A DSWD beneficiary finds fulfillment in volunteering

Michelle dela Torre, a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader and a KALAHI CIDSS volunteer in Brgy. Rawis, Legazpi City. She is also a beneficiary of the development center that will become a venue for livelihood opportunities that was constructed through KALAHI CIDSS project with a total project cost of Php1.1 million. She was trained to become one of the qualified beneficiaries to train on dressmaking.

Michelle should’ve never cared. She could’ve stayed inside their humble abode and minded her own family. However, she was brought by destiny to serve others.

Michelle dela Torre is one of the few volunteers in Brgy. Rawis, Legazpi City. Unlike other residents, she has actively participated in community activities under government programs.

It all started when she was elected as the Parent Leader (PL) in their sitio for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of DSWD in 2011. Out of gratitude to those who voted for her during the community assembly, she accepted it and admitted that she was clueless about it.

She said that as she became aware of the PL’s roles, she never expected that it will be a difficult task. She could’ve finished off her tagalong pocket book or sit around the corner after a hard day’s work at home.

It was even difficult to convince her husband to support her with this new endeavor. Aside from being a housekeeper, a mother of three and a wife, Michelle got herself involved in meetings and seminars which entailed time apart from her family.

It even took long conversations before she persuaded her husband to support her. After a while, she discovered her purpose and gave her husband the best justification.

“Ang interes ko makatabang. Ang kaogmahan ko yaon sa paguswag kang komunidad, [my interest is to help. My happiness is in the progress of our community]” she explained to him.

Michelle assured him that her family is her top priority. Gradually, her husband learned to understand this.

As a parent leader
Michelle revealed that it was her first time to engage in community work and function as a leader. She has no similar experience except at home. With the capability building support provided by the program, she was able to make use of her full potentials to others. This paved way to completely understand her function as the head of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

She explained that her main role was to monitor about 30 beneficiaries in Purok 3. Michelle said that this is a large number for a group but she was able to manage issues specially when it comes to encouraging others to perform their responsibilities as parents.

“Importante and pagururon [Communication is important],”she said.

She developed a more matured way of handling complex situations. She ensured that everyone involved in the problem would get the explanation they deserve. Michelle remained subtle and calm rather than get rough about it.

All of these experiences molded Michelle to become an effective leader at home and in the community.

On the other hand, her family receives Php2,800.00 monthly under the said program. Applying all the things she learned from the regular meetings and trainings, she valued the grant she received from the government by safeguarding her kids’ future through responsible parenting.
A principled procurement volunteer
Michelle thought that being a PL was tough until KALAHI CIDSS project came in 2013. Again, she was elected as the procurement team head through the barangay assembly.

After the consensual decision from its residents to build a livelihood center amounting to Php1.1 million in solving unemployment in Rawis, Michelle came in as a volunteer.

She again admitted that she had no idea how the procurement works but she accepted it wholeheartedly knowing that she will learn about it along the way. DSWD provided the training Michelle needed to perform her task as the procurement officer. With the assistance of DSWD personnel, she became more confident in performing her tasks.

Being the head of the procurement team was more complicated than ever. From the public announcement of invitation to quote or to bid, awarding of contracts, contract implementation to payment to suppliers, contractors and local workers, Michelle should ensure that transparency was observed.

Even the Community Facilitator, Maria Melissa B. Sanchez, said that she did her job very well.

Yet, there were attempts of some suppliers to influence the result of the procurement. However, she remained immovable and scrupulous of her role. She said that this was the most critical part of implementing the project.

“Pinaagi ko sa tamang proseso [I followed the correct procedure],”she added.

One of her co-volunteer Leizle A. Corpuz, described Michelle as friendly, intelligent in handling the team and was focused in attaining the project’s success.

After that incident, she realized that even an ordinary person like her, could actually contribute to the elimination of corruption by doing her role as a volunteer with integrity.

“Maski grabe pagtios, dae yan excuse na magibo ki sala [Being poor does not exempt you from wrongdoings],” she explained.

She also applauded the project because of the opportunity given to local residents in managing their resources in solving poverty issues.

“Gusto ko ang prinsipyo ng KALAHI CIDSS [I like with the principles of KALAHI CIDSS],” she said.

On top of the development center, qualified beneficiaries were provided 5 units of padyak (cycle rickshaw), two non-motorized boats and skills training on dressmaking.

Michelle also trained for 270 hours (almost a month) on dressmaking and a member of the cooperative who will benefit the development center.

Being a mother since 2000, Michelle perfected household management and parenting. But she never imagined that a life full of challenges was just waiting for her outside.

Owning a convenience store and junk shop, Michelle could’ve focused her time on their business but she continued her volunteering up to now.

Though her engagement was fortuitous, she realized that it was more than delivering what was expected.

“Nabuksan ang kaisipan ko na hindi lang dapat nakafocus sa bahay kundi dapat aware ka din sa mga nagyayari sa barangay mo at sa mga proyekto na binibigay sa komunidad [I found out that my focus should not only be at home but also be aware of what’s happening in your community and its projects],”she said.

Michelle said that everybody in the village should participate because they can get free seminars, workshops and avail of services sponsored by the government.

Her concern was not only her family but also the general welfare of the community.

She wanted to be a teacher but cannot afford to be one.

Her father died when she was a sophomore and after graduating high school, she went to Manila and tried different kinds of jobs like becoming a saleslady and even a maid. She went back home after two years and settled in Legazpi City for good. In 1995, she got married.

Being known for being a high school graduate, her in-laws always disproved of her because her husband was a college graduate. Despite of the pains and belittling, Michelle proved her worth.

She gained her confidence through government projects and programs. As a very optimistic woman, she did not give up even during the hardest time of becoming a volunteer. She faced it with might and found solutions to dilemmas.

The most significant change to her was she had gained the trust of others. After all the capability building activities she went through, Michelle increased her knowledge while enjoying the activities with friends and neighbors. Her circle of friends also increased because of these.

Through building her self-worth, she was able to speak with high ranking officials and wealthy individuals that she thought she could never do before.

“Garu man sana ako nagkaugwang college degree [It’s just like having a college degree],”she said and burst into laughter while fighting her tears back.

With this being said, her in-laws became proud of her and even bragged of her contributions in the community. In spite of her accomplishments, Michelle chose to stay humble and lived low-key.

With so much work being done in the community, she envisioned that their development center’s success would solely rely on how the people would manage it.

“Samuya ini kaya may pagmakulog kami digdi [this is ours so we will take good care of it],”she said.

To Michelle, a volunteer is someone who helps the community and expects nothing in return. In the community where teamwork is nurtured, she said that for the project to become successful, everyone should participate and complete their designated tasks. In the end, it is the people in the community that will benefit all the resources from the government if put into good use.

She cared for the general welfare of her neighbors. She went outside to discover the beauty of change in her and in the community. ###nelsonosialjr

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Australian officials conduct study visit to DSWD projects in Bicol

Australian Embassy officials visit DSWD project sites of KALAHI CIDSS in Pilar and Donsol in Sorsogon and Legazpi City last May 26 and 27, respectively. (L-R) Rosella Agcaoili (senior program officer), Australian Ambassador David Dutton, Robyn Piti (Counselor for peace and education ) during a study visit in Brgy. Esperanza, Pilar, Sorsogon last May 26.

A two-day community visit which commenced last May 26 was undertaken by Australian Embassy officials headed by Ambassador David Dutton to DSWD project sites funded by Australian government in Bicol.

Joining the ambassador were Rosella Agcaoili (senior program officer) and Robyn Piti (counselor for peace and education).

The said group visited Pilar, Donsol and Legazpi City wherein they have interviewed community-implementers and beneficiaries of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI CIDSS), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), the social protection programs of DSWD which have been long supported by the Australian government.

The visit provided the opportunity to Australian visitors the information on how the said programs/projects are being implemented and converged at the community level and how these contributed to local growth and personal development.

According to DSWD FO V Dir. Garcia, the officials of the Australian Embassy learned directly from the beneficiaries and implementers of the community being served by DSWD.

“In particular, I’ve learned the community-driven development approach [of KALAHI CIDSS] is really interesting. This is new to me because I’m still learning our work here,” Ambassador Dutton said.

During the visit in Bitano last May 27, the team

Moreover, the Senior Australian Embassy officials were able to observe the conduct of the Family Development Session (FDS) and interact with the beneficiaries in Brgy. Esperanza, Pilar and Brgy. Pangpang in Donsol.

Similarly, the officials interviewed the community-implementers on how they managed and constructed the Australian-supported day care centers and school buildings under KALAHI CIDSS project in the same barangays.

“Natupad yung pangarap naming na makakuha ng proyekto sa KALAHI CIDSS. Maayos at maganda na ang day care center namin [Our dream to get a KALAHI CIDSS project came true. We now have a clean and orderly day care center],” Marites Triñanes, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary said.

Australian government through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) has already provided a total grant of Php45,332,272.75 to complete the construction of 45 school buildings and day care centers which is being benefited by 14,597 household beneficiaries in seven (7) municipalities in Bicol. These municipalities are Pilar, Claveria, Cataingan, Palanas, Manito, Rapu-Rapu and Donsol which previously implemented KALAHI CIDSS, however, certain communities were not prioritized under the project.

“For Australian government, education is the highest priority. In our development work in the Philippines, we’ve been supporting programs promoting education,” he added.

Mayor Jospehine Alcantara of Donsol had agreed to Ambassador Dutton and said that she strongly supports programs for education that’s why she highly value KALAHI CIDSS project in Donsol.

Meanwhile, the local government unit (LGU) of Pilar headed by Mayor Dennis Reyes, assured the Australian donors that all community projects are in good hands.

“We will take care of the repairs in partnership with the barangay LGUs. If the barangay’s funds are already exhausted, we will provide resource augmentation,” he said.

Ambassador Dutton personally thanked the communities they visited during the two-day trip in Bicol.

“It is great to come to a classroom and see what real difference it makes to people’s lives,” he said.

The Australian government played a fundamental role in the inception of the Pantawid Pamilya in 2008 and has continuously provided support in further enhancing the implementation of the Program. As part of the exit strategy for the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, Australia has likewise supported SLP to help ensure that families will be able to continue the education of their children.

Gil Tuparan, Senior Technical Officer of DSWD Central Office who was joined by DSWD regional staff namely Assistant Regional Director for Operations Corazon Miña, KALAHI CIDSS Project Coordinator Jaygee Masanque, KALAHI CIDSS Engineer Rene Barba, SLP External Relations Officer Earl Cecilio, Convergence focal person Marilou Palacio and Pantawid Pamilya Provincial Link Cecil Gubot were also present during the said activity.

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DSWD warns LGUs against false KALAHI CIDSS expansion representatives

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) warns local chief executives (LCEs) and other government officials against people falsely identifying themselves as employees or representatives of DSWD negotiating for KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program).

Reports have reached the Department that there are individuals claiming to be employees or representatives of DSWD who approached LCEs to facilitate their inclusion and enrollment in KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP in exchange for a broker’s fee.

The DSWD wishes to clarify that it has not authorized any individual or entity to perform “brokering” functions for the Department. LCEs are not required to pay fees in order to be evaluated and included in KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP. Only the Regional Director and the Assistant Regional Director for Operations in DSWD Field Offices have the authority to inform and advise the LGUs within their region, assess their readiness to implement the program, and perform all related matters concerning engagement with LGUs, together with their team of project staff.

Certain eligibility criteria involving poverty incidence and being affected by TS Yolanda were set by KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP to identify which municipalities will be included in the program.

DSWD Field Office V Director Arnel Garcia advised local government units (LGUs) and the public to directly inform him if they have encountered similar issues. They are requested to be vigilant about attempts to deceive them on the implementation of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP and other DSWD programs to help it take necessary legal steps against any person, group or organization misrepresenting the government.

LGUs are advised to contact the DSWD Regional Director to confirm if they are included in the eligible municipalities in KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is a DSWD poverty reduction program that uses the community-driven development (CDD) approach. It aims to empower communities to have access to basic services and to participate in inclusive local planning and budgeting.

DSWD will cover 92 municipal LGUs in Region V in KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP for 2014. DSWD FO V is in the process of conducting preliminary activities in preparation for the implementation of the program and is expected to lead its regional grand launching by third quarter. It is currently hiring field workers in preparation for the program expansion.

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DSWD urges full LGU support to community-driven development projects

DSWD FO V Dir. Arnel Garcia discusses the regional target of KALAHI CIDSS project in front of local government officials headed by their mayors last May 13, 2014 during the Regional Accountability Reporting in Legazpi City.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V Director Arnel Garcia urged the local government units (LGUs) through its mayors to continuously support the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS.

During the Regional Accountability Reporting last May 13, 2014 in Legazpi City, Dir. Garcia stressed the crucial role of the LGUs in achieving the regional target of Bicol to complete the community-proposed subprojects.

“All implementing LGUs are responsible to the regional target of DSWD considering that Bicol is one of the regions with the largest coverage of KALAHI-CIDSS nationwide,” Dir. Garcia said.

He reminded the municipal LGUs’ commitment to deliver the expected 30% local counterpart contribution of the annual total project cost is required by KALAHI CIDSS to meet its commitment for the project.

“The LGUs need to fully deliver their financial counterpart so that the grant will be downloaded to the community and complete the implementation of their subprojects,” he added.

The purpose of the Regional Accountability Reporting is to gauge the LGUs’ performance, sum up the experiences of the first year of KALAHI-CIDSS implementation, gain insights on good practices, and set directions and agreements for 2015, which is when the Project will end. The activity evaluated the performance of the municipalities that are implementing KALAHI-CIDSS with funding support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US foreign aid agency.

KALAHI-CIDSS follows a strict timeline of activities, with each project cycle expected to run for roughly one year. The first year of implementation of the Project ended this March while the second and third is expected to be completed in August 2014 and 2015, respectively.

“There is an overlapping implementation of the project’s cycles so we need the commitment of our stakeholders to support DSWD and KALAHI-CIDSS to complete the subprojects within the given timeline,” Dir. Garcia said.

In response to the challenge posed by DSWD, the fifteen LGUs funded by MCC assured the Regional Project Management Office (RPMO) of KALAHI-CIDSS to complete the remaining community subprojects by August.

The fifteen municipalities funded by MCC are Libmanan, Cabusao, Gainza, Labo, Baao, Ocampo, Ragay, Basud, San Vicente, Gigmoto, Viga, Bato, Bula, Bombon and Caramoan. These will be implementing KALAHI-CIDSS for three years from 2012.

To date, the partnership between KALAHI-CIDSS and MCC has funded 334 community-proposed subprojects such as day care centers, concrete pathways, water systems, classrooms and other similar small-scale infrastructure. It has provided about Php600 million grant to 15 municipal LGUs. MCC is only one of the development partners by KALAHI CIDSS aside from Australian Aid, World Bank and AECID.

Present during the meeting were Mayors Melquides Gaite of Baao, Francis Ong of San Vicente, Marilyn Jimenez of Libmanan, Ma. Luisa Angeles of Bombon and Constantino Cordial of Caramoan, who were joined by their planning officers, budget officers, accountants and social welfare officers.

“DSWD provides the resources, technical assistance, logistical support, capacity building and implementation support so I am confident that they can deliver their commitment in support to the project completion in order for the communities to harness the benefits they can get from these subprojects,” he said.

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Official press statement of DSWD on alleged procurement issues attributed to KALAHI CIDSS project

The DSWD would like to address the alleged issues emanating from the procurement activities of KALAHI CIDSS project in the province of Albay.

The provincial local government unit (LGU) of Albay currently leads in the implementation of KALAHI CIDSS, a pilot project in Luzon.

As a poverty-reduction project implemented in Bicol since 2003, one unique feature of KALAHI CIDSS is the prioritization of subprojects based on the criteria set by the beneficiaries and ordinary citizens involved with guidance from DSWD and various national government agencies (NGAs).

Moreover, the same process has been adopted in this PLGU-led type of implementation in Albay to ensure that limited public funds will be put into proper use. Based on the consensual decision of the 15 participating municipal LGUs with community consultations conducted beforehand, these were the following criteria municipal LGUs have developed and approved of:

1. Inter-Municipal Linkage 20%
2. Poor Municipalities 25%
a) Poverty Incidence
b) Location
3. Influenced Population within the Municipality 25%
4. SGH Holder (2012) 10%
5. Counterpart Funds 10%
6. DRR-CCA 10%

All subprojects went through competitive bidding and DSWD has no direct involvement over the procurement process because the municipal LGU’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), the procuring entity, is responsible to undertake measures to ensure transparency, competitiveness, accountability and adherence to standards required by law.

We would like to emphasize that the project employs community-driven development approach in this pilot project. With the help of the elected representatives of the covered communities through the Barangay Monitoring Teams (BMTs), ordinary residents safeguard the project’s procurement down to its implementation along with the Commission on Audit (COA).

DSWD’s role is to provide overall direction and supervision in its implementation of the pilot through technical assistance and capacity development and mentoring activity to the provincial government.

DSWD and Asian Development Bank (ADB) believes that Albay’s provincial LGU and municipal LGUs have a wide experience in CDD implementation with present institutional capacity and potentials to lead a participatory process of planning, budgeting, execution and monitoring and evaluation. This pilot implementation harmonizes PLGU’s and MLGUs’ development priorities to address poverty.

Thus, the result of this KALAHI CIDSS PLGU engagement pilot implementation in Albay will be used in the future scale-up of the said project.

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Traits that make a great volunteer

Boyet Bantigui, a KALAHI CIDSS volunteer, discusses one of their agenda during the volunteers meeting last April 2014 in Bitano, Legazpi City together with a community facilitator, a DSWD-hired field worker (in blue).

“Nakakatabang ka na, nakakaukod ka pa [you help and you learn].”

For more than a year of being a volunteer, that’s how Salvador “Jun” Taopo described his experience in doing community works under Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI CIDSS), one of the poverty-reduction projects of DSWD.

Jun is only one of the 40 elected community volunteers in Bitano, Legazpi City who helped in the construction of their community development center and organized a group of dressmakers to address the problem of unemployment as the key problem in the village.

His engagement with the project entailed hours spent on trainings, seminars, meetings and monitoring activities. As the head of the other volunteers, he manages and leads in the implementation of their community sub-project.

Volunteers get vast opportunities in the project wherein ordinary citizens directly participate in community development together with their local governments.

However, they are not paid for their works in the village but there are many reasons why ordinary people engage as volunteers in the said project. The urgency to help out and address the priorities of the poor people in their neighborhood becomes the top reason why many join in volunteering work.

Based on the real-life accounts of KALAHI CIDSS volunteers in Bitano, here are the recommended qualities of a great volunteer fulfilling their duties with the government:

Selfless. Lorie Aragon is an altruist. She said that onset of the project, most of their neighbors were antagonistic about it. However, she ignored negative feedbacks and continued with her volunteering because she loves to help her community.

Despite of the wrong impressions of others like they would get nothing from volunteering, Lorie kept her composure.

“Di bale wala kaming sweldo basta makita lang namin ang building. Masaya na kami kasi alam namin na darating ang panahon na ang anak namin, anak nila, ayaw man nila sa KALAHI CIDSS noon, sila ang makikinabang ng proyekto [We do not mind if we’re not paid for so long as we see the building erected. We [volunteers] are happy because we know that the time will come that our children, their children of the people loathing KALAHI CIDSS, are beneficiaries after all],” she answered.

Willing to learn. Regardless of age, gender and status in life, the eagerness to accept new learning along the process of implementation of the project makes a great volunteer. Jun appreciated the time he spent during the trainings and seminars from KALAHI CIDSS.

“Magayon maging volunteer ta nakakaukod. Maski kulang inadalan mo, sa diit na oras ning pagseminar, nadagdagan ang kaaraman mo [It’s great to be a volunteer because you learn a lot. Your knowledge increases even though you were unschooled before],” he said.

According to him, he will share his knowledge to others.

On the other hand, Cleofe Moyo and Lisa Barcelon shared that they became informed of project management that was never thought in school.

Moreover, KALAHI CIDSS trains volunteers on community finance, procurement, and operations and maintenance to ensure that the project is implemented according to the given standards.

Sensitive to the needs of others. Cleofe also said that in order for you to become a volunteer, you should know the needs of the community and promote the common good for everyone despite of personal sacrifices. A volunteer should readily listen to become aware of the issues confronting the people. She accepted feedbacks with an open mind and disregarded biases.

“Naadalan mi kung pano maidentify su mga kaipuhan asin problema sa digdi sa samung barangay para matawan mi ning solusyon [We learned how to identify our needs and provide solutions for problems],” she said.

Cleofe with other volunteers underwent community research in Bitano through Participatory Situation Analysis (PSA). The process of PSA in KALAHI CIDSS extensively analyses and describes the current situation and problems of the community with corresponding interventions.

Optimistic. Volunteers must have positive outlook in life for them to persist and accomplish their tasks. It’s normal to encounter difficult circumstances like disapproval from non-believers of government programs.

Like Lorie, Lisa also thrived despite of some condemning people. She only wanted to bring back the trust of her colleagues to the government through KALAHI CIDSS by encouraging them to participate.

“Maski mapagalon magenganyar ki tawo, nagtubod kami sa kakayanin ming volunteers na mapakiray ang barangay mi [Despite of the difficulty to engage other people, we believed in our capacity as volunteers],” she explained.

Responsible and dependable. As one of the prime-movers of the project in the barangay, Teresita Alcantara accepted the responsibilities of a volunteer with her maximum effort to deliver what is expected of her. She said that she does her duties with a smile despite of the inevitable hardships they encounter.

Before barangay assemblies, she makes sure to notify everyone in the village of the scheduled meeting. Meetings are very important and considered as the highest decision-making body in KALAHI CIDSS so that’s why Teresita is eager to

“Naghikayat ako sa mga tawo samo na mag atendir ki assembly para maaraman ninda kung ano ang mga updates sa KALAHI CIDSS [I appealed that the people should attend the community assembly to keep them informed of the updates from KALAHI CIDSS],” she said.

Goal-oriented. In every endeavor comes with an objective to fulfill. So as the volunteers of KALAHI CIDSS. Through them, the three major aims of the project namely: empowering ordinary citizens, improving local governance and reducing poverty are achieved.

Boyet Bantigui could affirm that they were able to attain these goals through teamwork and vigor. He personally claimed that the result of their project in Bitano was very successful.

“Nagkaburugkos su mga tawong tios para maisulong ang pagkakabpit-bisig laban sa kapobrehan [We became united to advance the cause to reduce poverty],” he said.

Acording to him, the poor hoped and moved together to help each other. He emphasized that even without getting paid, the volunteers gave their full commitment and service to the villagers of Bitano.

With the promise of the project to solve the issue of poverty, Boyet and the other volunteers influenced each other to join the government.

“Uminabot na su pangako na tigtuga ning KALAHI CIDSS. Dahil sa pag-asa, nakatabang kami sa kapwa ming pobre [The promise of KALAHI CIDSS came true. Because of our hope, we were able to help our fellow poor],”he added.

Jun, Cleofe, Lorie, Teresita, Lisa and Boyet are the key people who realized the vision of an improved quality of life in Bitano. The people who possessed the qualities of great volunteers paired with leadership. They are the group of people who have given out unrequited service to their community with the commitment to embody the interest of the majority.

The priceless rewards these volunteers have are the appreciation, recognition of their sacrifices and gratitude from the people they serve.

Boyet said that: “Bako gabos na kaogmahan makukua sa material na bagay. Su makapagserbi ka sa tawo asin nailing sinda na nagpapasalamat sa mga volunteers, dakolaon na po yan na regalo samuya [Happiness is not always gained from material things. I’m satisfied to help the people and even more to hear them thank us].”

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DSWD 5 hosts media visit to pioneer project site

(In front) Donna Osial of DSWD, orients the press about KALAHI CIDSS project in Legazpi City during the media visit in Bitano last April 30, 2014

Legazpi City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) conducted a media visit at Bitano, Legazpi City last April 30, 2014 to showcase the accomplished projects under Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI CIDSS).

The visit were participated in by media practitioners of Legazpi City from TV, print and broadcast to give them the opportunity to monitor the project and interview the community implementers and beneficiaries. DSWD staff Donna Osial gave an overview about the project and provided updates on its implementation during the visit.

Previously, KALAHI CIDSS has been implemented in rural areas. However, the urban version of KALAHI CIDSS has been implemented in Legazpi City for one year which started last 2013 which is nearing its completion by May this year.

The said project is the pilot implementation in Luzon wherein Rawis and Bitano were given 1 million pesos each from World Bank to address poverty issues in the said communities. It aims develop and pilot test an urban poverty reduction approach and generate lessons to enhance the design of KALAHI CIDSS for future scale-up.

The selection was based on the poverty incidence of 2009 (NSCB data) wherein Legazpi City has 30.7%. The data from National Household Targeting System (NHTS) or commonly known as Listahanan, revealed that Rawis and Bitano have the highest number of poor household in Legazpi City.

“So siguro carefully studied man kan DSWD kung saen talaga malaog ang intervention kan government and maswerte ang Bitano ta igwa sindang Barangay Officials headed by Punong Barangay Balinis” Anacito Dematera of Philippine Star, one of the participants said.

Moreover, the community subprojects in Rawis and Bitano were:

Name of Community Subprojects Total Project Cost Grant Local Counterpart Contribution
Construction of Bitano Community Development Center (BCDC) PhP 1,260,510.00 PhP 924,230.00 PhP 336,280.00
Dressmaking Training NCII PhP 138,010.00 PhP 64,510.00 PhP 73,500.00
Human Resource Development (HRD) PhP 77,980.00 PhP 11,260.00 PhP 66,720.00
Construction of RAWIS LIVELIHOOD CENTER PhP 1,110,765.00 PhP 899,903.00 PhP 210,862.00
Dressmaking Training NCII PhP 159,000.00 PhP 100,097.00 PhP 58,903.00
Provision of Padyak and Banka PhP 159,000.00 PhP 100,097.00 PhP 58,903.00


According to Brgy. Capt.  Joel M. Balinis, he will allocate funds for the maintenance of their project from their annual budget.

KALAHI CIDSS is one of the anti-poverty programs under DSWD that aims to improve local governance, empower local communities and reduce poverty.

Since 2003, KALAHI CIDSS has been implemented in more than 40 poor municipalities and 1,334 communities in Bicol region. ##nelsonosialjr

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DSWD Bicol leads planning workshop for LGUs on gender mainstreaming programs

Fifteen local government units (LGUs) were trained by the DSWD in developing plans which includes activities, programs and projects in relation to providing equal opportunities for both men and women last April in Naga City.

The three-day Gender and Development (GAD) Workshop were attended by the municipal budget officers with their respective GAD focal persons to institutionalize gender mainstreaming in local plans and allocate budget for its implementation.

The first batch of municipalities who attended the workshop last April 23-25 were from Libmanan, Cabusao, Gainza, Labo, Baao and Ocampo while the second wave of the training were participated in by Ragay, Basud, San Vicente, Gigmoto, Viga, Bato, Bula, Bombon and Caramoan last April 28-30.

The said LGUs were currently implementing Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) funded by Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent U.S. foreign aid agency that helps reduce poverty.

Gender mainstreaming is one of the key thematic areas of Kalahi-CIDSS along with risk management, Indigenous People’s (IPs) participation and disaster risk reduction management (DRRM).

On the other hand, the workshop included the topics on:
• Construction of femininity and masculinity
• Legal Mandates and Polices on GAD
• Gender Assessment of Organizations and its services
• Gender Responsive LGU
• Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines
• Application of PIMME to ongoing project/service

The abovementioned topics were discussed by staff of DSWD Field Office V namely, Aladin Naje and Regional GAD focal Salome Balaoro with Ms. Lourdes Turiano, the National Gender Specialist.

According to Balaoro, the workshop will capacitate the LGUs to include relevant activities, programs, projects and services that will promote gender equality in their Annual Investment Plans with corresponding budget from their internal revenue allotment (IRA).

She also added that the initial agreement of the LGUs is to establish GAD code, a mandate that will ensure the implementation of GAD plans. Moreover, the LGUs suggested that the creation of a GAD structure in the local government should be to monitor and execute the GAD plans.

Based on RA 7192 (An Act Promoting the Integration of Women as Full and Equal Partners of Men in Development and Nation Building and for other Purposes), it directs agencies and LGUs to mobilize up to 30 percent of their Official Development Assistance (ODA) to fund GAD programs, projects and activities. This is on top of the five percent GAD budget provided for by the 1998 General Appropriations Act.

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