Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DSWD completes implementation of Php798-M Kalahi projects in Bicol
Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 9 (PNA) —- Implementation of a total of 532 community development sub-projects worth around Php798 million in 26 poor municipalities of Bicol has been completed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol, according to the agency’s regional office based here.

The completed sub-projects, all under the Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Project, are about 79 percent of all the 679 developmental undertakings of the national government funded through a grant worth a total of Php840.3 million from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

The MCC is an independent American foreign aid agency created in 2004 to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by helping development countries like the Philippines achieve economic growth.

It is recalled that the Philippine government entered into an agreement with the MCC in 2012 involving the grant and implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS in regions of the country like Bicol which needed them most, being listed as among the poorest for having high poverty rate among families.

The first four-year implementation of this project ends this year and its closing activity in the region which communicated the project’s gains, lessons learned and best practices among stakeholders in sub-project implementations was held in Naga City last February 4 with key MCC and DSWD officials in attendance.

The activity also marked the preparations for the Kalahi-CIDSS expansion with a total MCC grant of some Php4.5 billion to cover 101 of the region’s 107 municipalities placed under the community-driven development (CDD) approach of sub-project implementations up to year 2019.

“Our accomplishment concerning the implementations of all sub-projects in the region was rated by MCC as very satisfactory,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia on Tuesday said.

CDD, as explained by Garcia, puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.

Through this approach, he said, community members consensually decide on what type of poverty-reduction sub-projects they need for funding.

Common projects include public goods or access projects such as pathways, farm-to-market roads, health centers, water systems, day care centers and school buildings; and community enterprise projects such as solar dryers, fishery, rice mills and community markets.

These sub-projects completed as of end of 2015 and fund grant are covered by the four-year (2012-2016) application of Kalahi-CIDSS in the region were designed to address the prioritized needs of poor communities in order to improve the living conditions of barangay residents.

Also funded by the grant with an amount of Php4.7 million are initiatives that trained residents mobilized as community volunteers to the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee tasked to manage these sub-projects in their respective villages.

Sub-projects refer to the community undertakings generated through the Kalahi-CIDSS planning process where set of development activities or interventions are designed, implemented, maintained by a partner community in a barangay to address a needs identified during the Participatory Situation Analysis conducted by the DSWD.

Most these completed sub-projects are access roadways, barangay health centers and birthing facilities, river/flood control structures, drainage and potable water systems, pre- and post-harvest facilities, classrooms community libraries and seawalls, among others.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development project of the national government which strongly advocates the involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of development projects to address the issue of poverty in the country.

Placed under the supervision of the DSWD, the project aims to improve local governance by employing the participation of the people in the communities in the development process.

It has an “open menu” wherein communities can propose any project, provided the amount involved is within the municipal allocation and does not belong to its negative list, Garcia explained.

These proposed projects were confirmed through a resolution of local legislative councils or Sangguniang Bayan that recommended the grant of allocation in response to the needs of the barangays, especially those who were affected by and are vulnerable to disasters.

The criteria on how poor communities were prioritized for funding were based on the community’s population, number of Listahanan-identified poor households and the number of calamity-affected households.

Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction is an assessment process, also being initiated by the DSWD of households in all areas of the country to identify who and where the poor are.

Its results serve as an official information management system that makes the database of poor families available and becomes the basis in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs and services.

In the latest assessment done following surveys conducted from May to September last year initially identified as poor 410,186 households of the 1,056,722 assessed in all Bicol’s 3,471 barangays covered by 107 municipalities within its six provinces. (PNA) LAP/FGS/DOC/CBD