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Monday, March 17, 2014

Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, March 13, 2014 (PIA)— Bohol pitches in for the seemingly impossible, in an attempt to engage the most number of volunteers for the country’s Bayani Challenge (BC) in 2014. 

Bohol, which is poised to do a massive rehabilitation for its public and private infrastructure, which the earthquake toppled and the super typhoon Yolanda flattened, had the BC coming in time, according to volunteers during the recent coordination meeting held at the Governor’s Mansion Wednesday, March 12.

A call to mainstream the small bits and patches of Filipino spirit of helping each other, BC also aims to build relationships among different sectors, groups and nationalities, creating peaceful and more caring communities that are ready for any eventuality, according to BC Bohol coordinator Christopher Rivera. 

BC is also the platform to gather and inspire volunteers who are key players in innovating and implementing plans that address poverty and other social challenges, making it the is also the opportunity to raise extraordinary resources that complement funded or unfunded programs of the local government, states the Bayani Challenge 2014 website. . 

Initially targeted for volunteer work are nine badly damaged towns, in the spirit of bayanihan, a Capitol functionary wants it in 47 towns and Tagbilaran City.

According to Rivera in previous meetings with Bohol officials, SEEM Cluster head Liza Quirog said she wants BC in all towns of Bohol. 

Excited by the development, Rivera said he has reasons to believe Bohol can put up the numbers as there really is a lot of things that can be done. 

BC, as most people believe, is not just about homebuilding, Rivera said. It is also about spending time with the kids in Paraisong Pambata, conducting medical and dental missions, going on environment care through clean-ups, re-greening or roadside beautifications or fixing and refurbishing classrooms. 

Simultaneous in two months time in Alkan, Antique, Capiz, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Ilo-ilo, Leyte, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Samar and Zamboanga, the BC 2014 attempts to come up with a million volunteers from April 9-June 12. 

Also coming at a time when Bohol will have its fiesta months in May, Josephine Cabarrus, Bohol Tourism Officer believes it adds up to the taste of the patriotism.

With the flurry of rebuilding activities in post quake Bohol, observers also note that the task entails a huge manpower requirement that by putting up the volunteer work, costs in rebuilding can be lessened as labor can be put up for free.

In 2013, one after another disasters hit us almost like a plague: the wars in Zamboanga, the killer quake in Bohol and the last straw was Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan), unleashing a fury like the world had never seen before with an intensity and magnitude that quite literally blew away almost the whole of the Visayas islands. 

“But thanks to the heroism of volunteers and partners, we are responding to the biggest storm ever recorded in history – with the largest missionary spirit and bayanihan the world has ever seen,” according to Bayani Challenge website. 

For this year's challenge, we will go to the areas affected by recent disasters and show our brothers and sisters that we will not leave them behind!

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