Sign IN >>
If each of us takes part in caring and sharing, the overwhelming challenge of poverty can be addressed. Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.

Leading by Example

by Gia Leanne Luga

There’s a place in the southern part of the Philippines with an energy that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s a place where an entire village of 30 homes can rise in 7 days. It’s a place where hundreds of ordinary people can come together to build classrooms with unbelievable speed and uncompromised quality — where construction materials are passed on from teachers to tricycle drivers, from soldiers to government employees. And there, in the thick of things, passing hollow block after hollow block, you’ll see him — Governor Arturo Uy of Compostela Valley.

When you have an entire province that’s overflowing with energy and fully committed towards ending poverty, you can’t help but wonder how they got steered to that point. For Gov. Uy, “The LGU should be in the front line. When people see that government officials and employees are active in volunteering, they will be inspired to follow. But if you ask them to volunteer while you just stand there and watch, nothing will happen.” More importantly, Gov. Uy believes that a leader should have the passion and sincerity to serve.

Like wildfire, Gov. Uy’s passion for the mission has spread to almost everyone in ComVal, with the local government unit taking the lead.

ComVal’s GK journey began in September 2008, with a landslide that displaced more than 300 families from Brgy. Masara. Just when Gov. Uy was wondering how to permanently relocate the victims somewhere safe, he got invited by the late GK Head of ComVal Nonoy Maloloy-on to the Gawad Kalinga Expo in Manila, which opened his eyes to GK’s transformative work. Firmly sold on the idea that building a community through bayanihan was the best way to help the victims, Gov. Uy immediately held a Partners’ Forum and convinced friends and partners to pledge 132 homes.

It didn’t end there, because Gov. Uy wanted to replicate the GK Way in other ComVal municipalities. But convincing partners and achieving sustainable change haven’t been easy all throughout. Gov. Uy has frustrations with how slow things move sometimes — how he has to deal with the inefficiencies and imperfections of the system and of some people. As a local chief executive, he faces the daunting problems of his province and constituents. But like wildfire, Gov. Uy’s passion for the mission has spread to almost everyone in ComVal, and this makes the work easier. “We will not stop until there are poor people in this province and there are partners that are willing to help,” he vows.

The hands-on approach of Governor Arturo Uy in bringing Compostela Valley out of poverty has spurred the active volunteerism of present-day ComVal heroes.

By the end of 2012, all of ComVal’s 11 municipalities will have GK communities, and each municipality has a GK mobilization team. They have even expanded to making school buildings the GK Way with their Kalinga sa Kabataan: Bayanihan sa Paaralan. These results were born out of the generosity of local partners and the active volunteerism of present-day ComVal heroes. But ComVal’s success also goes to show that if a leader truly cares for the people, if a leader has the vision to see them rise out of poverty and the courage to follow through, then anything is possible.

More stories about Compostela Valley:

* Hope is the New Normal

* Berjaya and ComVal: " a goldmine of partnership"


"Leading by Example" was featured on Page 27 of THE COURAGE TO CARE: GK Annual Report (January 2011 - June 2012). You can download the full report here.

Gawad Kalinga (GK) is too big a story for one person to tell, and it wouldn’t be complete without the partners who have been with us throughout the years. You too can be part of this mission of ending poverty. For the different ways to partner with GK, click here.

Who we are | FAQs | Archive | Contact Us
Copyright 2014 GK1WORLD All rights reserved | designed by Gawad Kalinga Marketing Team