Sarangani, Davao Occidental (DSWD XI) – Surviving the daily grind was a struggle for
the townsfolk of Barangay Laker in Sarangani, Davao Occidental.
After all, not so long ago, residents, especially students,
teachers, and farmers had to travel by foot or horse, braving the bumpy,
slippery, and muddy road in order to go to school or transport products to the
nearest market. Basically, to the young kids and to the older people who are
trying to make a living, even getting to where they need to be posed a glaring
“Before, we spent so
much time travelling since getting to our barangay required two trips.
First, by a 30-minute boat ride from the sentro (poblacion) followed
by a hike or a horseback ride along slippery, bumpy, and muddy roads all the
way to our barangay,” said Royeca J. Palbe, 34, a Kalahi-CIDSS community
Today, the challenge of their once dangerous roads is behind
them. Now, the community volunteer is proud to showcase the new roads in their
barangay which they built through Department of Social Welfare and
Development’s (DSWD) Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and
Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). This program even
empowered the community by including them in the whole planning, execution, and
Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the programs of DSWD that uses the
Community Driven Development (CDD) approach to empower local communities to
undertake their own development projects by actively and directly partaking in
local governance. The locals are a vital part of every project because they
help identify their community needs as well as take part in implementing
projects that will address these needs.
The municipality of Sarangani has a total grant allocation of
Php 11, 645.000.00 per cycle.
“Through the Kalahi-CIDSS process, barangays are given the
opportunity to present project proposals during the Municipal Inter- Barangay
Forum Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA). The people will then vote
for projects deserving to receive funding, using a set of criteria that they
themselves have formulated,” explained Merlinda A. Paragamac, DSWD Promotive
Services Division Chief.
While this system is great news for barangays that have been prioritized,
it also means that there are communities that may not be chosen for a
particular cycle. Due to budget limitations, communities are taught to be smart
about which projects to prioritize. Usually, the projects which are chosen benefit
the most people, and also contribute to the general economic welfare of the
community. This is a learning curve for most people, though.
“Sa cycle 1, wala mi na prioritize maskin naningkamot mi. Among
gipakita among sitwasyon pinaagi sa pag drama aron makita nila among kahimtang
sa una. Among gi comply ang mga dokumento ug gitrabaho ang tanan. Pero wala
gihapon namo nakuha ang proyekto (During cycle 1, we were not prioritized despite our best
efforts to get the fund. We even re-enacted the situation in our community so
they would understand. We completed all the documents and prepared everything
but we did not get the sub-project),”Palber recounted.
She added,the community pondered that maybe their
efforts were not enough because they failed to get the sub-project that they’ve
been longing for. Eventually they understood that not all “needs” could be
addressed right away, with the limited funding and the challenges of other
areas. In the end, they were able to view the situation with a fresh, optimistic
“Our Barangay officials and the Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinating
Team encouraged us to never give up on our dreams.”
Palbe shared that participating in the program had its
challenges but it provided the townsfolk of Barangay Laker with better
opportunities when they were ranked as number one among six prioritized
barangays that were granted funds for the sub-projects they proposed during the
second cycle of implementation.
“Gitun-an nako ang proseso sa programa, gihatag sa ako ang
katungod sa mga time sheet, Employment Record sheet, og logbook. First time
gyud nako ni makat-unan. Mura ko og nag skwela og usab. Sulod sa tulo ka tuig,
natun-an gyud nako ang proseso (I learned the process of the program.
I was given the responsibility to take care of the time sheet, Employment
Record sheet, as well as the logbook. It’s my first time to learn something
like this. It’s like I’m back in school. In three years, I learned the
“The community volunteers are happy to have it. An improved road
makes transport easier and now that they engage in the CDD process, they feel
that they can better support themselves.”
On the implementation of the sub-project, they used the
Community Force Account (CFA), a sub-project implementation arrangement where
the sub-project is directly implemented by the community. The community procure
the materials, hire local manpower and other needed resources to complete the
The Community Force Account (CFA) not only contributes to
generate additional income for rural families but it also allows skilled and
unskilled workers from the barangay to construct the community project.
“Daghan mi og natun-an, hilabi na ang mga trabahante. Ang lima
ka sitio naay rotation. Pag sugod sa trabaho nagpatawag og meeting. Sa sugod nag
lisud mi sa materyales kay gikan pa sa layo nga lugar. Ang pagtrabaho naa man
mi tanan naka monitor. Pag naay problema magpatawag mi og meeting aron
masulusyonan dayon. (We learned a lot,
especially the laborers. All sitios rotate for the project. We called for a
meeting. We had difficulty at first since our materials were procured from a
far place. We monitor our project and when problems arise, we meet to find
solutions),”said Dondon M. Malina, 42, part of Project Preparation
The concreting of community access road was funded by DSWD
Kalahi-CIDSS at Php 2,494,402.00 with a Local Counterpart Contribution of Php
Hopeful community volunteers
Because of the improved condition of the road, the cost of
transporting their goods has gone down by almost half.
“Before, I would sell copras at Php 35.00, now I could offer it
at Php 20.00 Everyone truly benefited in this project,” Malina added.
At present, the municipalities undergoing the LGU-led cycle are
Braulio E. Dujali, Baganga, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, Kiblawan, Lupon,
Malalag, Montevista, San Isidro of Davao del Norte, and Sta. Maria with a total
grant allocation of Php 173, 980, 750.00.
The townsfolk have improved their lives through Kalahi- CIDSS.
It did not only give them a valuable resource, it also helped strengthen their
leadership and camaraderie as a community.
“The municipality benefited largely from the program, not only
because of the sub-projects but also the process that promotes transparency and
empowers communities. As a response, we will ensure that the process is
sustained while the resources will never be put to waste,” Palbe emphasized.
The Kalahi-CIDSS project, through the collective effort of
community volunteers, now provides safety to students when going to school and
to farmers transporting their products. The road that imposed danger is now
eliminated since the program and the people busted the bumps. (DSWD)