Talaingod, Davao del Norte (DSWD XI) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently held a Consultation-Dialogue with tribal leaders here for the Construction of Classrooms for Lumad (CCL) through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

Held at the Municipal Tribal Office in Barangay Sto. Nino, the consultation- dialogue was attended by tribal leaders, representatives from Department of Education (DepEd), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Local Government Unit (LGU), and DSWD-Kalahi-CIDSS.

Earlier, a Tribal Resolution submitted by the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMR) included a grievance to put on hold the implementation of CCL because the identified areas already have existing classrooms.

“This consultation-dialogue aims to settle the grievance and come up with resolution and agreements before the classroom sub-project will be implemented in communities,” said Nick Elvi D. Digol, Kalahi-CIDSS Deputy Regional Program Manager.

He also stressed that the essence of Kalahi-CIDSS is to motivate the community to help put the building blocks together according to their own needs. These needs were identified and assessed through a community consultation.

The IPMR presented the existing schools in Talaingod. Some of the classrooms are makeshift which are made of light materials and built through the effort of some parents and stakeholders who really pushed to put up learning facilities for their children.

In Kalahi-CIDSS process, LGUs take the lead in coordinating and supporting the conduct of village planning processes thus, promoting achievement of Kalahi-CIDSS requirement of at least 80% of a barangay’s households attend meetings wherein proposed sub-projects are discussed.

“Adlaw-adlaw mi nga nagapangandoy nga ang mga bata maka-eskwela ug matagaan og maayong edukasyon. Ang paninguha lang namo, unta kita nga naa sa Talaingod, isip mga leader, mag respetohanay ug magtahuranay sa atong mga katungdanan ug mahimong responsable pagpangulo sa matag komunidad. Kung walay respetohay, nagpakita nga walay kalinaw sa atong pagpuyo (It is our dream for our children to obtain good education. As leaders, let us strive to honor our roles and be responsible leaders in our respective village. Without respect, there will be no peace in our life),” urged Kaylo Bontolan, 39 year-old Salupongan spokesperson.

Through the classroom sub-project, the goal is to grant lumad beneficiaries 37 classrooms in 17 sitios all over the region, with an estimated amount of Php 29,061,909.00.

“The CCL implementation will follow the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach of Kalahi-CIDSS, as the IPs will be mobilized to be more participative. With the Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo of DSWD and other supporting agencies, we will not only hone their capacities in taking part in building the project but more importantly, provide them opportunities for education that promotes value in their identity and culture,” said DSWD Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat

She further said the project will be a collective action or Sama-Samang pagkilos Nang May Malasakit between the community and partner government agencies. Hence, the IPs are involved in construction, monitoring and maintenance of school buildings, making them equally accountable to the project.

Kalahi-CIDSS, one of the core programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is a community-driven development program of the Philippine Government aiming to empower people through sustainable development, enhanced participation in local governance, and management of poverty alleviation projects.  (DSWD)