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DSWD continues to empower communities through CDD

DSWD SLP

The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) continues to empower poor communities through the community-driven development (CDD) strategy.

KALAHI-CIDSS utilizes the CDD approach which enables communities to take control over decisions and resources for their local development. Through the program, community members actively participate to identify and prioritize their community’s concerns and allow them to design, implement, and manage solutions to their priority community problems.

One of the notable localities implementing the program is the municipality of Culasi, Antique, the winner of the GAPAS Award-Model Local Government Unit (LGU) Implementing KALAHI-CIDSS during the 2020 PaNaTa Ko sa Bayan Awards given by the Department to partners and stakeholders.

From 2012-2019, KALAHI-CIDSS has provided a grant of more than P135 million for the completion of 136 sub-projects in Culasi. Meanwhile, their LGU shared over P18.5 million as local cash counterpart contribution. Among the projects which they completed include day care centers, electrification, flood control and river control projects, livelihood equipment, farm-to-market roads, and school buildings, among others.

According to Culasi Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Sylvia Malacad, she first had doubts on how the CDD approach can help their community.

However, her reservations faded away when the members of their Municipal Inter-Agency Committee and Regional Project Management held constant brainstorming sessions and mastered the processes of the program.

“The conduct of the Participatory Situation Analysis is the process that I really appreciate. It has created changes to our system. It is a bottom-up process where the community identifies its needs and problems. This gives the local government unit an eye on what the community really needs. This process was adopted in crafting the Barangay Action of each community, ” Malacad shared.

Another notable process she shared was the conduct of barangay assemblies. She said, “It promotes transparency among the members of the community. The people also developed a sense of accountability after the completion of their projects.”

Meanwhile, Municipal Agriculture Officer Amancio Estelloso, who was also a KALAHI-CIDSS volunteer, said that the project promoted community transparency.

“It builds the trust of the community towards government projects because of the transparency measure that the program imposed,” he said.

In 2020, the town made history by implementing P6.5 million community projects using a portion of the savings accrued from previous KALAHI-CIDSS implementation to continue building community projects using the CDD approach.

Six projects were identified for funding during their Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum using the local development fund. These include the construction of gabion-type flood control projects in Barangay Bitadton Norte and Barangay Balac-Balac, a slope protection project in Barangay Buhi, and road concreting projects in Barangays Jalandoni, Camancijan, and San Luis.

In Barangay Buhi, one of the flood-prone areas in Culasi, the rainy season often left their roads inaccessible for motorists and delivery trucks. However, after they became one of the identified areas for KALAHI-CIDSS, the dream projects of their barangay became a reality.

The program funded four projects in Barangay Buhi. These are drainage canal, road concreting, slope protection, and streetlights.

“KALAHI-CIDSS has motivated the people to participate and exercise transparency measures in all the dealings involving the implementation of the projects. The system was transparent where all the people can access the information,” said Buhi Punong Barangay Romeo Alorro.

“We were so blessed that we became part of the program. Our dreams for the different projects were realized,” he added.

As one of the programs under the devolution, the DSWD hopes that the legacy of community volunteerism through CDD will be prioritized by LGUs to ensure the inclusive and sustainable growth of poor communities across the country.

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