Archive | August, 2015

Empowering poor communities through community-driven development

Under the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) was one of the projects selected for the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact. This is due to the President’s commitment to fight corruption and promote good governance.

In December 2014, the Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors re-selected Philippines as eligible for additional funding for its development programs.

Kalahi-CIDSS aims to empower communities through participation in local governance and involvement in the implementation of poverty reduction activities. It employs the community-driven development (CDD) strategy, a development approach that seeks to combat poverty and improve local governance by strengthening the capacity of citizens to identify and implement local solutions to poverty issues. In essence, it puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development.

Started in 2002, Kalahi-CIDSS 1 has reached a total of 4,583 barangays in 200 municipalities located in the 42 poorest provinces across 12 regions. Given the need to reach out to remaining poor municipalities, the project was expanded through a USD$120 Million grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation and through a USD$59 Million loan from the World Bank.

The expansion covered a total of 8,435 communities in 364 municipalities.

As of March 2015, the program has funded 17,464 community sub-projects, of which 13,679 are already completed, 1,900 on-going, and 13,931 are yet to start, reaching 4.5 million households.

Examples of these community projects are roads, water systems, school buildings, daycare centers, and health stations, among others.

Mayor Benjie Y. Baguio of Kapatagan in Lanao del Norte showcases how this partnership has resulted to positive changes in his community.

“With the entry of the Kalahi-CIDSS in our municipality, we now have hope in the possibility of improving the lives of our constituents. Our municipality really benefited hugely after the first cycle, not only because of the sub-projects but also because of the trainings conducted to empower our communities. As our response, the LGU, including our barangay captains, are planning programs to ensure that what we received from the project will never be put to waste. Raising money for non-priority barangays is just one thing. Our barangay captains see the Kalahi-CIDSS as a blessing, and paying it forward by raising money for the other barangays to implement their sub-projects is just our way of thanking Kalahi-CIDSS for their trust in our municipality,” the Mayor shared.

In particular, Kalahi-CIDSS has achieved the following:

  • Improved travel time and cost to key services more for barangays with a higher travel time and travel cost to begin with and more for indigenous persons.
  • Increased the quantity and quality of participation in local governance around decision-making and implementation.
  • Improved knowledge and awareness of local governance.
  • Increased participation in community organizations.
  • Helped people better deal with financial hardship (as a result of Typhoon Yolanda or any other natural disaster).
  • Raised capacity of local government (there is an increase in the presence of development projects and plans, and increase in different funding components).

On January 18, 2013, President Aquino approved the expansion of Kalahi-CIDSS as the National Community-Driven Development Program. This is one of the administration’s legacies that will be implemented from 2014 until 2019, covering a total of 19,647 barangays in 847 municipalities located in 58 provinces and 14 regions to benefit approximately 5.3 million households. ###

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Advancing the right nutrition

RIGHT NUTRITION. Workers of DSWD rehabilitation centers participate in the cooking competition in observance of the National Nutrition Month under the theme, “Timbang Iwasto sa Tamang Nutrisyon at Ehersisyo”. Prior to the contest proper, DSWD nutritionists discussed Healthy Food Plans for Filipino Adults, One-Day Meal Plan, and the National Nutrition Council’s 10 Kumainments such as eating a variety of foods; breastfeeding for the first six months; daily intake of fruits and vegetables; eating foods rich in protein; drinking milk and taking foods high in calcium; taking clean food and water; using iodized salt; toning down on salty, oily and sweet foods; keeping the right weight; and staying active by avoiding alcohol and cigarette. (DSWD)

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Over 17,000 ‘Pablo’ family-survivors now have new homes

Around 17,420 permanent housing units have already been turned over to families from Boston, Cateel, and Banganga in Davao Oriental, who were rendered homeless by Typhoon Pablo in 2012. This number includes the 1,010 units which were turned over on Monday, July 27.

The houses were constructed under the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which provided the needed funds and the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental, which handled the site development of the resettlement sites and the management of the program.

With the latest turnover of units, only about 2,000 houses more are needed to reach the total target of 19,880 units in all the four affected towns.

DSWD and the provincial government assured that they will complete and turn over the remaining houses before the year ends.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the completion of the housing project indicates that government resources have redound to the benefit of vulnerable families.

She also recognized the agency’s strong partnership with the provincial government saying that without its support, DSWD would have a difficult time realizing this huge task.

“Typhoon survivors may have lost their houses but they claim that they remain hopeful and resilient, especially because they see the government, particularly the provincial government’s efforts and commitment to rebuild their lives,” Sec. Soliman added.

During Monday’s ceremonial turnover, Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon underscored the provincial government’s efforts in pushing for the housing program to become the national government’s first priority among all the lined up rehabilitation programs for ‘Pablo’ survivors.

“For as long as typhoon victims are not settled in the security of their own homes, all other efforts in rehabilitation will become futile,” she said, adding that the survivors could not give their full attention to their work and livelihood while worrying for a place where their family can stay.

She further said that these new homes symbolize security and help motivate typhoon-affected families to improve their lives by focusing on their work even more.

“Masaya po kami ng aking pamilya at medyo excited nang lumipat sa aming bagong tirahan (I am very happy and my family is excited to move to our new house),” said couple Wilhelmino and Wehil Pesalson  from Cateel.

While these houses are built for free by the government, Gov. Malanyaon emphasized that beneficiaries also have their fair share of responsibilities to complement efforts of the government.

She pointed out that beneficiaries should take good care of these new homes as these will be handed down to their children and grandchildren. ###

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Empowered Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries speak up

The Department of Social Welfare and Development said that beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program are free to decide, choose, and express their beliefs and rights on issues concerning their lives and their communities.

This developed as some sectors have expressed that beneficiaries of the program will be used by politicians to advance their political interests.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that program beneficiaries are empowered individuals and have the right as other voters in this country to choose someone whom they believe epitomizes their principles.

“During the Family Development Sessions, we tell them about active citizenship and voting according to their conscience. But we never impose on them to vote for a certain political personality,” Sec. Soliman said.

She said that if beneficiaries want to join political activities, that is their right as citizens and it is on their own free will.

“If they believe that this personality has helped them and they want to show their support, we cannot hold them,” Sec. Soliman added.

The Secretary urged politicians to allow beneficiaries to exercise their political rights as citizens of this country.

She, however, reiterated that politicians cannot use the Pantawid Pamilya program to lure or threaten beneficiaries. ###

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Fulfilling dreams through Pantawid

Ronald Caorte shares his testimony during the Parangal Program for Pantawid Pamilya children-graduates last March.

Sulop, Davao Del Sur -A world-renowned American writer – Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”  That is, your true success will be defined by how you handle both the triumphant and the hard times.

Nineteen-year old Ronald Caorte of Barangay Carre, Sulop, Davao del Sur had toughened himself up and strived triply hard to gradually achieve his dreams.

He wistfully recalled how he had to walk for over two hours every day from their home in Barangay Carre to an elementary school in Barangay New Cebu. In high school, Ronald often helped in augmenting the family’s income to be able to sustain his and his two siblings’ studies.

In 2010, his father Napoleon Caorte died of a lung disease, leaving his mother, Dioscora, now 52, to raise her three children.

Tungod sa kalisod, gikinahanglan mosakripisyo sa akoang manghod nga moundang og eskwela aron ako ang makatiwas. Naminyo og sayo ang amoang kinamaguwangan, mao kami sa akoang manghod ang magpadayon sa pangandoy sa amoang ginikanan (Because of poverty, my younger sister had to give up her studies so that I can finish mine. Our eldest got married early, leaving my sister and I pursue our parents’ dream),” Ronald shared.

Dako kaayo ang amoang pasalamat nga nakapasar ko sa entrance exam sa Southern Philippines Agri-business, Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST) sa Malita. Nahimo kong grantee sa Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA). Dako kaayo nga tunok ang naibot sa akoa kay mao ni ang mahimong instrument aron makatiwas ko ug makab-ot nako ang akoang mga pangandoy (I was very grateful that I passed the entrance exam at Southern Philippines Agri-business, Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST) in Malita. I became a grantee of the Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA). A great burden was lifted from me as this scholarship grant will pave the way for me to finish and achieve my dreams),” Ronald happily recounted.

Ronald was the first SGP-PA graduate at SPAMAST Malita. He graduated with a bachelor degree in Agriculture last April 2015. He now works as a Community Facilitator Assistant for the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Indigenous Peoples (MCCT-IPs). He now helps his sister in attaining her college education.

Mao pa lang ni ang sinugdanan sa pagkab-ot sa akoang pangandoy. Luyo sa kalisdanan ug mga pagsulay, kung naa kay pagsalig ug determinasyon – kaya nato molambo! Kaya nato ang pagbag-o! (This is just the start of my journey towards my dream. Despite the hardships and trials, if you have faith and determination, we can move up! We can achieve the change we need!), Ronald proudly exclaimed.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) spearheaded the SGP-PA (now known as ESGP-PA) in 2012 to benefit qualified Pantawid Pamilya grantees all over the country.

At present, there are 2,029 ESGP-PA (Expanded Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation) grantees in the entire Davao Region, Director Priscilla N. Razon of DSWD said.

ESGP-PA ensures that grantees are enrolled in selected SUCs duly recognized by CHED, channeled to CHED priority courses, and be extended the needed support that will guarantee completion of studies thus qualify them for high-value added jobs in the future,” Director Razon added.

The selection of potential ESGPPA scholars is identified using the parameter of one beneficiary per Pantawid household. This number is proportioned to the number of households and the area coverage per municipality.

Potential scholars must be 16-20 years old and must be willing and interested to become a student beneficiary. Moreover, an upcoming student grantee must pass the entrance examination set by the respective SUC. However, in cases that the number of potential beneficiaries exceeds the allocated slots, grade requirement shall be applied. Students belonging to the upper 20% of the graduating class will be prioritized.

A student-grantee receives a maximum of P 60,000.00 scholarship grant per school year or P 30,000.00 per semester. This is broken down to P20, 000/year Tuition Fee Cost, P 5,000/year Textbook Fees and other learning materials, and P 35,000 (that is, P 3,500/month x 10 months) stipend (for board and lodging, transportation, clothing, health/medical needs, basic school supplies and other related costs). (DSWD)



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August 2015

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