4.09.2013

PIA News Service - Saturday, April 6, 2013



Poder project closes with high hopes

By Keneath John O. Bolisay

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 6 (PIA) -- In their continued pursuit of improving the plight of poor communities in Caraga region, the Spanish government-funded anti-poverty project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), PODER, successfully wrapped up its seventh year implementation of a grant worth P14,605,205.00.

Using a community-driven development (CDD) approach, Poder focused on the provision of basic health and education services in three municipalities in the region especially targeted to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) or the government’s conditional-cash transfer program.

The municipalities of Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur; San Agustin, Surigao del Sur; and Tubajon, Province of Dinagat Islands received grants from the Spanish government through the Agencia EspaƱola de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID) with 14 sub-projects or infrastructures erected by the communities in less than a year.

In one of the sub-project turn-over ceremonies, Surigao del Sur provincial administrator Efren Rivas expressed his appreciation to the project because “it does not only provide the basic social services in the communities but also nurture the minds of the volunteers” through trainings and workshops that it provided.

Regional director for DSWD Caraga Dr. Minda B. Brigoli said that Poder is a testament that the government’s vision of improving local governance and enjoining every citizen in the development is reaping its results through increased citizen participation that is “being lauded by the international community.”

“The battle has ended and the reward is at hand,” Rogelio C. Garcia, a high school teacher and a community volunteer, proudly shared this to dignitaries and officials for them to hear his story of change.

“First, I am a teacher and all I wanted was a sub-project that will cater the needs of my students. When I volunteered for Poder, I knew I had to sacrifice and render extra time to realize our three-classroom high school building,” Garcia added.

“The days when my students would lose interest in listening to my lectures because of incessant dripping of rainwater inside our dilapidated classroom are gone. We are now enjoying a new classroom with floors for a castle and a washroom with clean, running water,” Garcia said.

Poder operates on the principles of citizen empowerment, participatory governance, demand-responsiveness, administrative autonomy, greater downward accountability, and enhanced local capacity.

“Development should start at the bottom, ordinary citizens steering themselves toward empowerment demonstrates the kind of people we would always like to work for and the government is their partner to make a change and make that happen,” Brigoli said. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)


Kalahi-CIDSS to be implemented in Butuan

By Keneath John O. Bolisay

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 6 (PIA) -- One of the biggest poverty reduction projects of the Philippine government, the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) will be bringing its war on poverty to this city in early April of this year.

Administered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Kalahi-CIDSS is an anti-poverty project using the community-driven development (CDD) approach by empowering ordinary citizens to actively and directly participate in local governance by identifying their own community needs, planning, implementing, and monitoring projects to address local poverty issues collectively.

DSWD Caraga assistant regional director for operations and regional project manager for Kalahi-CIDSS Mita G. Lim said Butuan City was identified by the national office to pilot test the urban CDD building on the success of the implementation of the project in the rural areas.

Lim added that two barangays, Brgy. Pagatpatan and Brgy. Doongan were identified to receive the grant based on the 2009 National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) survey wherein a considerable number of the poorest households in the city reside.

“One of the biggest lessons from our implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS is that one cannot base development in modernization alone, one must look into the deprivation of the people in terms of their access to basic services such as the presence of health and educational facilities and ownership of assets to allow sustained income out of existing resources in the community,” Lim said.

The urban CDD will be funded by both World Bank for infrastructure projects and the Japanese government through the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) for community livelihood projects.

A grant of one million pesos will be allocated to each barangay and an additional Php100,000 will be allotted for community-based implementation support for training and administrative costs.

Moreover, innovations were also integrated to the existing implementing mechanism of Kalahi-CIDSS. DSWD regional director, Dr. Minda B. Brigoli said that for urban CDD, there will be a strong coordination with members of the civil society organizations (CSOs) operating in the city to act as members of the Kalahi-CIDSS technical working group (TWG), facilitators for community volunteers’ capacity building activities, and as independent, third party monitoring groups.

The implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS in Butuan City will see a convergence of the three core social protection programs of DSWD, namely: Pantawid Pamilya, Sustainable Livelihood Program, and Kalahi-CIDSS; inter-agency collaboration and program coordination in urban areas; and national government agency (NGA) – local government unit (LGU) collaboration on technical assistance, resource augmentation, and service delivery in poor urban communities. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga)