Dynamic Leaders of Basey
Punong barangay Adelardo Ocop of Salvacion (JINAMOC is its more famous name, especially among WorldWar II American soldiers) surely has a lot of things to share from his latest experience. He had been to Bohol Plaza for the July 5-7 Samar chapter Liga ng mga Barangay provincial congress. The theme for that forum was “barangay disaster risk reduction and management fund”. Of course, he was among other barangay chairmen from Samar. Like other Samarnons, and Basaynons, I, too, am interested to listen to PB Ocop’s learnings and insights, particularly when we all take stock of the potential risks around us. Maybe all those barangay chairmen who attended that gathering have already set in place their respective strategic plans, especially those along coordination and awareness creation. Surely their constituents should be told so that most of them will be aware and ready with things to do and things to get their hands on.
This energetic community leader of punong barangay is one of the village chiefs in Basey, Samar whom I admire, no, not only for his having been an awardee, along with his own island barangay, for many times and occasions already.
Last Thursday late afternoon, I toured Marlou D. Palo, one of the energetic agrarian reform beneficiaries (there are more than 4,000 of them for CARP-covered lands in Basey alone, according to the master list of the Department of Agrarian Reform provincial office at Catbalogan City, Samar) to the 1700s-built Roman Catholic church edifice, belfry and convent in my hometown after I asked him to visit the office of the municipal cooperatives development and view the sample crafts being made by Rina, one of my playmates in my childhood at Sulod district, from recyclable wrappers and newspaper pages. At the convent yard facing Salvacion, and near the much-transformed grotto section, I asked him to stop and view the Salvacion landscape across the sea at the southeast. Marlou, after I told him about Salvacion and Adelardo, the development-oriented PB, remarked, “Kinahanglan makabisita liwat ako han iya barangay ug makahimangraw ko hiya.” Marlou is presently the secretary of the Baktas Kabub’wason Rural Workers Association (Baktas for short), the only people’s organization I know of in Basey that helps the government and responsive non-government organizations look into the concerns of farmers and other villagers in Basey, particularly agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Perhaps Adelardo Ocop would also wish to tell more about his moments with senator Koko Pimentel – the son of my idol senator, Nene Pimentel, who became a kumpare of mine when he stood as one of the principal sponsors of the wedding of my elder son, civil engineer Nino Medroso Dela Torre and pharmacist Gay Oliva. Adelardo had had a picture taken with the erudite and scholarly senator. On July 6, he said, senator Koko was in Benguet for the July 7 C.A.R. disaster risk reduction andmulti-hazard awareness summit of which the senator was to one of the resource guests.
Speaking of disaster preparations, I had consulted barangay leaders and core group leaders and members who had attended the Core Group Leadership Training last July 21, 2012 at the long and spacious barangay hall of Old San Agustin (thanks to PB Venerando C. Bacayo, also one of the PBs of Basey whom I admire and always want to work with along advocacy lines, although at times he can show off his being smart and brilliant, no, not for the fact that he is the younger brother of the dynamic principal of Old San Agustin National High School, Concordio Bacayo, a Facebook friend of mine whom you can rely on for his insights into campus upgrading and development and who is a frequent fellow rider when we board the 5:45 p.m. [last trip] Basey van for Tacloban during weekdays ). There, in that forum, I reemphasized on the need for core groups to actively help barangay and sitio leaders particularly in pushing for community action and development interventions by other sectors outside of their own villages. In turn, some of the more than 60 participants told me two interesting revelations: one, the big boulder that fell off the cliff of the riverside mountain leading to Sohoton and the last interior riverine village, Mabini, which has a total warm body population of 2,268 (1,219 Male, 1,049 Female), still remains intact and partly submerged in the shallow river which it narrowed by more than half its width, while another smaller boulder still remains standing on the edge of the same side of the cliff, somewhat waiting for its own time to fall; and two, Old San Agustin, for the first time, went under water only recently , with the flooding caused by the overfill and spill of the water contained in the still unused and un-operational irrigation canal that had been built for the Basey Irrigation Project (which utilizes water from the tortuous parts of Bugasan River northeast of Mabini).
Some of the leaders in attendance also demanded that their certificates of land ownership award be already distributed so that agrarian beneficiaries could already start cultivating the lands awarded to them. Most of the lands alluded to are found inside the Basey portion of the Samar Settlement Project. Those lands, since they had been placed under the coverage of the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program have not yet been distributed to the more than 2,000 individuals listed in both individual and collective CLOAs and therefore uncultivated since 1998. Baktas president Teodorico D. Porbus and Marlou told the participants that Baktas would be making their recommendations hopefully by the first or second week of August.
‘Dialectical materialism is universally true because it is impossible for anyone to escape from its domain in his practice. The history of human knowledge tells us that the truth of many theories is incomplete and that this incompleteness is remedied through the test of practice. Many theories are erroneous and it is through the test of practice that their errors are corrected. That is why practice is the criterion of truth and why “the standpoint of life, of practice, should be first and fundamental in the theory of knowledge”. Stalin has well said, “Theory becomes purposeless if it is not connected with revolutionary practice, just as practice gropes in the dark if its path is not illumined by revolutionary theory.”’ – Mao Tse Tung [Note: J. V. Stalin, "The Foundations of Leninism", Problems of Leninism, Eng. ed., FLPH, Moscow, 1954, p. 31.]
By: Chito Dela Torre
Short URL: http://leytesamardaily.net/?p=30866