Kapalong, Davao del Norte (DSWD XI) – Officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and representatives of Indigenous Peoples (IP) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the Construction of Classroom for Lumad (CCL) project of Kalahi-CIDSS at Sitio Campo, Barangay Gupitan.

The signatories were representatives from AFP, Department of Education (DepEd), local leaders of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Kapalong, and DSWD.

“The Department’s partnership with the AFP aims to fast-track Kalahi-CIDSS program’s construction of classrooms for lumads,” said Merlinda A. Paragamac, DSWD Promotive Services Division Chief.  

The AFP, through a joint effort of the 52nd Engineering brigade and 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, aims to provide recommendation, planning, assessment, and provision of skilled labor and security in implementing the said project.

“AFP provides skilled personnel in masonry, carpentry, plumbing, and painting to help in the construction,” shared BGEN. Gilbert F. Saret, PA. 1001st BDE, 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army.

CCL, one of the modalities of Kalahi-CIDSS, responds to the education needs of IP communities while preserving and promoting their unique culture and heritage.

DepEd funded the initiative to construct classrooms in far flung areas through its IP education program in response to the demand from IP communities. The agency partnered with DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS to use the community-driven development approach to empower communities in undertaking their own development projects. This is done through their direct and active participation in local governance, including identifying their village’s issues and taking part in the implementation of projects responsive to these needs.

On March 6, 2019, representatives from the LGU of Kapalong, Barangay Local Government Unit of Gupitan, Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinating Team, Kalahi-CIDSS Municipal Coordinating Team (MCT), DSWD, and AFP conducted a meeting with the Engineering Battalion.

The CCL grant allocation in Barangay Gupitan is worth Php 3,596,088.02 targeting five sitios. The classrooms shall be completed on December 2019. (DSWD)