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HOUSING TURN OVER CEREMONY FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR IN BAYAMBANG

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By Chester Capua (Weekly GoodNews-Regional)

Bayambang – The housing turn over ceremony was held at Brgy. Sancagulis, Bayambang, Pangasinan last January 24, 2019. Led by the Couples for Christ (CFC) ANCOP Charity Organization, with the participation of Kasama Kita sa Barangay Foundation (KKSBFI), and with the aide of Mayor Cezar Quiambao, ten (10) houses were successfully awarded to the beneficiaries.

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The program commenced with a mass officiated by Rev. Fr. Oscar Roque. Present in the said event are Mayor Cezar Quiambao, Vice Mayor Raul Sabangan, CFC ANCOP Canada President Bro. Ricardo Cuenca, CFC Pangasinan Provincial Area Director Gerry Montero, KKSBFI General Manager Romyl Junio, CFC Pangasinan Area Head Rudi Talosig, CFC ANCOP Chairman Reuel Robregado, CFC ANCOP Board Member Henjie San Juan, CFC ANCOP Board Member Raul Marababol, benefactors of CFC ANCOP Canada, some representatives of KKSBFI, LGUs and barangay officials.

After the Groundbreaking Ceremony happened last July 2018, some of the completed houses are now ready to be turned over to its selected beneficiaries. ANCOP, an acronym for “Answer the Cry Of the Poor”, is a global non-profit organization founded by Couples for Christ. It is dedicated to uplift the lives of poor families in developing countries such as the Philippines. With a mission to restore the poor’s hope and dignity, organizing them into sustainable and self-reliant communities through livelihood assistance, values formation, and community empowerment. Currently operating in the country, its aim is to answer the cry of the poor through effective child education and community development programs, develop partnership to achieve a shared vision, and sharing of resources for the poor. Putting faith into action, with the grace of God, and the generosity of all of their donors and supporters, they already helped many poor families and transformed many lives. Kasama Kita sa Barangay Foundation, Inc.(KKSBFI) is a non-stock, non-profit corporation. It is organized by a group of individuals led by the Quiambao family of Pangasinan, who wanted to uplift the quality of life of Bayambangueños. It was established to address poverty due to unemployment and lack of economic opportunities, while it focuses on the Livelihood Trainings. In areas such as bamboo processing treatment and preservation, livelihood workshops, reflexology, cosmetology, entrepreneurship, computer hardware service, housekeeping and implementation of 4P’s Sustainable Livelihood Training Residential Care. One of their recent initiative in Bayambang is the,“Vision Mission” together with WeCare Foundation, a medical mission focused on giving free eye care needs around the different provinces.

The invocation was headed by Bro. Ricky Castillo, then Vice Mayor Raul Sabangan delivered an exuberant opening speech while Mr. Romyl Junio welcomed the guests. Bro. Gerry Montero made the briefing of the project. According to him, “..the project involves the construction of fifteen (15) units duplex houses for a total of thirty (30) units in all. Each housing unit has a floor area of thirty square meters (30 sqm). By far, one of the biggest, if not the biggest low-cost housing in the country in terms of floor area. It has likewise a lot area of sixty square meters (60 sqm)”. He added that, “Each housing unit has a total project cost of one hundred seventy thousand pesos (P170,000). Of this estimated amount of one hundred seventy thousand pesos per unit (P170,000/unit), CFC ANCOP Canada funded one hundred fourty-five thousand pesos (P145,000), or 85% of the total project cost per unit. And the remaining thirty five thousand pesos (P35,000), or 15% of the cost is the counterpart of our foundation, KKSBFI.

So all in all, the total project cost is, for the entire thirty (30) units socialite housing project is five (5) million one hundred thousand pesos (P5.1M). The CFC ANCOP Canada fund a counterpart of four (4) million three hundred fifty thousand pesos (P4.350M), and the KKSBFI counterpart is seven hundred fifty thousand pesos (P750,000)”. That day, they are set to turn over five (5) duplex houses or ten (10) units to ten (10) of their selected beneficiaries. Jonah Gulles, one (1) out of the ten (10) beneficiaries, was unable to express her happiness. “..maraming-maraming salamat po sa lahat. Hindi ko po ma-express ang pasalamat na nagkaroon kami ng sariling bahay. Na magkaroon kami ng panibagong panimula; na magkaroon kami ng dignidad na masasabi talaga namin na kami ay tagarito na, bahay na namin. Nakatira po kami dati sa Amangcosiling. Saksi po si Municipal Councilor, Councilor Amory. Saksi po siya sa buhay ko po, na ako ay palaging pinapalayas. Hiwalay po ako sa asawa. Pero pasalamat pa rin ako sa Panginoon binigyan ako ng bagong pagkakataon, bagong buhay para maalagaan ko ang aking mga anak. Para magiging maayos na tao sa lipunan, hindi pasaway. Ito na po ‘yung way para sa panibagong pagbabago po (Thank you so much for everything. I cannot express my gratitude of having our own house. To start anew; to have our dignity in claiming that we are a resident here, that it’s our home. We were once a settler in Amangcosiling. Municipal councilor Amore is a witness. He witnessed how I lived my life, that I am always evicted out my abode. My husband and I were separated. But I am grateful to the Lord giving me a new chance, a new life that I can take care of my children. To be a good citizen in the society, and not to be delinquent. This is the way towards a fresh start)”.

For a brief moment, Bro. Rudi Talosig offered a short prayer for the late, Mr. Levin Uy. Levin Uy was a councilor, KKSBFI Managing Director and a political adviser of Mayor Quiambao before he was killed. Talosig narrated Uy’s important role in the project. How they conceptualize the idea, giving Uy’s whole heart into it. He later empowered the beneficiaries with his kind words, an announcement of building additional houses in the future, and a promise of scholarship for the children of beneficiaries, where one of them is dreaming of becoming a future engineer. “..tinitiyak ko sa inyo na lagi kaming nakaalalay. Kami ay tutulong, pero kayo ang unang tumulong sa inyong sarili (I am assuring you that we will always guide you. We will lend our help, but, you should help yourselves first)”, as Talosig ended his message. Meanwhile, Bro. Ricky Cuenca was all-praises to the local government of Bayambang. He commended the successful partnership and collaboration between the two parties. The strong support from the local government, together with the KKSBFI made it successful. Calling the beneficiaries as “home partners”, rather than the former, Cuenca emphasized how blessed the CFC ANCOP Canada seeing the project came into full fruition. He was touched and inspired, because of the hard work of everyone. Reminding the home partners to the conditions it entails, he empowered them with his kind words and assuring them the help they need will be given.

Gathering the community’s attention, Mayor Cezar Quiambao made a remarkable speech expressing his gratefulness to all the partners, local government units and barangay officials who made the project a success. He was grateful for the new partnership that developed, while hoping for a new collaboration in the future. Commemorating the death of a beloved friend, Levin Uy, he can never be replaced, but continuing his leadership was tasked to Mr. Romyl Junio. Mayor Quiambao was reminded of how the proposed two (2) hectares of the land to be used on this project was acquired. The land was bought to Levin Uy’s driver, with the help and persistence of Levin Uy himself. After remembering Uy and his participation, Quiambao move on announcing the new name of the new community. He called it “Ancop Village”, gotten the name from its benefactors and its equivalent translation of the word “ancop” in the local dialect, meaning “bagay na bagay” , in tagalog. Wrapping up his speech, he introduced some of his new projects in Bayambang. One of his major project is Bayambang Poverty Reduction Action Plan. A 10-year action plan proposing to reduce the poverty rate of its residents. The program ended with the awarding of symbolic key, after which a walk-thru inspection was made. Prior to the program, Quiambao has stated another plan in the works, “Sa kabila ‘yung low-cost housing naman ng mga empleyado (The low-cost housing for the employees would be on the other side)”.

Witnessing all the important figures and local political officials that came to the event, one man was grateful to be part of such historical event. The Barangay Captain of Brgy. Sancagulis, Brgy. Captain Marcelo Caniezo cannot express his awe and gratitude for choosing a portion of their land to give a shelter to his fellow homeless Bayambangueños. “Lucky kami, lucky kami na kuwan, nakita ‘yung barangay namin na para dito sa pabahay (We are lucky, lucky in a sense that they saw our barangay for this project)”. Caniezo said. The newly established, ANCOP Village, is situated between the boundaries of Brgy. Sancagulis and Brgy. Bical Sur. Geographically, it is still part of Brgy. Sancagulis.

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