Cebu City barangay to do wi-fi project over again

·7 min read

THE installation of free wi-fi sites in the mountain barangay of Buhisan in Cebu City was already 90 percent complete when these were hit by Typhoon Odette on December 16, 2021.

According to Buhisan Barangay Captain Gremar Barete, they were already 90 percent done with the installation in the different sitios in the barangay when their efforts came to naught after the typhoon struck.

Barete said they have to start the project over again after the materials or equipment that they bought using his own money were damaged by the typhoon.

"By next year, usa na sa atong gipaningkamotan nga ma-allocate nato ang budget. Karon nga year ug last, akoa gyud tong personal nga budget, atoang gisuway pag establish pero naagian man ug bagyo mao nang naglisod ta pag establish ug balik. Hinay-hinayan pa gyud na nato og establish," Barete said in SunStar Cebu's "Kumusta Kap" program hosted by reporter Benjie Talisic.

(By next year, one of our goals is to allocate a budget for this (wi-fi project). For this year and the year prior to this, I used my personal budget in trying to establish the project, but due to the typhoon, we're now having difficulty to establish it back, let's do this again gradually.)

Barete said the project was supposed to help the students in the barangay who relied on the internet for their class modules.

He said the wi-fi signal coverage in the barangay hall then was only at two percent, which could not accommodate the needs of students who were studying from their homes.

Barete said the wi-fi would also help his constituents connect with their loved ones from faraway places.

"Ang among gibuhat lang, kami sa barangay nipalit mi ug daku-daku nga data 500mbps, pwede na maka-distribute og signal nga adunay gikusgon nga 20mbps sa matag sityo. Pwede na kaayo na maka video call. Gikan sa barangay, gidistribute namo na through fiber optic. Mas maayo gyud tong armor optic," he added.

(What we did in the barangay was to buy a 500mbps data plan, which can transmit internet speeds of up to 20 mbps to every sitio where residents can already make video call. We transmitted the signals from the barangay hall using the fiber optic, armor optic would have been better).

Barete clarified, however, that not all sitios in the barangay need wi-fi connectivity, especially in areas where signal is strong.

Buhisan has 30 sitios, of which 80 percent are prone to flood and landslide.

That's why the barangay is also planning to build a rip-rap to protect the residents along the Kinalumsan River from a possible landslide during heavy rains.

"We consider Barangay Buhisan as a flood-prone area, landslide-prone area, typhoon naa gyud dinha anha gyud moagi tungod sa terrain gyud nato sapa, kalsada, bukid dili gyud nato malikayan naa gyuy landslide so ang amo ra gyud matambag ilabi na sa mga constituents sa barangay nga amping lang gyud ta (would pass here due to our terrain -- streams, roads, mountains -- it can't be avoided that there are landslides, so the only thing we can advise, especially to the constituents, is to be careful)," Barete said.

In an event of flooding or landslide, the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Personnel (BDRRM), despite lacking an equipment, has enough crew members to do search and rescue operations 24 hours a day.

"Sa atoa nga term, kaluoy sa Ginoo, P8 mil ra gyud ang nabilin sa bangko nga kwarta sa barangay. Sa atong paglingkod niadtong 2013, nakapalit ta gikan sa barangay fund ug mga vehicles sama sa ambulance, fire truck, garbage truck lima na tanan atong napalit nga garbage truck," he added.

(In our term and in God's grace, there was only P8,000 left in the bank account of the barangay. When we took office in 2013, we bought from the barangay fund vehicles such as ambulance, fire truck, and five garbage trucks.)

Barete admitted that the barangay still lacks a rescue vehicle, but there is one that can be used at the moment to be able to respond if needed.

Street lights

When one of the viewers of the program inquired about the status of the barangay's street lights that were busted by Typhoon Odette, Barete said they have already been working on it and only a few street lights are currently not functioning.

Barete hoped that the problem on street lights, which they have been experiencing since during the time of late Mayor Edgardo Labella, would now be given attention by the administration of Mayor Michael Rama.

Road asphalting

Barete said he also hoped that the asphalting of roads in Buhisan that remained unattended since during the time of Mayor Tomas Osmeña would already be included in the road asphalting project of the Cebu City Government.

He said he already made a request to the City Public Works and Highways to act on the matter.

In their fight against illegal drugs, Barete admitted that they are always trying to suppress it.

In fact, he requested every sitio and purok leader to list down the names of new residents in their respective area and monitor them as part of their campaign against illegal drugs.

The village chair also expressed interest to run for a third term when the Barangay and Sangguniang Elections push through this coming December, to finish her projects involving the construction of a gymnasium, purchase of additional service vehicles and computer units for barangay offices.

School building

He said they are also planning to build a public high school building to complement the Buhisan Night High School.

"Mao tong 2016, pag daug ni Mayor Tommy, nangayo ko niya ug usa ka tunghaan kanang Night High School, maong natukod kay nagka-taas na ang among out of school youth niadtong tungora," he said.

(When Mayor Tommy won in 2016, I asked him for a Night High School, so it was built because our out-of-school youth was increasing at that time.)

Currently, the classrooms in the Night High School building could not anymore accommodate the growing number of students, thus the need to build another school building.

Based on the census, Buhisan ranks 20th among the 80 barangays in Cebu City that have the biggest population.

It has a total population of 20,000, 11,000 of whom are registered voters.

Barete said it saddened him to know that some students from their barangay had to transfer to other barangays to study but were not admitted.

The barangay captain said they already found an area of ​​5,000 square meters where they can build the school, but they still need the help of the Cebu City Government in procuring the lot.

"Ang pagbayad nalang gyud ang kuwang. Naa nay offer to sell sa assessor's office naka approved na sila. Nisugot na ang tag-iya nagkasinabot na sila sa presyo. Ang kasabotan gi present na naku sa local school board og naaprobahan na pud sa local school board," Barete said.

(Only payment is lacking. There is already an offer to sell at the assessor's office and the latter approved it. The owner has already agreed with the price. I already presented the agreement to the local school board, which approved of it.)

Barete added that he already forwarded a letter requesting for help from the City Government to buy the lot, to the office of Cebu City first Councilor Dondon Honteveros, when he was still the vice mayor.

Barangay Buhisan has an Eco Park Nature Center owned by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The barangay signed a memorandum of agreement with the DENR to maintain the cleanliness of the area through the Protective Area Management Board (Pamb).

The eco park is open to the public with an entrance fee of P40, of which P20 goes to the barangay and the other P20 as environmental fee.

"So nag need ta ug mga grupo o kadto ba kaha nga mga estudiyante o mga kompanya nga mo-renew sila sa ilang mga requirements aron sila magtanom ug kahoy isip livelihood program. Adto lang sila mamalit unya ilang itanom sa Eco Park aron income pud na sa maong grupo, kay apil sa atong kasabutan sa DENR kining no apprehension ta," Barete said.

(So we need groups or students or companies that will renew their requirements to plant trees as a livelihood program. Plant enthusiasts will just buy plants from the Eco Park to help the group generate income, because it is included in our agreement with the DENR the 'no apprehension'.)

“Apart from that, we also invited personnel of the Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to conduct livelihood trainings on wellness, cookery, refrigeration technician, welding, among others to the residents,” Barete said.

Some of them are already working abroad using the skills that they learned from the training, he added. (BBT, TPT)