Abra town looks back on achievements

IN A fusion of development and cultural celebration, the municipality of Villaviciosa, Abra looked back on their achievements and plotted their next development priorities during a recent Municipal Talakayan with Kalahi-CIDSS.

Dubbed as “Apatan” local term of the Maeng Tribe of Villaviciosa which means “discussions,” the Municipal Talakayan was a venue for a multi-stakeholder dialogue of the development status of the town.

Barangay captains, civic society organizations (CSOs), community volunteers, non-volunteers and senior citizens participated in the event.

Vice Mayor Marjorie Lagen highlighted the P50 million rehabilitation for Barangay Tamac which was devastated by typhoon Ineng in 2015.

“Let’s hope that the proposal will be approved under the office of Abra Representative Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos,” Lagen said.

Galleries of local poverty indicators, development priorities and status of empowerment were also posted for everyone to review before a focused group discussions were conducted with the different sectors.

To ensure quality and balance interpretation of data, professors from the Divine World College of Bangued (DWCB) were hired to facilitate the focused group discussions.

“They are clamoring the Municipal Talakayan will be set as a yearly activity,” says DWCB Professor Elizabeth Valera. A group of senior citizens were also enlightened on how much Internal Revenue Allotment they get and how was it utilized.

A perception survey was also conducted by the college institution with 30 respondents from the eight barangays of the town. The survey results revealed the communities trust the local government; they have knowledge and skills on disaster-preparedness, access to social services and are empowered.

However, majority answered that there are inadequate health care facilities in their barangays.

Lagen addressed this issue and said health and sanitation is one of their priorities and is included under their development agenda.

The Municipal Talakayan was a joint effort of the municipality of Villaviciosa and the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (Jasmin Kiaso/DSWD–CAR)

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