“Proyekto Natin Ito! (This project is ours!)” This is the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) South Luzon’s watchword in promoting sense of ownership and social responsibility in implementing subprojects in targeted areas.

During the World Bank Review Mission to Infrastructure Development (I-BUILD) Subproject in Sipocot, Camarines Sur on August 16, 2017, the PRDP team observed the community’s commitment and engagement in the implementation of the Concreting of Manangle-Caima Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) in the municipality. The PRDP recommended conducting a Citizens Monitoring Tool (CMT) Training to equip the citizens residing in the area in effective monitoring of the subproject.

 

On September 26-28, 2017, the PRDP-Bicol, in partnership with the PRDP Project Support Office South Luzon Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team, spearheaded the CMT Training for the subproject. The training was participated in by the Community Monitoring Team of the six barangays in the road influence area namely Manangle, Bulawan, Gabi, Carayrayan, Binahian, and Caima. Representatives from the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Unit (PPMIU) of Camarines Sur, Municipality of Sipocot and the contractor also attended the activity.

“Ang PRDP ay utang po natin sa World Bank. May investment po tayong lahat dito, yung ating mga anak at ang ating mga apo ay magbabayad ng share nila para sa proyektong ito. Ang proyektong ito ay hindi lamang para sa gobyerno kung hindi sa ating lahat (PRDP is a loan from World Bank. All of us have invested on this, even our children and our grandchildren will be paying their share for this project. This project does not belong to the government but to all of us),” PRDP PSO South Luzon M&E Officer Arvin San Juan said.

To highlight the citizens’ role in ensuring that the subproject is implemented on time, in good quality, and at the least cost, the participants were oriented about the citizens monitoring instruments. These include the Applied Geotagging Technology, Social and Environmental Safeguards such as social and environmental construction-related impacts and items to monitor on compliance to safeguards requirements. PRDP also trained the participants in using Monitoring Guide Questions anchored on the five quality assurance elements namely Management Support System, Contract Review Processes, Inspection and Testing Procedures, Document Control Procedures, and Operation and Maintenance Procedures. The training concluded with an actual field activity at the 19.15- kilometer Concreting of Manangle to Caima FMR project site. The CMT Training is part of the PRDP’s effort to scale up public transparency and strengthen partnership with the communities.

Using the citizen monitoring form, the Community Monitoring Team is tasked to conduct field works and geotag construction activities. Findings will be sent to the Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) and the PRDP-Bicol Rural Infrastructure Engineer (RIE) while filled out monitoring instruments will be consolidated by the Barangay Inspectorate Team (BIT). A member of the BIT will consolidate the weekly and monthly observations by item of works including dates and station numbers. The PPMIU, Community Monitoring Team, contractor and the Regional Project Coordination Office will conduct a meeting twice a month to discuss the findings, address issues and concerns, and provide advice on corrective measures, as necessary.

“Natutuwa ako sa training kasi dati ang alam ko dun sa pagpatrabaho basta nagpapatrabaho lang. Nabuksan yung isip namin na may mga dapat pala kaming malaman tungkol sa pagpapatrabaho hindi lang yung basta matrabaho. May mga technicalities pala na dapat nakikita. Hanggang pagtanda ko, madadala ko yung mga kaaalaman na yun (I appreciated the training because I used to think that road construction simply involves construction activities. I was enlightened that there are certain technicalities that we need to learn so that the road will be constructed not merely out of compliance. I’ll carry this knowledge even when I grow old),” Barangay Chairman Noe Ilan of Brgy. Binahian in Sipocot, Camarines Sur said. 
The training for the Community Monitoring Team of the Concreting of Manangle-Caima FMR is the first CMT Training in Bicol. The PRDP M&E team will be conducting similar CMT Trainings in Placer and Esperanza, Masbate in the fourth quarter of 2018. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)