cambayobo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental pass by this rugged road to bring their farm produce to the town proper.
But the community’s dilemma did not stop with the issuance of the deed of donation, and the SB ordinance.
The inclement weather created distrust among the community volunteers.
Flores said there are times when they thought the farm-to-market road project will be completed.
“May mga panahon nga nagtuo kami nga dili na mahuman ang proyekto bangud sa mabaskug nga ulan (At time, we believe that the project could not be completed because of heavy rains), “said Empase.
Yet, the persistence of the community volunteers prevailed over their doubts. “Naisip man namon nga dapat kami magtinguha agud mahuman ang dalan bangud ini isa ka daku nga problema sa amon barangay (We are thinking that we should strive to finish the road project since it is the community’s biggest problem), said Flores.
Presently, the community is looking forward to the completion of the P3.2 million project, and finally say goodbye to the times when passing by the road is difficult even for habal-habal.
The villagers are optimistic that the improved road condition could also change their lives, and give way to economic growth they were deprived for decades.#