History of Barangay Palo
Palo is one of the more distant barangays of Canaman located almost at the end of the municipality’s western trip. It is also one of the relatively tounger communities, whose independent existence dates back only to the early part of the 20th century.
It is said that the barangay got its name from the very tall palo, or telegraph pole, which was erected in the place towards the end of l9th century. The post was eventually topped over by time and the element, but the referential name it gave the place remained.
Rounded on its northwest side and southeast side and tip as well as by the Bicol River which looped around it, Palo was once the object of conflicting territorial claims by the barangays of San Juan to its west and San Nicolas to its east. However, for old residents of the place opposed the claims of both barangays. The four were Antonio Leonida ( the delegado of the locality), Mariano Leonida, Severano de los Santos and Julio Ballares. With the help of Valerino Perez of San Nicolas, the four oppositors presented their arguments to the presidente municipal of Canaman at the time Juan Requejo recognized the independent existence of Palo in l909. However, the census of l918 still did not list Palo as a barrio; in the censal year l939, 30 years after Requejo was said to have granted it the status of a barrio. It was reported to have a population of five hundred forty-one (541) persons distributed in ninety-two (92) households.
There was a time, when Palo was still thick with gigantic trees and shoulder-high grass, that the locality had five (5) houses
(Taken from: Canaman Through the Centuries by Jose V. Barrameda, Jr.)
Barangay Palo is located in the northwest part of the municipality of Canaman and is about 8 kilometers from the poblacion. Together with barangay San Juan and San Nicolas, they form the north-eastern island created by man due to the construction of the cut-off channel in Fundado. It has an aggregate area of 81.1372 has. or 1.86% of the total land area of the municipality. It has the smallest land area among the 15 rural barangays of the municipality and the seventh smallest among the 24 barangays. It is made up of three puroks namely Zone 1, Zone 2 & Zone 3.
It is bounded on the northwest by the broad Bicol River with the municipality of Libmanan lying across the bank, on the northeast by Barangay Barobaybay of the municipality of Magarao, on the south by Barangays San Juan and San Nicolas, on the west by Barangay San Juan and on the east by Barangay San Nicolas. The barangay’s terrain is generally flat with slope of 0-3%. It is predominantly an agricultural area with around 80% of its land devoted to rice farming.
Educational, Health and Service Facilities
Barangay Palo is served by a complete Elementary School with four (4) teachers and one hundred eighteen (118) pupils. The nearest High School is located in Barangay Fundado, Canaman which is about 2.75 kms from the barangay. Tertiary Education facilities can be found in Barangay Baras (about 8 kms. from the barangay) and Naga City (about 12 kms from the barangay). Emelyn R. Cristo, the Day Care Worker (funded by the barangay with municipal counterpart) undertakes day care services to the children aged 3-5 years old. It can be noted that prior to the opening of the Fundado High School, most of the high school students in the barangay go to San Juan, Libmanan which is about 11 kms from the barangay for their secondary education.
Health services in the barangay are delivered by three (3) Barangay Health Workers, namely: Agripina Abay, Emerlina Araquel and Rowena Camalla and supplemented by once a month visitation by the Municipal Midwife. The residents can also access the services of the Municipal Health Office located in the town proper situated eight (8) kms from the barangay.
Mode of Public Transportation
Before the advent of the concrete farm-to-market roads, people of Palo depend on Bicol River for their transportation. Residents and students have to wake up early to catch the first trip of the boat in going to Libmanan, Camarines Sur or Naga City. A shorter way to reach the place from the poblacion of Canaman is passing thru Barangay Fundado. Rural folks and visitors have to ride a boat to Barangay Barobaybay, Magarao, Canaman, Camarines Sur crossing the cut off Channel 1. A long walk follows in the ricefield to reach Palo. However, with the concreting of the barangay roads in CY 2009 traveling to Palo is a lot easier in view of the pedicabs waiting to transport passengers from Barangay Barobaybay to Barangay Palo. Today, twenty-five (25) pedicabs regularly ply the route of Barobaybay to Palo with a fare of P10 one-way.
The barangay is served by several credit institutions (private and government) including those offered by private individuals. TSPI and CARD Bank are the prominent private lending institutions in the barangay. The Municipal Government also offers micro-lending services to identified sectors, including the micro entrepreneurs and farmers. Farmers usually borrowed capital to finance their farm inputs from private individuals (5-6 type) and compradors oftentimes in the Municipality of Libmanan, this province.
Water & Electric Supply
In the past, drinking water is not a problem in the barangay. In the early 1900s people get their drinking water in open dug wells. Later on, in the 60’s, shallow wells and deep wells became their source of potable water. However, in the 80’s, water from the deep wells is no longer potable – either it’s murky or it’s salty or both. A notable number of efforts were made to look for a place inside the barangay where they can find potable water but all the efforts were in vain. This forced the people to buy water from the Municipality of Libmanan at P5.00 pesos per container. It can be noted that up to this day, most of the people still bathe and wash their clothes in the Bicol River – they usually do it at the wharf so that they do not have to carry the water needed for that activity to their houses.
As to electricity, all the three puroks of Barangay Palo is energized by CASURECO II. However, there are still nineteen (19) households with no electrical connections due to economic reasons.
The Barangay Solid Waste Management Committee is organized headed by the Punong Barangay. Provisions of Republic Act No. 9003 and related policies are tackled during Barangay Assembly for the people to be fully aware of their responsibilities and solid share in the implementation of Solid Waste Management Program.
The barangay has no Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Biodegradable materials are sold in nearby municipality. There are still residents who dispose their wastes thru burning even it is prohibited, but there are some households who maintain open pits to throw their trash. For irresponsible residents they throw their garbage in the river.
Peace and Order
The barangay is generally peaceful. Only minor incidents such as public disturbance usually caused by intoxicated residents were recorded in the barangay blotter. Preservation of peace and order, protection and security of life and property in the barangay is maintained by the eight (8) appointed Barangay Tanods,namely: Jose DLS. San Lorenzo, as the Chief Tanod, Rogelio D. Medina, Ricardo P. Camalla, Roque M. Pesante, George C. Yocampo, Sherwin D. Borja, Mario Z. Pecundo and Crispin Araquel, as the brigade members.
Supervising the group in the performance of their duties and responsibilities is the Punong Barangay. They conduct regular meetings to discuss important matters which affect public safety and likewise thresh out some issues and concerns which require their utmost attention to resolve local peace and order problems. Assisting the Public Safety Officers in the discharge of their functions are the elected barangay kagawads who are mandated by Republic Act No. 7160 to act as peace officers in the maintenance of public order and safety.
Moreover, another service unit which extends a hand in effecting speedy resolution of disputes among the inhabitants to ensure a tranquil community is the Lupong Tagapamayapa. Appointed by the Punong Barangay as Lupon Members are Ruel M. Corullo, Michael C. Yocampo, Elias Dumdumaya, Wilfredo Balleras, Domingo C. Bordeos, Francisco Aven, Domingo Rosco, Carlos Aragon, Policronio Medina and Rogelio Camalla, Sr. The ten (10) Lupon Members is chaired by Loreto B. Burce and Abby S. Adan as the Lupon Secretary.
Barangay Palo has the following Barangay Officials, to wit:
Punong Barangay: Loreto B. Burce
1. Martino E. Gueriña
2. Jonathan T. Adan
3. Felicitacion D. Pesante
4. Jeany I. Cañaveral
5. Susan Y. Camalla
6. Francisco A. Marquez
7. Soledad D. Yocampo
8. Cindy M. Camalla – SK Chairman
Barangay Secretary: Abby Y. Adan
Barangay Treasurer: Mario Dennes Y. Madrid