Poor villages in Bicol get Php689 million for school buildings, to benefit 115,737 households

Poor villages in Bicol get Php689 million for school buildings,

The pupils of Dancalan East Central School, the biggest school in Donsol in Sorsogon, forms a human smiley to show gratitude for their one-unit three classroom school building funded under Kalahi-CIDSS.

Poor villages in need of additional classrooms in Bicol received a total grant of Php688,986,604.7 for the construction, rehabilitation and repair of 473 school buildings from 2002 to present under the community driven development program of DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) that seeks to help alleviate poverty.

Out of the total school buildings, there were 254 completed and the rest are under construction that will benefit 115,737 households.

Projects under Kalahi-CIDSS following the CDD approach are identified by the residents themselves and funded based on the approval of the people through the Barangay Assembly and undergoes the public’s consensual decision in the municipal prioritization activity called Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF).

Luz Jubelo, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary of Donsol, Sorsogon, said classrooms are vital for her children’s education so she proactively participated in the construction of their 1 unit 3 Classroom School Building in Brgy. Dancalan which was implemented through Kalahi-CIDSS.

The management of funds and resources are directly given to the elected residents of their respective projects with the assistance of the barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs). To date, LGUs provided their local counterpart contribution of Php69,912,845.62 for these school buildings.

According to Sec. Soliman: “Ang tutok ng Kalahi-CIDSS ay CDD. ibig sabihin, magkakasama ang mamayan na susuriin yung kanilang sitwasyon at sila yung magtutukoy kung ano yung mahalagang proyekto na nagbibigay solusyon sa kanilang nakitang pangunahing problema (The focus of Kalahi- CIDSS is CDD. Meaning, the citizens come together to review their situation and they will also identify important projects that will provide solutions to their main problems found).”

The operations of the community-driven development (CDD) approach expanded into a national scale, which was tried and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS. 101 poor municipalities in Bicol are under its expansion from 2014 to 2019 with a total of grant of Php4,497,448,178.

From 2002 to present, there are 4,283 community-identified projects that will provide basic access infrastructures, basic social services, community production, economic support and common service facilities and environment protection and conservation in 106 municipalities for Bicol Region alone.

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DSWD employs thousands of residents for construction of community-managed projects under Kalahi-CIDSS program

DSWD employs thousands of residents for construction of community-managed projects under Kalahi-CIDSS programKapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a community-driven development (CDD) program of DSWD aimed to reduce poverty in poor villages, had already hired thousands of residents in the construction of community-managed projects in almost 99 poor municipalities in Bicol from 2015 to present.

47,283 workers were employed with total labor cost of Php97,589,529.00 in the construction of 1,304 projects that will provide basic access infrastructure, basic social services, community production, economic support and common service facilities and environment protection and conservation.

Each laborer receives a minimum of Php260.00 depending on the prevailing rate in the locality.

As part of the gender mainstreaming in Kalahi-CIDSS where men and women are given opportunities in labor works, Kalahi-CIDSS hired a total 9,202 women in the construction of the said community projects with a total labor cost of Php16,105,170

Moreover, 37% of the 47,283 laborers are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who received a total Php29,346,629.00 for their salaries.

Necita Mesa of Baao, Camarines Sur, a housewife with three children, was one of the residents who built their access road. Her colleague who belongs to the Barangay Subproject Management Committee (BSPMC), the community implementer of the Kalahi-CIDSS project in their village, recruited her.

“Hiring workers within the community where projects are being constructed will not only give them additional income but they will also ensure quality workmanship because they themselves are the beneficiaries of these,” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

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Villagers plant mangroves on 50 hectares land in Sorsogon

The coastal village of Tiris in Gubat, Sorsogon identified the Mangrove Reforestation as a priority intervention during the first cycle of Kalahi-CIDSS which was the result of their Damage Assessment Needs Analysis (DANA) in 2015.

The increasing intensity and number of typhoons had greatly affected Tiris’ 474 households damaging properties and affecting their livelihood. Strong waves and winds during typhoons continuously destroy their bakawan, Tiris’ natural protection against these threats.

Bakawan is not only a defense against the effects of typhoons but also a source of livelihood for most of its women residents who harvest shells, pawid (mangrove leaves for roofing) and hagnaya for food. Planting more mangroves will also enrich the marine life in Tiris.

Thus, Tiris decided to plant more mangroves to protect their properties, families, and livelihood and definitely, conserve the environment. They got funding from Kalahi-CIDSS which amounted to Php1,640,680.00 with a total of 2,319 beneficiaries.

The residents of Tiris had made their contribution to save the environment from Climate Change.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD).

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DSWD confers outstanding Kalahi-CIDSS gender champions in Bicol, Libmanan sweeps four awards


DSWD Region V recognized its active partners in gender mainstreaming under Kalahi-CIDSS during the Gender Congress last April 14-15, 2016 at Villa Caceres Hotel, Naga City, Camarines Sur.

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

It was first implemented in Bicol in 2003 and has integrated the gender policy and development with the funding from Millennium Challenge Corporation in 2014 with a coverage of 15 poor municipalities in Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes.

During the awarding ceremonies last April 15, Libmanan received the following awards: Best Barangay Gender and Development (GAD) volunteer for Salve Hermina of Brgy. Salvacion, Municipal GAD Focal Person for Daisy Antonio, Best Barangay for Brgy. Cambalidio and Outstanding Municipality.

The town of Gainza also received an accolade as an Outstanding Municipality.

Hermina, an elected volunteer in Kalahi-CIDSS under Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for the concreting of their pathway, was also a member of their bantay-dagat who facilitated and organized a group of women to stop illegal fishing in their community to protect the ocean and its natural resources.

Her active participation in Kalahi-CIDSS as a volunteer and bantay-dagat earned her the recognition during the Gender Congress.

The 49-year old Hermina said: “Maski saro akong babae, nagkusog akong buot na kaya ko makipag dialogue maski wara akong halangkaw na pinagadalan pero halangkaw kaya ang pagtubod ko sa sakuyang sadiri na ako makakatabang maski saro akong babae.”

The said activity was participated in by selected BGAD volunteers and MGAD focal persons from municipalities with a funding from MCC, an independent U.S. foreign aid agency, for the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS.

The gender mainstreaming initiatives of Kalahi-CIDSS was strengthened through its partnership with MCC that incorporated gender-focused activities and has accomplished the following from 2013 to present:

  • 13 gender responsive community sub-projects with 2,276 beneficiaries (Female-1,401 and Male-875)
  • 2,200 BGAD volunteers were trained (Female-1603 and Male-597)
  • 629,604.00 women attended Barangay Assemblies
  • 10,518 women volunteers were trained
  • 14,789 women are members of the Kalahi-CIDSS Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC)
  • 3,914 women are heads of the Kalahi-CIDSS BSPMC

Aside from the recognition of partners in Gender Mainstreaming, the Gender Congress conducted a workshop last April 14 to identify significant changes in the lives of the BGAD volunteers, assess status of mainstreaming gender at MLGU and BLGU levels, assess effectiveness or functionality of GIG sub-projects and its sustainability plan and develop recommendations to address challenges along gender mainstreaming initiatives or strengthen similar initiatives.

“DSWD believes and continues to fight for women empowerment. Through this activity, we were able to assess the initial gains of the gender mainstreaming initiatives in Kalahi-CIDSS,” Irene Malong, Regional Program Manager of Kalahi-CIDSS, said.

Kalahi-CIDSS completed 532 out of 679 community sub-projects in 26 poor municipalities of Bicol with a grant of PhP797,682,994.00 from Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

On the other hand, the operations of the CDD approach expanded into a national scale, which was tried and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS. 101 poor municipalities in Bicol are under its expansion from 2014 to 2019 with a total of grant of Php4,497,448,178.

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First Municipal Bayani Ka! Awards in the Philippines honors volunteers


The first municipal Bayani Ka! Awards in the Philippines was initiated in Bato, Catanduanes last March 30, 2016 where community implementers of a DSWD poverty program were recognized.

Residents of Bato’s 27 barangays engaged in 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), were awarded for their volunteerism and commendable commitment and support to the program.

“This is a way to honor our community heroes for their selflessness who will help us promote the program through their stories of heroism and transformation that CDD really works,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

As a CDD project, ordinary residents are elected as program implementers who will directly manage the resources and construct community sub-projects like evacuation centers, day care centers, health centers, classrooms, roads, drainage, solar dryer, etc.

Apolinario Tejerero, a resident of Brgy. Guinobatan, received an accolade as the Best Community Volunteer who has shown his perseverance to pursue their project despite of struggles.

“Kahit tatlong araw akong pabalik-balik na walang pera para maka attend sa training at seminar para sa aming volunteers, naranasan kong maging masaya dahil marami akong natutunan na kahit na kailanman hindi ko malilimutan,” he said.

Tejerero is the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairman who helped in the construction of their evacuation center funded through Kalahi-CIDSS amounting to 2,397,071.00.

The following volunteers and barangays received the following awards:

Barangay Category Awardee
Barangay Guinobatan Best Barangay Secretary Amelia Villescas
Barangay Bote Best Barangay Treasurer Josephine Mendez
Barangay Guinobatan Best Bids & Awards Committee
Barangay Cabugao Best Barangay Bookkeeper Jonna Tarala
Barangay San Roque Best Audit & Inventory Team (AIT)
Barangay Ilawod Best Project Implementation Team (PIT)
Barangay Tamburan Best Procurement Team (PT)
Barangay Bote Best Barangay Representation Team (BRT)
Barangay Sibacungan Best Monitoring & Inspection Team (MIT)
Barangay Bote Best Operations & Management Team/Group (O&M)
Barangay Guinobatan Best Project Preparation Team (PPT)
Barangay Cabugao Best Barangay Council
Barangay Bote Best BSPMC
Barangay Guinobatan Best BSPMC Chairperson Apolinario Tejerero
Brgy. Cabugao Best Youth Volunteer Jinky Rodriguez, AIT Member
Brgy. Bote Best Senior Volunteer Charles Teope, PIT Member
Brgy. Pananaogan Best Women Volunteer Letty Torcelino, BSPMC Chairperson & Parent Leader
Brgy. Cabugao Best PWD Volunteer Roel Tarlac, AIT Member


Abello Frias, also a BSPMC Chairman from Brgy. Dacu, Mobo, Masbate was hailed as the national winner for the 2nd Bayani Ka! Awards for Luzon cluster last February 9, 2016 in Manila. His heroic deed in 2012 made him an exemplary volunteer. He forced his way into a storm (Public Storm Warning Signal No. 2 was raised) in a late evening to get their lot document notarized for their health center in Masbate City even if he is suffering from flu.

From 2014 to present, there are 64, 903 community volunteers (Women- 29,483, Men- 35,420) who are trained by DSWD on how they can manage their community sub-projects. They train on project management, community procurement, bookkeeping, community finance, etc.

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The dead man’s wish for his tribe


Jennifer Cron, 32, recalled how her father lamented about their rugged path: “Masemento gayud yan, gadan na ako (I’ll be dead if [road] is cemented).”

She tearfully recounted how she spewed her banter in response to her father’s whine and said, “Patitinampo ko yan. Hilingon mo, tay (I will construct the road, You’ll see).”

She would like to take her crippled father for a ride in a motorcycle on a cemented road but even a glance of this was impossible now.

Her father’s wish was too evasive to be true. The road from Sitio Banaw of Brgy. Caranday going to the village’s Poblacion was only concreted in 2014 four years after her father died.

The poor village of Caranday

The agricultural town of Baao is one of the poor municipalities in Camarines Sur with a poverty incidence of 37.35 where 3,380 of its 5,729 households are identified poor in 2011 by DSWD’s information management system called Listahanan.

Brgy. Caranday is one of its 30 poor villages where 165 out of its 179 households live below the poverty threshold because most of its residents do not have permanent source of income and could hardly send their children to college.

Its villagers resort to farming in this upland area of Baao but their crops are spoiled when they haul these because of their uneven clay dirt path. Thus, their products such as coconuts, corns, squashes, string beans and bananas are sold at lower prices.

The Agta’s plight in Sitio Banaw

Jennifer of Sitio Banaw in Brgy. Caranday is part of its 69 households belonging to Agta Tagbangon-Simaron whose ancestors inhabited these remote mountains of Baao for the longest time.

She learned how to farm and raise livestock with her husband to support their four (4) children. They hardly earn PhP2,000 every month with a diminutive pay from tandan, working for a landlord’s farm.

Caranday is a refuge for food and shelter for the Agtas but their seclusion from the rest of the villagers effected difficult access to education, health and socio-economic activities.

Just like her father, Jennifer would like to get a decent road from Sitio Banaw to Caranday’s Pobalcion where the road to town is accessible. She traversed either a muddy or dusty path and hurdled big rocks for a grueling 20-minute walk in this steep and winding dirt path.

It was also difficult for the sick people to get medical aid and students from Banaw who go to Poblacion.

Dipisil talaga. Malumpat ka sa kagagapuan, eh, kung may alas pa (It’s really hard. You cross over rocks. What if there are snakes?),” she added.

The hope of dead IP’s daughter

In 2012, hope sparked when she heard about the possibility of getting a road from 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).

She was quick to attend meetings about this even if it takes a 30 minute-walk from their house to the venue. Others would even mock Jennifer’s indulgence explaining that she would get nothing from another empty promise but her determination dispelled protests.

Magdisidir kita. Sige sige sana. Ipakita ta na kita desidido tanganing magkatinampo kita (We should be earnest. Don’t stop. Show them that we are serious to get the roads concreted,” she responded to the detractors.

Caranday villagers collaborated with the Agta’s to get their 1.19 km road paved in 2014.

As part of Kalahi-CIDSS process, residents were elected as volunteers to directly manage, implement and construct their road. Jennifer became one of the volunteers and was chosen by the majority as the chairman of the Bids and Awards and Committee (BAC) who determines eligible suppliers of goods, materials, equipment and equipment rental for the construction.

Sa sarong project, hindi pwede bumili ng basang (In this project, we should not purchase indecisively),” she explained.

Though a High School graduate, she did not confine herself in the premise of her duties as the BAC chairman. According to Judith Cron, her relative, Jennifer was very participative and active to pursue their road.

Nagpa-apod kami ning rabos ta kami man lang makikinabang kaini (We called for the community’s collaborative effort because we are the ones who will benefit from this),” Jennifer said.

She even asked her husband to help in the construction without pay for two days. She also became a laborer, who was unaware that she was five months pregnant that time.

Gusto kong makatabang pa ako sa iba (I would like to help others),” she said.

Judith also a volunteer, agreed to Jennifer that they will leave a legacy to the next generations. Their children will honor them because the convenience was the result of their parents’ sacrifices.

“Proud sila na ining tinampo natapos dahil sa kontribusyo ng magulang nila (They are proud because the road was completed because of their parents’ contribution),” Jennifer said.

The road amounting to PhP2,605,811.00 benefits the entire population of Caranday and serves access to its neighboring villages namely, Cristo Rey, Iyagan and Tapol.

Kaming mga Agta, mas nabenepisyaran igdi. Pasil na sana ta bakong malaboy. Hindi na mapapagod at mahihirapan yung matatanda (Agta’s like us will benefit from this. It’s easy and not muddy. Elders will not get tired and experience difficulty),” Jennifer added.

Jennifer would remember her promise to her crippled father. She said: “Basta naiiling ko ining tinampo, si tatay ang naalala ko (I remember him everytime I see this road)”.

But Jennifer continues to visualize a livable village with electricity, water system and evacuation center for the Agta’s and supermarket in Caranday even after she fulfilled her father’s wish. Now, she dreams for the children of Caranday to enjoy these on their mountainous.

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DSWD encourages public to send feedbacks about Kalahi-CIDSS through its Grievance Redress System

Anyone can file complaints or inform DSWD about their queries, clarifications, suggestions, problems and issues that arise from Kalahi-CIDSS implementation through its Grievance Redress System (GRS) by means of text, email, letter, suggestion box or by talking to authorized DSWD personnel.

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).

The following are the designated project staff who are authorized to receive and intake the grievance through the following Grievance Monitors:

Barangay          Community Empowerment Facilitator

Municipal          Area Coordinator

Province           Monitoring &Evaluation Officer III

Region              M&E Officer III for Grievance

Central Office   M&E Officer IV for Grievance

They will accomplish the grievance intake form to record the complaints they received and how it should be addressed.  Concerns are validated through site visits, review of documents, interviews and meetings with concerned individuals/groups with the fact-finding bodies namely, Barangay Grievance Committee, Municipal Development Council (MDC) and Kalahi-CIDSS Management Offices to either respond to queries, comply obligations, resolve grievances, correct violations or impose sanctions if needed.

In general, grievances concerning the community implementers should be resolved at the lowest level because the residents are the primary users of the program.

As part of social accountability and transparency to empower its partner-beneficiaries, the public can use the following means to send their feedbacks:

  • Kalahi-CIDSS Suggestion Box. This is installed at the barangay (commonly placed at the Barangay Hall) which is opened at least once a month by an authorized personnel during barangay assemblies or barangay council meetings with Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers (Barangay Grievance Committee).
  • Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Hotline. Anyone can call/text: 0926 701 8559
  • Email. They can email any of the following:
    • DSWD regional email address
      • fo5@dswd@dswd.gov.ph
    • Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Grievance Officer
      • marygizell_bellena@yahoo.com
    • DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia
      • arbgarcia@dswd.gov.ph
    • Kalahi-CIDSS National Program Manager
      • beredaja.kc@dswd.gov.ph
    • Usec. Camilo Gudmalin
      • cggudmalin@dswd.gov.ph
    • Sec. Dinky Soliman
      • dinky@dswd.gov.ph
  • Letter. They can send their letter to:

Arnel B. Garcia, CESO II
DSWD Field Office 5
Magnolia St., PBN, Buraguis, Legazpi City

  • Walk-in Complaints. Talk to Kalahi-CIDSS Grievance Monitors. 

“GRS is a feature of Kalahi-CIDSS to promote social accountability. It allows Kalahi-CIDSS to be fully responsive to its partner-beneficiaries,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

Kalahi-CIDSS is currently being implemented in 99 municipalities in Bicol with 1,351 community-managed sub-projects with a total funding of Php4,497,448,178 for its implementation from 2014-2019.

He also said that it will also respond to simple requests for information to clear up a misunderstanding in Kalahi-CIDSS.

From 2014 to present, 99.79% of the 2,450 grievances received by Kalahi-CIDSS in Bicol were resolved and addressed, Garcia added.

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The ability in disability

In the small town of Bombon in Camarines Sur, access is a perennial problem in one of its poor villages. Students in Brgy. Sto. Domingo would walk on their bare feet as they traverse the muddy path in Zone 7 before they can reach school. Their mothers would bring either water dipper or rag to wash or wipe the dirt off.

Jane Nicerio, 42, a resident, pity the students every time there’s a downpour. According to her, it is also very difficult for her to tread the said path because of her disability in walking.

Nicerio, a vendor with no regular source of income, would roam around their village on her bike to sell kakanin. She too was a victim of the muddy and slippery road causing her to tumble down. There was a time when she spilled the food worth of PhP300.00, the only money she had. She cannot believe that she brought nothing for her family.

“Nagapwersa ako magtinda maski mauran maski maalnas ang dalan para may kaunon kami. Nagibi talaga ako and sinabi ko talaga na sana maparil na ang dalan mi,” she said.

She came from a poor family and hardly finished high school back then when she lost both of her parents at an early age. She became a helper to her uncle’s family who sent her to school in exchange.

Now, Nicerio has her own family who is married to a farmer with one child. Their family transferred to Zone 7, Brgy. Sto. Domingo twelve years ago.

Though she could barely provide for her family and she is a differently abled person, Nicerio accepted the offer to become a volunteer who will manage the construction of their concrete pathway in 2013, an additional task that would require her time and effort.

Marlyn Suarez, another volunteer, encouraged her to participate as the Procurement Team head of their community project.

“Maski PWD [person with disability] ka, makakatabang ka sa barangay,” Suarez told her.

Nicerio’s condition who has difficulty in walking and folded arms cannot explain the cause of her disability. But beyond her physical deficiency, she believed that she can accomplish anything because of her determination.

“Dae ako nagapundo hanggang dae ko natatapos,” she added.

She proved that she can perform her duties as the procurement officer though it was her first time to be one. She sacrificed her two days and went to another town to look for the lowest cost of supplies and materials needed for their concrete pathway. She shoved her timid character and learned to comport herself in front of different people.

She also devoted her time to monitor the laborers during the construction of their pathway which started in January 2015 and explained to them that they should do their best because the project is important to the villagers. Luckily, it was completed in May 2015.

“Maski mag-uran o mag-init, magayon na ang dalan mi,” she said.

Nicerio is one of the 62,187 trained residents in 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).

“Dakulang orgulyo maging volunteer dahil tinawan ako ning tiwala maski PWD ako. Kaya ko man gibohun ang tigagaibo ning ibang normal na tao,” she said.

After all the trainings she received from Kalahi-CIDSS, she was very grateful not only because of their concreted pathway but also with the additional knowledge and new friends. She also became an active member of their village because she was never involved in any community activities before.

“Mas nagdakol ang benta ko dahil mas dakol namidbidan ko,” she added.

Nicerio’s disability or even her economic status is not the hindrance to fulfill their community’s dream of a concreted pathway. She proved that anything is possible when you are determined to do it.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent U.S. foreign aid agencies created in 2004 to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by helping countries promote economic growth, provided a grant for the construction of 679 community sub-projects and trainings to thousands of volunteers in Bicol.

MCC funded the construction of the pathway in Brgy. Sto. Domingo with an amount of  PhP1,433,000.00. Same village also received a Day Care Center from Kalahi-CIDSS serving 200 households which was completed in 2014 with a total project cost of 799,390.50.

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