Residents learning to assess status of their community.

DAVAO City (DSWD XI) – Some 20 Matigsalog community volunteers in Sitio Pegalongan, Barangay Malamba, Marilog District recently undertook Participatory Situation Analysis (PSA) to help them establish a common understanding of the current situation of their area.

Led by field workers of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the PSA is designed to elicit and describe community expectations, current socio-economic and political situation as well as other needs and problems of the community.

“The workshop outputs will guide the participants in identifying the projects and other activities that they would like to engage in to improve their way of living in the community,” said Glenn Paul R. Ylan, Community Development Officer of Kalahi-CIDSS.

Ylan said PSA is part of the social preparation phase of Kalahi-CIDSS program cycle which also aims to teach the community how to adopt the community driven development (CDD) process of Kalahi-CIDSS.

“Data generated through PSA are used as bases for identifying community development problems and priorities and in planning for appropriate interventions,” Ylan said.

Kalahi-CIDSS, one of the core programs of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), aims to empower communities through enhanced participation in local governance and poverty alleviation projects.

Challenges in the sitio

It’s almost a two-hour ride from the heart of Davao City to Datu Salumay Proper (Davao-Bukidnon highway). From Datu Salumay, it’s an hour ride via single motor (habal-habal) to Patag where one dismounts and sets off on foot to traverse five mountains and two treacherous rivers -Simud and Davao River, to get to the sitio.

Sitio Pegalongan has a total population of 450 and 100% of the residents belong to Matigsalog Tribe. Of this figure, 62 families are grantees of Pantawid Pamilya.

Randy H. Halasan, 33, school principal, has been teaching in Sitio Pegalongan Elementary School for nine years. He lamented on the sorry situation.

“For almost a decade, the road to the only elementary school was not passable through single motorcycles or any other motor vehicle. Children ride on horses to get to school or endure the five to six-hour hike.  With the dearth of transportation access, their livelihood is affected as they are deprived of peddling their farm produce. Also, the villagers don’t even have good access to potable water. With all these difficulties, they truly need all the help they can get.”

“This is the first time that we invited Kalahi-CIDSS workers to use the program’s process, the PSA, outside its covered areas since Davao City is not under Kalahi-CIDSS,” said DSWD Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.

Through PSA, the community was able to list the top sub-projects that rightfully respond to their immediate needs namely; construction of farm-to-market road, construction of hanging cable footbridge, construction of potable water system level II, and construction of health center, Director Jabagat said.

Following the PSA, DSWD workers also conducted Pantawid Pamilya’s Family Development Session (FDS) and Youth Development Session (YDS), as well as an orientation on protective services that cover legal adoption, social pension, supplementary feeding, foster family care and anti-human trafficking.

“I am truly grateful for the help extended by Kalahi-CIDSS and DSWD in general. Now, the community is fired up with overflowing enthusiasm and oozing energy for actual learning plus their livelihood has a huge potential to improve immensely,” Randy said.

Director Jabagat pointed out that Kalahi-CIDSS program is about maximizing its processes in helping to put in place more transparent and accountable systems of governance. “It’s important to highlight that these systems also consider a number of decisions taken and advocated by the community as a whole, hence, increasing their level of stewardship.” (DSWD)