A volunteer’s enabling family

Aside from the personal motivation to render unpaid services, volunteers need support from the people around them specially their families.

The people of Sampaloc, Gainza in Camarines Sur yearned for an accessible health center and their voices were heard in 2012. Out of their utmost commitment and diligence, their new health facility was erected the following year through the Kalahi-CIDSS program. Since the primary requirement of the program is people participation, Sampaloc did not fail and got the funding of Php798, 560.50 for their longtime wish.

The Dalma family joined the whole village of Sampaloc, a poor agricultural area, to finish their health center because the residents would spend P26, a roundtrip fare, just to seek medical help in the town.

Cyrel Dalma, a mother of six, did not hesitate to tell Julio, her husband, that her presence and participation was summoned by her neighbors as a member of the barangay committee that will manage the resources received for their health center in 2012.

She was elected as the head of the Monitoring and Inspection Team (MIT), a committee formed in Kalahi-CIDSS which is responsible for the inspection of the completeness of the delivered supplies and materials procured by the community.

She needed to attend trainings as a volunteer to which her husband supported by nursing their youngest child in her absence, a task Julio never did before.

According to Cyrel, her husband and children were dependent on her when it comes to performing household chores. But there was a sudden shift inside their home when a portion of her time was devoted to volunteering.

Her children learned independence by washing the dishes and cleaning the house and the yard to which Cyrel was grateful of because she can rest when she gets home from meetings and trainings.

“Pag mayo ako, nakakaisip na man sinda na magtabang (They have initiative to help when I’m gone)”

As a high school graduate, her first try as a volunteer with hefty tasks on hand did not dishearten her. In the succeeding years, she remained as the MIT head for the construction of their drainage canal under Kalahi-CIDSS.

“Nachallenge ako bilang volunteer pero dakol akong naaraman (Being a volunteer is a challenge but I learned a lot),” she added.

For over three years of selfless love for the community that her family belongs to, she never surrendered to the challenges.

“Nagtagal ako bilang volunteer dahil sa suporta ning pag-iriba ko dahil nagatarabangan kami (I remained as a volunteer because they support and help me),” she added.

Cyrel is also a barangay health worker since 2009. Her three children became recipients of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program the same year.

According to her, the health center helped the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya to get regular checkups because they now have nurses on duty from Mondays to Fridays. The drainage canal also prevented flooding and curbed dengue cases in their village.

Cyrel was motivated to live in a better community where they would not worry about their health and surroundings. The support she got from her family enabled her to perform her duty in the community to achieve better lives for everyone.

Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) is a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD),

CDD puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.

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DSWD initiates Talakayan in 15 municipalities in Bicol

The DSWD through Kalahi-CIDSS initiated the conduct of “Municipal Talakayan” in 15 municipalities which started last August 14, 2015 in Ocampo, Camarines Sur.

It is a municipal-level democratic dialogue which aims to measure the condition and level of local development of Kalahi-CIDSS municipalities by bringing all stakeholders together using a participatory approach through knowledge generation, sharing and collaborative self-assessment among stakeholders.

“The Municipal Talakayan is like a State of the Nation Address (SONA) that presents reports on a local government’s accomplishments and an open forum that entitles the public to raise questions about development to the government officials,” Dir. Garcia said.

In Ocampo, the barangay captains, selected residents, civil society organizations (CSOs), indigenous people and municipal local government unit officials were present.

Joysharon Ponciano of Brgy. Hibago in Ocampo said that she is grateful to attend the said activity because the people are updated of the local government’s programs and activities.

“Gusto ko magkaugwa pa sa susunod para aram mi ang nangyayari (I want this to be conducted again to know what is happening)” she added.

The same group of people will be invited in the following municipalities:
• Viga, Catanduanes
• Gigmoto, Catanduanes
• San Vicente, Camarines Norte
• Basud, Camarines Norte
• Labo, Camarines Norte
• Caramoan, Camarines Sur
• Bato, Camarines Sur
• Baao, Camarines Sur
• Libmanan, Camarines Sur
• Bula, Camarines Sur
• Bombon, Camarines Sur
• Gainza, Camarines Sur
• Ragay, Camarines Sur

The town of Cabusao in Camarines Sur has also conducted their Municipal Talakayan last August 17, 2015. The series of municipal dialogue is expected to end in November this year.

Kalahi-CIDSS- Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) is a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD).

Community-driven development (CDD) puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.

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DSWD- RJJCW conducts consultation-dialogue with five Pillars of Justice

The DSWD Bicol through the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (RJJWC) has recently conducted series of provincial consultation-dialogue with the Five Pillar of Justice on handling cases of children in conflict with the law (CICL).

The five pillars of justice composes the following: law enforcement, prosecution, court, penology and community.

DSWD Director Arnel Garcia, chairman of the RJJWC explained that the activity is a venue to orient the Local social Welfare and Development Officers (LSWDOs) on the salient features of RA 9344 as amended by RA 10630, an “Act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines. The law seek to institutionalization and strengthening of the national and regional structures through the following:

•Transfer of the administrative supervision over the JJWC secretariat from DOJ to the chairperson of the council, the DSWD.
•Creation of RJJWC to oversee the implementation of the law at the regional and local level.
•Strengthening of the JJCW National Secretariat , and
•Strengthen collaboration with the local government through an additional member of the council from the league of provincial, municipalities, cities and barangays.

Garcia likewise shared that over the years, it has been a challenge on the part of the implementers to inform the general public that the law is not punitive but rather restorative. This is to give opportunity to children who committed an offense to change and start a new life through the provision of intensive intervention for the children.The salient features of the law was also discussed as follows:

•Strengthening of center-based intervention for children above 12 years up to 15 years of age who do not incur criminal liability but a.) have committed a serious crime under Sec 20-A of the Act. B) have been found to have repeat offenses, and c.) children 12 up to 15 years of age who have been found to be dependent , abandoned, neglected, or abused by parents or guardians:
1.Provision of intensive intervention through the intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Center of the Bahay Pag-Asa
2.Intervention to be provided through the multi-disciplinary team of the IJISC

•Protection of the cicl at all stages of contact with the juvenile justice and welfare system by installing mechanisms which will safeguard the rights of the children whether at risk or in conflict with the law and whether the child shall incur or will be exempt from criminal liability.
•Establishment and institutionalization of a referral system and centralized juvenile justice and welfare information management system that will ensure that interventions that are provided efficiently and timely can be evaluated as to their effectiveness and maybe collectively used for programs and policy planning and development.
•Mandatory development and integration of the Local Comprehensive Juvenile Intervention Program in the LGUs local development plan with a budget allocation for strengthening of the programs of LCPCs and a distinct budget to be set aside by LGU from their annual budget., and
•Allocation Of Php 400 million that will be coursed through the DPWH to fund the construction of Bahay Pag-Asa as identified priority (HUCs and provinces) by the JJWC.# # # # #eejerusalem 08-11-2015

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Villages start construction of anti-poverty projects in Bicol, to receive P2.3 billion

Residents, who take the lead role in the implementation of the 1,284 people-identified subprojects in Bicol under Kalahi-CIDSS- Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), had already started the construction of the said community projects this month.

“We target that these subprojects are completed before the year ends so that the poor villages can immediately use these facilities and services,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

According to Dir. Garcia, DSWD had already downloaded 1.048 billion out of the 2.3 billion grant for the 2014-2015 implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS to the communities in 88 municipalities. Barangays had already opened separate bank accounts to get the Kalahi-CIDSS grants.

“The project-hired area coordinators of DSWD, Barangay Treasurers and the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairpersons are the bank signatories authorized to disburse the funds for the labor and materials and other administrative expenses incurred for the subprojects,” Dir. Garcia added.

DSWD requires the communities to submit documents to avail of the funds which is released in three tranches. DSWD will only download the first tranche of the funds when the communities completely submit documents such as project proposals, technical/engineering, financial, legal and procurement documents. The rest of the funds are only transferred to their accounts when the communities reached the required target for the subproject physical completion and fund utilization with corresponding liquidation of documents to DSWD for the succeeding two tranches.

“The residents who are elected as volunteers are trained on project management with the technical assistance from our DSWD-hired employees to ensure that there is people participation and transparency in all transactions done,” Dir. Garcia added.

On the other hand, communities were selected based on the community’s population, number of poor households and damage affected households (Typhoon Glenda, Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Marjorie Oshiro of Brgy. San Roque, Sto. Domingo, Albay was delighted that the construction of the drainage canal that will benefit 224 household including theirs had started last July 16, 2015. She said that their house gets inundated during continuous downpour and looks forward that the canal will protect them from flooding once completed.

San Roque had already received the first tranche download of P453,144.20 out of the total project cost of P566,430.25.

Subprojects refer to the community projects generated through the Kalahi-CIDSS planning process. It is a set of development activities or interventions designed, implemented, maintained by a partner community in Barangay/s in order to respond/address a need/s or problem/s identified during the Participatory Situation Analysis.

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The hidden treasure in a faucet

It was only a hearsay.

Most of the people in Sagrada, Viga, a remote community in the province of Catanduanes, did not believe that a community project managed by the people will come into a fruition.

In 2012, the said community conducted a community research and identified the construction of water system as the most needed facility to provide access of potable water for its 146 households who get their water from the spring.

Maricel Tusi, one of the residents, confirmed that onset of Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD), the people strongly refuted that they will receive a project funded by the government.

“Hindi pa naniniwala dati ang mga tao. Drawing lang daw ito sabi nila (They don’t believe [in Kalahi-CIDSS]. They say it’s not true),” she added.

On the other hand, people participation is the top requirement to avail funds from Kalahi-CIDSS for the construction of projects. In Sagrada, the result of the diminutive participation of its residents and lack of their interest in barangay assemblies, trainings, seminars and meetings got them a low ranking out of the 31 barangays in Viga during the prioritization of communities. Consequently, the said community was not able to get the funding during that time.

Tusi, also an elected volunteer to implement Kalahi-CIDSS, was not discouraged by the unfavorable result. She and the other volunteers continued to fight for the same project for the following year and complied with all the requirements and improved the involvement of their neighbors.

Thus, they got the funding of P1,599,360.00 to construct 15 tap stands in 2014 wherein each tap stand caters to 10 households.

Tusi was not only grateful to see the project completed, she also commended her colleagues because of their commitment and trust to the program.

“Naturuan po ang aming komiunidad na magsama-sama patungo sa kaunluran (We were taught in the community to come together towards development),” she said.

She also learned how to deal with different people from various statures to which she considered as a volunteer’s challenge making her a better woman who expresses ideas for the benefit of their village.

Tusi became a Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer last 2012 and was elected as a volunteer under the Project Preparation Team (PPT) and Procurement Team (PT) and also became a bookkeeper for their water system project.

In Sagrada, the faucets could have never released potable supply of water in the community without the people who believed that they can make the hearsay true.

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Educational assistance is not a scholarship, amount varies based on assessment

DSWD Field Office 5 clarifies that the amount received for the educational assistance is based on the social worker’s assessment and documents submitted by the clients.

The common misconception of the public is that the assistance is considered as a scholarship program which DSWD strongly disproves. The educational assistance does not guarantee to cover the full amount of the tuition fee and other school expenses.

“Clients can receive P1,000 to P5,000 based on DSWD screening and should understand that this is only an augmentation to the student’s school-related expenses such as purchase of school supplies, transportation allowance and also school tuition fees,” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

Moreover, DSWD accepts referrals from anyone but reiterates that the referrals made by any group or individual has no influence to determine the amount received by the beneficiaries. The form and amount of financial assistance to be provided to beneficiaries shall be based on the assessment and recommendation of the DSWD licensed professional social workers.

The last day of registration for the educational assistance closed last May covering the first semester for school year 2015-16.

Educational assistance is under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), a part of the DSWD’s menu under protective services for the marginalized and disadvantaged individuals. It is a form of assistance given to qualified beneficiaries to help defray the other cost of sending students to school.

AICS is being implemented by the’ Crisis Intervention Units (CIU) to provide a .range of services, such as immediate rescue, and provision of direct financial assistance, psychosocial support, and material assistance including medical, transportation, financial, burial, and other services, .

DSWD Field Office 5 caters to applicants coming from the province of Albay. Other applicants can go directly to its satellite offices in the following provinces:

• Masbate- E. Bldg., 2/F, Corner Ibañez and Medina Sts., Masbate City
• Camarines Sur- Topaz St., Jacob ext., Naga City
• Camarines Norte-3/F, LJR Bldg., J. Lukban Ext., Brgy. 3, Daet, Camarines Norte
• Catanduanes-Brgy. Constantino, Virac, Catanduanes
• Sorsogon-Lee Bldg., Quezon St., Polvorista, Sorsogon City

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Foundations of development

The coastal town of Donsol is located at the northwestern part of the province of Sorsogon in Bicol region. Its marine waters are home to the gentle giants of the sea, bringing the poor municipality of Donsol in the limelight as the Whale Shark capital of the World.

Its developing tourism industry shaped the gradual economic growth in Donsol where local enterprise blossomed along with fishing, copra trading and cottage industry.

Contrary to its known natural affluence, this town is still nestled in poor living conditions and lacks access to basic community services and facilities. Improving the quality of basic education is one of Donsol’s challenges that need to be addressed as it transitions to the K to 12 program of the government.

It has 51 barangays with a total of 41 elementary schools and the Public School District Supervisor Eduardo Dollarca admitted that there is a shortfall in classrooms resulting to poor performance due to rapid increase of enrollees annually.

Luz Jubelo, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary of Brgy. Dancalan, said that classrooms are vital for her children’s education so she proactively participated in the construction of their 1 unit 3 Classroom School Building which was implemented last year through Kalahi-CIDSS, a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD).

“Importante po ang classroom para makaadal maayos asin matuto (Classrooms are important for proper learning),” she said.

Dancalan is considered as the most populous barrio school in Donsol. Its total enrollees for school year 2014-15 reached to 573 students divided into 16 sections that utilized eight (8) functional classrooms and some may not warrant safety for the students because of its dilapidated condition.

Principal Corazon Montilla also added that there were seven classrooms demolished without replacement in their school before.

Prior to the construction of the classrooms, three sections in Grade 1 and Grade 2 suffer from blistering heat and leaks from roof holes. But the timely and expeditious completion of the additional classrooms last March offered a comfortable edifice to the same grade levels for the next school year.

Jubelo was very elated to see her son in Grade 1 occupying the classroom that she and her colleagues built in Dancalan Elementary School.

Despite of her timid personality, Jubelo did not hesitate to become a member of the community-based management committee formed for the construction of the said classrooms because she is aware of her significant role in their development as an elected volunteer in Kalahi-CIDSS.

“Na apply ko sa Kalahi-CIDSS ang tinuro sa Family Development Session (FDS) ng Pantawid Pamilya na maging aktibo sa barangay (Active citizenship is taught in FDS of Pantawid Pamilya and I applied what I’ve learned in Kalahi-CIDSS,” she said.

82 of 306 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Dancalan Elementary School are expected to benefit from these three classrooms.

“We are thankful to the volunteers who sacrificed for the completion of the project and I’m grateful to the funders because the long wait is over,” Montilla said.

Appreciation of people participation
Brgy. Poso is the smallest yet the most progressive in Donsol where the biggest elementary school is located, the Dancalan East Central School, catering to eight neighboring villages with a total of 1378 students for school year 2015-16.

The school was built 92 years ago and now most of the rooms are dilapidated. Unfortunately, the baneful incineration of five classrooms in 2013 had also affected the students’ academic performances because they were housed in a congested space.

In response to this, the construction of 1 unit 3 Classroom School Building implemented through Kalahi-CIDSS was completed this year.

It made a difference not only to the students but also for its residents as well.

In 2011, Poso’s proposal for the construction of school building was not included for funding during the prioritization of community projects under Kalahi-CIDSS.

Lalaine Cadag, a Grade 4 teacher in Dancalan East Central School and also a volunteer, did not expect that the classrooms will be funded and erected with a grant from Australia’s Aid Program.

According to her, it was a tough job for a teacher and mother like her to give extra time and effort as the head volunteer. Even during weekends, she would check the ongoing construction with the help of other scrupulous residents.

She surmounted this daunting challenge by keeping her heart for her neighbors with an envision of a promising future for the children.

“Kahit hindi pa ako nakapagtayo ng sarili kong bahay, natutunan ko na magconstruct ng school building. Kayang-kaya ko pala (Although I have not built my own house, I learned to construct a school building. I discovered that I am fully capable),”

Moreover, she was inspired by the project itself because everyone in the community is involved.

“Maganda pala ang isang project dahil tao ang nagpapatakbo at lahat nagbabantay kaya walang corruption (The project turned out beautifully because the residents managed the project and all are watchdogs so there is no corruption),” she said.

Cadag is hoping that all government programs would adopt CDD. She appreciated the direct participation of the people in all of processes in Kalahi-CIDSS.

Dollarca agreed with her and added that it is only with Kalahi-CIDSS that he has seen an excellent workmanship of classrooms.

“Gusto namin ulit ma experience ang direct participation kung saan lahat kami ay aware sa barangay (We would want to experience again the direct participation wherein all of us are aware in the community),” Cadag added.
Education is the centerpiece of development and the improved access to basic education of poor communities strengthens their capacities to improve the quality of their lives.

Infrastructures built in Kalahi-CIDSS are perks of a community’s mustered efforts. Development consummates when people influence the decisions affecting their growth while enhancing their capacities to use it for their advantage. It is not only for the benefit of one but for the betterment of everyone.

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DSWD completes pre-implementation workshop for implementers of 1,180 community subprojects

The residents who were entrusted with the entire implementation of 1,180 community projects of Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) were currently training on community financial management and community procurement which started last May and will end this July.

The four-day training will prepare the community volunteers, the elected residents comprising the community management committee formed in each community for the subproject, with the procedures being observed during subproject implementation period.

“Kalahi-CIDSS is about human development. People participation is vital because their decisions to influence change in the community matter,” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

Aside from 2.3 grant allocation to fund the construction of community-identified infrastructures from 2014-2015, DSWD also allocated funds to train the volunteers. Php12,544,000.00 was allocated for the conduct of PIW in 88 municipalities.

“Kalahi-CIDSS is unique because the residents are given the chance to handle the procurement and finances of their subprojects,” Dir. Garcia added.

Each community sends participants for the two-day community finance management training comprising of the following: Barangay Treasurer, Bookkeeper, Monitoring and Inspection Team (MIT) head, Project Implementation Team (PIT) head, Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Chairperson, Barangay Captain and Procurement Team (PT) Head. In this training, DSWD discusses how the funds are disbursed and taught on how to record and report financial transactions

Another two-day Community Procurement Training is participated in by PT, MIT Head, Barangay Subproject Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson, Audit and Inventory Team (AIT), PIT, Barangay Captain and BAC Chairperson. In this training, DSWD discusses the roles and function of the volunteers, packaging of the community procurement plan, procurement procedures for shopping/bidding for goods and for works, direct contracting and its types, pakyaw and procurement action planning.

According to Mary Jean Miranda, BSPMC Chairperson of Catamlangan, Pilar, Sorsogon, it is important to attend these trainings because of the learning gained.

“Dapat mahigpit ka sa implementation para maganda ang proyekto (we should be strict in the implementation to get a quality subproject),” she said.

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