ILOILO – Philippine Saemaul Undong, a movement inspired by the success of South Korea, celebrated its fourth foundation anniversary on Tuesday through sharing of best practices from two villages in Oton and Lemery.
Punong Barangay Antonio Masculino Jr. of Abilay Sur, Oton shared how their church and community infrastructures like irrigation canals, pathways and vegetable gardens were completed using “dagyaw” system.
An effective way to boost morale and ownership, dagyaw system means that able residents agree to provide their labor for free to construct a project.
Masculino’s strong and charismatic leadership also made Abilay Sur a champion in health and sanitation practice and fifth place in solid waste management in Oton.
On the other hand, Cherry Ventura Olanda of Poblacion South East, Lemery told how Saemaul Undong was introduced to them by August Melody Andong, an alumna of Park Chung Hee Saemaul Undong Institute of Yeungnam University.
Andong and her sister, Dr. April Aura A. Cacho of Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College-Lemery Campus, helped mobilize and empower the volunteer village leaders from different sitios under the project – “Bagong Bayanihan ng Barangay”.
The project aims to imbibe the competitive spirit of Koreans through award-driven activities in solid waste management like beautification, among others.
Their activities reached the attention of Gangwon-do Saemaul Male Leaders Association which offered $10,000 (P512,600) assistance to construct their recycling center in August 2017.
The assistance included scholarship grants and livelihood projects to poor residents interested in tailoring and saleable art crafts from recyclable materials.
At least four Saemaul Undong scholars were also invited to witness the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea this coming February 9-25, 2018.
Meanwhile, Atty. Suzette Mamon, representing Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., hailed the initiatives and innovations of the two villages to develop their communities using the guiding principles of self-help, diligence and cooperation.
She also assured the members of the Philippine Saemaul Undong that the chief executive will continue to provide full support to the community projects of the organization.
PSMU President Mario Nillos also stressed that the organization will revisit and review their past strategies in Barangays Alabidhan in Bingawan, Lanag Sur in Sta. Barbara, Poblacion in Badiangan, Moto and Bundulan in San Dionisio, where Saemaul Undong has been introduced.
Philippine Saemaul Undong was formally organized on January 11, 2014 but the movement has been around the province since 1990 through presbetarian minister Dr. Chung Chang Young. It started in Bingawan when then Mayor Zafiro Palabrica offered land for the use of Saemaul Undong.
“We owed Saemaul Undong to Dr. Chung and our elders before us. The rest is history,” said Nillos adding that the anniversary gave them time to reflect on how the organization could be instrument of change.