DSWD Bicol hosts project concept formulation workshop for improved local governance and DRRM

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 5 hosted a three-day national project concept formulation on March 11-14, 2015 at Hotel St. Ellis to support one of the agency’s poverty reduction programs, Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), one of the development partners of DSWD, announced that they will be funding a new project, which will focus on improved local governance and disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), both of which are key thematic areas of Kalahi-CIDSS.

The national project concept formulation workshop aims to identify best practices in local governance that addresses DRRM schemes and requirements, articulate possible intervention areas given the current implementation arrangements of Kalahi-CIDSS, and formulate a project concept for possible funding through Spanish assistance grant.

Meanwhile, Kalahi-CIDSS Deputy National Program Manager for Technical Support Services Division (TSSD) Jojo Aguilar discussed the DRRM approaches and thrusts of the program.

Mercedes Bareas of AECID also presented the design of its new development assistance program.

The activity was attended by officials from AECID, headed by Senior Program Manager for Social Development Mercedes Bareas, and DSWD officials from the national and regional offices.

Kalahi-CIDSS employs community-driven development (CDD) approach that gives ordinary residents the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement community projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.

AECID had previously funded community projects in Bicol under PODER, a modality of Kalahi-CIDSS, since 2005. Through this project, the region was able to implement …

The latest partnership between AECID and DSWD in Bicol was Local Empowerment and Development for Good Governance (LEADGOV) which focused in providing capacity building trainings to two local government units (LGUs) namely, San Pascual and Minalabac, for improved governance and development planning.

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The road most traveled

So near yet so far away.

The island barangay of Busing is only two nautical miles or 3.7 kilometers away from the town of San Pascual in Burias island of Masbate province.

Out of the 22 barangays of San Pascual, it is described to be one of the impoverished.

The sea surrounding Busing is a gift and a curse.

While most of its 450 households rely on fishing, the sea connecting the town and Busing becomes an impediment. Rough waters during the monsoon season and typhoon postpone the travel of the passengers heading to town.

It is only during a good weather that the residents of Busing can continue their trip to buy food supplies, sell goods, attend school and transact with offices.

According to Alona Morales, a local official of San Pascual, lack of access is the reason why the residents are deprived of opportunities.

The people are barely accustomed with this kind of life. They are only left with risky boat rides that will circumnavigate the Busing Island for about 45 minutes to get them to San Pascual’s trading center.

However, going to sitio Kibrada was a shorter route that leads them to the nearest part of Busing to town.

Mercy Aguilar, a native of Busing, said that she seldom take this way because of the muddy path in rainy season though it cuts off her total travel time.

The boat trip from Kibrada only takes five minutes where she does not worry of the turbulent sea.

Aguilar, 40, she cannot even attend school back when she was in high school since they need to go to San Pascual proper to attend high school.

The first breed of habal-habal drivers in Busing Island
With the construction of 1.24 kilometers concrete pathway in 2014 from Busing’s poblacion, Danao, to Kibrada, habal-habal is a hit livelihood in Busing.

Habal-habal or even known as “skylab” in other regions, is a hired motorcycle to transport public commuters. In other places, it can even transport up to 10 passengers but in Busing, there is a maximum of two.

Most people would agree to Aguilar and would opt to take this route, now, given the ease of developed means of transportation adopting the same practice as what they have seen in town.

Juvy Mahinay, one of the pioneer habal-habal drivers in Busing, said that he used to catch and sell fish for a living but he admitted it was not a regular source of income.

He was grateful to the first-ever concrete pathway in their village.

With a little background in driving a motorcycle, he started to carry most people from Danao to Kibrada that easily connects his passengers to the five-minute boat journey to the town.

He discovered that this was better than catching fish.

He and his colleagues would collect a fee of P20.00 per passenger while P5.00 for the students. Mahinay said that transportation is fast and easy most specially to the Busing students going to San Pascual National High School.

On a daily basis, he earns from P100.00 to P300.00 that can support his seven-month old baby and wife.

According to Mahinay, his regular earning can now sustain their daily expenses at home.

“May pangbagas na kami kasabay pa ang pang-gasolina (We can buy rice and also fuel),”he added.

To date, there are more than 20 habal-habal drivers in Busing. According to Mahinay’s mother, Nimfa, this created an alternative source of income for some who doesn’t know about fishing.

“Su nagtitios dati na dae tatao magdagat, su mayo talaga aram na trabaho, naga habal-habal, ngunyan nakakdelhensiya sinda (the poor who do not know fishing and whose unemployed are now earning from habal-habal),”she added.

The community grant of P600, 000.00 from Payapa at Masaganag Pamayanan (PAMANA), a modality of Kalahi-CIDSS, and the Php250,000.00 as the counterpart from the local government unit (LGU) of San Pascual.

Stories of change
Nimfa would spend P300.00 to get a rented boat for a roundtrip ride from sitio Danao to San Pascual town, but now, she can get to the same destination for P20.00 in sitio Kibrada as her jump off point with daily boat trips. Similarly, students heading to San Pascual only pay P10.00 each.

The new set of Busing’s barangay officials elected in 2013 became more participative and supportive to programs and projects coming to them. The construction of their concrete pathway was one of the community projects in which they are grateful most.

Nimfa, also a barangay official, encouraged other officials and the residents to continuously support the development in their community through their direct participation.

“Dae kita pwedeng magtamad ta yaon jan nakasalalay ang improvement kang barangay ta (We cannot be lazy because progress depends on us),”she added.

Aguilar, on the other hand, said that it takes 30 minutes to travel on foot from Danao to Kibrada but with the habal-habal, it is only five minutes.

She is also a volunteer of the concreting of their pathway who was involved in the implementation.
As a housewife and high school graduate, she appreciated the new learnings from the trainings she attended in relation to the implementation of their community project.

“Nakaaram po (I learned),”she said.

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Gubatnon villagers foster peace

A community faces different threats to peace and security and a village in Gubat, Sorsogon faces the same ordeal.

In Pinontingan, a coastal village home to 1,342 residents, crime is rampant.

Most of its 335 households are storeowners, laborers and fishermen.

Pinontingan has two big schools namely, Bicol University Gubat Campus (BUGC) and Gubat North Central School (GNCS).

The Christ the King park and Gubat Saint Anthony Parish Church are both located in this part of the town.

Its proximity to the town welcomes different people and unknown visitors making it more difficult to secure the area.

The barangay council recorded 46 cases related to crime in 2012 and 2013 where physical injury and theft is very common.

“Base sa record, halangkaw ang karalitan (Based on the record, [the cases of] theft is high),” Brgy. Kgd. Nicanor Ermino, Peace and Order Committee chairman, said.

His two roosters worth of Php3,000.00 were respectively stolen in 2011 and 2012 by minors allegedly coming from another community.

Liberata Esquijo, another resident, claimed that her child’s six-month old bike was also stolen in 2012.

The barangay council admitted that their eight barangay tanods or the barangay police officers, who go on alternating schedules for duty, only reports from eight in the evening until midnight.

The daily honorarium of Php27.00 is a meager amount commensurate to their functions to keep peace and order in the community.

However, the construction of 12 units of street lighting this year and the installation of four units of closed-circuit television (CCTV) last year controlled criminal activities in Pinontingan.

Streetlights were evenly distributed in the darkest spots of its four puroks while the CCTV was placed in the most critical areas of the village namely, BUGC, GNCS, the streets of Burgos and Rizal which serves as the entry and exit to and from Pinontingan.

According to Brgy Capt. Ramon Farenas, the CCTV serves as the lookout for Pinontingan especially in the dead of the night.

“Nakadanon sa peace and order (It contributed to peace and order),” Carlos Estrellado, a community volunteer who helped in the construction of the abovementioned projects, said.

“Nakuha mi na ang gusto mi,” he added.

With the participation of the people in the identification of development interventions that will address their priorities, Estrellado was grateful of these new projects.

Similarly, Farenas appreciated the solar-powered streetlights because it illuminates the community even during brownouts.

Support from the barangay council and its residents
The barangay council of Pinontingan allotted Php5,000.00 for the operation and maintenance of the CCTV.

The council also provided a counterpart of Php90,000.00 out of the Php390,000.00 total project cost for the CCTV. Same amount of counterpart was also poured in by the barangay to complete the construction of the streetlights.

“I support the project for as long as my constituents will benefit from it,” Farenas added.

Through these projects, there was an increase in people’s participation in community activities and they are now helping.

“Naging cooperative na ang mga tao ta naimod na ninda ang mga benepisyo na makukua (The people became cooperative because they can see the benefits from the projects,” Estrellado added.

In addition, two of the members of the barangay council are assigned to check and monitor the recorded footages from the CCTV to check of any violence-related activities.

New learnings
The community volunteers are members of the Barangay Subproject Management Committee (BSPMC) elected through the barangay assembly to lead and manage the community projects to address the needs of the people.

The CCTV and streetlights were one of the development projects of Kalahi-CIDSS under Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) which ensures that peace is maintained in the community through greater community participation.

Marites Real, another community volunteer in Pinontingan, said that she will never forget the new learnings she reaped as a volunteer.

She became the Procurement Team member in the construction of their community projects.

Her main function was to facilitate the canvas of the materials and equipment needed for the CCTV and streetlights and serve the purchase order to the lowest responsive bidder.

Apart from that, she was delegated to take the minutes of their meeting to record all the agreements during the procurement of the projects.

Real was challenged by this new task assigned to her because she has no background in doing so. She was left with the choice to forcibly learn the skills of writing the document that will be part of the project’s completion.

Even though she disliked writing, she realized that she can do it for the benefit of their community.

“Dati di ako maaram pag minutes, pero at least niyan may idea na ako (I have no idea in [writing] minutes [of the meeting] but now at least I have an idea),” she explained.

She was able to improve her skills along with the other volunteers through the training in minutes writing which was conducted through Kalahi-CIDSS.

She kept the training materials for her future reference and guide that became handy during the actual application.

“Daghanon ang mga naaraman ko sa mga trainings and seminars bilang volunteer (I learned a lot from trainings and seminars as a volunteer),” she said.

Moreover, she attested that the residents like her are truly involved in all the processes for their community projects.

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DSWD beneficiaries return the favor to their community

“Mayo lamang nagkakaginiribo (They do nothing).”

This is the popular remark towards Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program recipients that Leoncia Bigay, one of its beneficiaries in Ocampo, Camarines Sur, would like to confute.

At present, she is the parent leader of 36 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Zone 3 of Brgy. Salvacion and also a volunteer of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), another DSWD poverty alleviation program employing community-driven development (CDD) approach.

CDD puts the power 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.

Moreover, Pantawid Pamilya or conditional cash transfer (CCT) is a program that invests in human capital that is contributory to poverty-reduction. It provides monthly cash grants of P500 in health and P300 (elementary) or P500 (high school) in a family for maximum of three children, ages 0-18, enrolled in the program.

“Dakulang bagay ang 4Ps [Pantawid Pamilya] ta nakatabang sa edukasyon asin pagkakan (Pantawid Pamilya is a big help for education and food),” Bigay said.

Aside from the cash grants to support poor families in health and education, discussions on interpersonal, interactive and adult learning engagement are emphasized to empower and strengthen the relationship and ties among family members and the community.

The Pantawid Pamilya Municipal Link assigned to Salvacion, Domaida Latumbo, reiterated the importance of their roles as active citizens through regular meetings and monthly Family Development Session (FDS).

“Tinutukduan mi po sinda maging active sa barangay activities and maging huwarang mamayan (We teach them to become active citizens through community service and become role models),” Latumbo said.

Consequently, Bigay had already mobilized her members to become active members of the society through monthly community service.

As part of this, their newest undertaking was conducted last February 4, 2015 wherein all of them fused with other residents who joined in the clearing works during the ongoing construction of their drainage canal constructed through Kalahi-CIDSS.

Beforehand, Bigay suggested to Latumbo that they can render clean-up drive in Zone 3 when Latumbo asked for their community service initiatives in their FDS last January which impressed her for such great proposal.

“Kami man lang kaiyan manginabang (We will benefit from it),”explained by Bigay to Latumbo.

Bigay also coordinated to her co-volunteers, the frontline implementers of the drainage canal in Salvacion, through its head, Asuncion Ponce.

She recommended to Ponce that they are willing to assist them in any way to which the latter enthused about since she really promotes community participation.

“Maray pang magrarabus kitang mga magurang para makatabang kami sa Kalahi-CIDSS pati na sa mga laborers (It’s better for us parents to help the laborers in the clean-up for Kalahi-CIDSS)”Bigay told her colleagues.

Both women leaders tapped their barangay officials to solicit food for the half-day activity starting from seven in the morning until noon.

The barangay council sponsored pansit, bread and toasted siopao while the beneficiaries brought juice and water.

All Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries of Zone 3 thronged to the construction site and weeded out grass and disposed trash.

The laborers were delighted to see them carry and transfer rocks as part of the clearing works in the said construction.

According to Rosa Lustina, the Community Empowerment Facilitator assigned by Kalahi-CIDSS in Salvacion, that through their bayanihan efforts, they have shorten the time spent for clearing rocks and grubbing to where the drainage canal will be constructed.

The people of Salvacion agreed to propose the construction of drainage canal for funding because of the imminent threat of flood in the area affecting their livelihood and social conditions.

The barangay officials greatly supported the priorities of its inhabitants by providing 10% local counterpart contribution of the total community project cost of P1,973,000.00 in which Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the development partner of Kalahi-CIDSS, provided 1,636,655.00 as community grant.

“Ang barangay council supportive maray sa arog kaining proyekto ta gusto mi ning development. Nagabot po sa P197,300.00 ang counterpart hale sa Internal and Revenue Allotment (IRA) kang barangay (The barangay council is very supportive. Our counterpart amounted to P197,300 from our IRA,” Brgy. Capt. Nicolas Dela Cruz.

Salvacion is also a recipient of DSWD’s Supplemental Feeding Program wherein 15 of 22 beneficiaries are also Pantawid Pamilya. In total, SFP caters to 1,585 beneficiaries to 56 Day Care Centers in Ocmpo.

The municipality of Ocampo is also a recipient 85 core shelters under DSWD’s Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) and 207 of its senior citizens receive Social Pension downloaded by DSWD to the local government unit (LGU).

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga programa ning DSWD kaya gigibohun mi man ang samong maitatabang para makabalos man kami mask diit (We thank DSWD for these programs so we will return the favor by helping even in the simplest way),” Bigay said.

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Poor communities affected by disasters get funding from DSWD, complete start-up activities

DSWD derived the final list of prioritized poor communities to be funded under Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of its poverty reduction programs, from recently completed Municipal Forums in 88 municipalities in Bicol last January.

From 2014-2015 alone, Bicol is allocated with P2,301,239,625.00 out of P4,497,448,175.00 grant allocation for its five-year implementation in the region. One of the Kalahi-CIDSS’ thrusts is to support the post-disaster response and development in Typhoon Yolanda-affected municipalities covered by the program. Areas for coverage were also selected based on poverty incidence.

The Municipal Forum convened all the communities represented by the barangay captains, residents elected as community volunteers, civil society organizations (CSOs), people’s organizations (POs) and representatives of national government agencies (NGAs) together with the mayors and Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members to confirm prioritized projects through a resolution of grant allocation that will respond to the needs of the barangays specially those who are affected by and vulnerable to disasters.

The criteria on how poor communities were prioritized for funding were based on the community’s population, number of Listahanan poor households and the number of damage affected households.

Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor by making the database of poor families available and becomes the basis in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs and services.

Initial set of community activities were conducted last October to November 2014 wherein 2,490 barangays participated in the consultation meetings facilitated by DSWD field workers together with the respective barangay officials through the barangay assemblies. The residents agreed and approved the list of priority needs and projects which were generated from the damage assessment and needs analysis (DANA) results provided by the local government units (LGUs) which were extensively validated by the residents and DSWD.

“The participation of ordinary residents in the program is very crucial in the development priorities of the government since they know what they need to solve poverty,” Dir. Arnel Gracia said.

Barangay Assembly is a major avenue for direct participation of the people in local governance agenda for Kalahi-CIDSS, where issues are discussed and decisions are documented and supported.

Kalahi-CIDSS has an “open menu” wherein communities can propose any project, provided the amount involved is within the municipal allocation and does not belong to its negative list.

The prioritized communities are now preparing their respective project proposals to utilize the approved fund allocated to them for projects like multi-purpose building, concrete pathway

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Seawall built by villagers breaks down barriers

Rosa Gonzales, 76, sighed with a relief when she recalled how she and her colleagues erected a great wall which eliminated doubts from others.

Even more, her worries subsided when that 60-meter seawall was completed in June 27, 2014 though Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

Kalahi-CIDSS is a DSWD program that seeks to alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD) by giving the people the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement community projects that address needs identified by the people themselves.

Rosa is one of the 1,278 residents of Brgy. Tinago who was chosen to become a Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer for the construction of their seawall for the protection of their village from big waves specially during typhoons.

The coastal village of Tinago is one of the 31 barangays of Viga, Catanduanes where most of its inhabitants rely on fishing and agriculture for their livelihood. Rosa was just lucky enough to graduate from one of the reputable schools in Manila and went home to Viga to spend 41 years as a teacher with a stable job to support her family.

However, most people of Tinago, 20 km east of Viga town, yield low income because of expensive transportation of products to the market in town and typhoons usually damage crops while fishing activity is held in abeyance due to bad weather.

Not only the people are scourged with relatively small income, the threats of typhoons pummeling the area bring dangerous surges to this coastal village extremely endangering the lives of 135 households in its two puroks/sitios.

Worst storm to hit Tinago
Another volunteer, Estelita Bayaban, also Rosa’s colleague, formerly resided near the shore but relocated after Super Typhoon Rosing, one of the worst storms in the Philippines, hit Tinago,

In November 1995, Rosing lashed Viga and washed away houses in Tinago and turned them into rubbles. There were no reported casualties that time but the homes of Estelita and Rosa were not spared from this catastrophe.

During the height of Super Typhoon Rosing, both ladies and their families left their homes and evacuated to their neighbors for their safety. They brought nothing except their lives and the clothes they were wearing.
Estelita’s stilt house was swept away by the strong winds and big waves reaching more than five feet high and her neighbor, Rosa, discovered after the typhoon that her concrete house was roofless and all their belongings were drenched.

With the extensive damage of Super Typhoon Rosing to Tinago, transportation to Viga was difficult that time. The community plunged even more into poverty wherein food supply was extremely scarce that they need to tread for hours to buy something to eat in Gigmoto, an adjacent town to Tinago.

That fateful experience led Estelita to relocate her family away from the shoreline.

It was also a motivating experience for both of them to perform their jobs as volunteers wholeheartedly.

Small deeds, great impact
Recently, Rosa and Estelita submit themselves in volunteerism to ensure that the additional 60-meter concrete barrier to the existing 40-meters seawall was totally constructed conforming to the highest quality standards.

Both knew that the seawall would reduce the exposure to disaster risks for the residents of Purok 6 and 8 when typhoons visit them.

As volunteers of Kalahi-CIDSS, they devoted their time and effort to the extent that they would rise at two in the morning, their earliest, to supervise the construction of the said seawall during a low tide.

They would guard the construction materials so that all must be put into proper use based on the plans.

Rosa, a volunteer under Monitoring and Inspection Team (MIT), acted as a bodegera or warehouse checker. She would never leave her post during her duty and persistently checked that the construction materials are properly stored and audited.

“Dapat dae mawara ang materyales (materials should not be stolen),” she said.

While Estelita, the head of the community volunteers, would join the rest of the laborers during their shift to watch over them. She would check if all of them are present and reprimanded those lax workers to take their jobs more seriously.

Cooperative endeavor
Good working relationship is the key to successful endeavors.

Rosa compared the relationship of the volunteers and the barangay LGU to a broom wherein it cannot be ripped apart when in bundle.

“Kayang-kaya palan ang dakulang proyekto matapos basta tarabang-tabang kami (We can complete a big project as long we are united),” Rosa said.

The local officials and the residents worked perfectly in harmony by demonstrating respect, patience, understanding and commitment to the community. Juan Soreta, the barangay captain of Tinago, supported the volunteers even from the beginning.

However, certain people in their village doubted the seawall’s completion. It sounded demeaning but Soreta and the volunteers remained loyal to their responsibility.

“Ang ibang tao daeng tiwala kaya nagging challenge samo sa council and volunteers (Other people did not trust us so we thought of it as a challenge), Soreta said.

Rosa and Estelita can relate to Soreta on how others underestimated them but became thankful because they were able to gain the confidence of these people when they have shown a constructed seawall in the community last year.

“Nawara ang paksyon sa Tinago ta gabos naging parte asin namulat ang iba nung natapos ang proyekto, (Factions were dissolved because everyone participated and others were convinced when they saw the project completed),” Soreta said.

The seawall amounting to P2,137,752.00, was the product of bayanihan in Tinago. The barangay local government unit had provided P136, 420.00 for their counterpart while the in-kind contributions from the community amounted to P109,918.00.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent U.S. foreign aid agency created in 2004 aims to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by helping countries promote economic growth, provided a total grant of 1,576,178.00 to realize the construction of the seawall in Tinago. Also, the remaining amount was the counterpart contribution of the provincial and municipal LGUs.

In spite of that, the volunteers of Tinago had moved their resources to put these into the right project through honest service to the community expecting nothing in return through volunteerism.

“Every cent was well-accounted,” Estelita said.

From 2012 to present, MCC had already funded 479 community subprojects under Kalahi-CIDSS with a total grant of 591,300,000.00 in Bicol region.

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Water system built through DSWD program puts a new song in the hearts of residents in Catanduanes town

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent,” says Victor Hugo.

This cannot be truer for Flordeliz Olesco, a 67-year-old retired teacher from Barangay Ananong in Viga, Catanduanes, who found herself writing a song as a way to show her gratitude when her community finally got a water system through Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

She wrote a song and made her neighbors sing.

DSWD, MCC, Kalahi-CIDSS
Pampamahalaang ahensya
Tumutulong sa sambayanan
Sa paglutas ng kahirapan

Kalahi-CIDSS was a DSWD program aimed at helping alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD), a strategy that 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.

Kalahi-CIDSS has since been scaled up into the National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP), which targets 847 of the poorest municipalities in the country.

One of its development partners is the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent U.S. foreign aid agency created in 2004 to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by assisting countries promote economic growth.

KALAHI-CIDSS sa aming barangay
Tulong nito ay tunay
Sa tubig na ipinagawa
Gumaganda ang pamumuhay

Ananong is a farming village with abaca as its chief product, which Flordeliz describes as being rich in natural resources yet hampered by various circumstances. Residents yield little income because their area is frequently visited by typhoons, as their crops are frequently damaged by strong winds.

This is already bad enough for the residents, but their most pressing problem directly affects their survival: they had limited access to potable water.

Jesus Cervantes, the barangay captain of Ananong, said that while they had an existing 55-year-old water system, its water was no longer fit for drinking. With its reservoir being located near the riverbank, it was common for dirty water to get into the rusty pipes, which already had several holes.

This problem had health consequences to the residents, as the family of Teresita Santos, one of the residents of Barangay Ananong, testified.

She said that two of her relatives had a four-day hospital confinement, during which they incurred bills beyond P5,000, a large sum for a family struggling with finances.

The problem was, although they knew they had a serious problem in their hands, the local officials could not just construct the water system.

“Hindi kaya ng barangay council na magpagawa ng water system kung nakadepende lang kami sa Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) (The barangay council would not be able to construct our water system if we only depended on our IRA),” Jesus said.

As such, when Kalahi-CIDSS reached their village, it came as no surprise that the villagers chose and implemented the water systems for their village.

The sub-project cost P1,063,806.72 and was built through the joint efforts of Kalahi-CIDSS, the local government unit (LGU), and the community, with funding support from MCC, serves 88 households in Barangay Ananong.

“Malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa KalahI-CIDSS (We are very thankful of Kalahi-CIDSS),” he added.

Si Sir Russell ang AC
Engineer Joson ang DAC
Si Ma’am Shie ang MFA
Si Sir Bryan ang CF

While Flordeliz, through her song, was quick to thank the Area Coordinating Team (ACT), the Kalahi-CIDSS staff working in the municipality for the water system, it is largely because of the community’s own efforts that they were able to get their much-desired sub-project.

As a CDD program, Kalahi-CIDSS ensures that the people are involved in the development process. From the identification of the sub-project to its actual implementation and operations and maintenance, it relies on citizen participation to ensure that the sub-project will be carried out and is responsive to their needs.

At the same time, they will have more ownership of their sub-project as they are the ones who gave their time, talent, and resources for this.

For example, Jesus donated 3×4 meters of his property for the new water system’s intake tank.

Flordeliz, meanwhile, served as the Barangay Sub-Project Management Chairperson (BSPMC), the leader of the Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers in the area. Despite her age, she was able to perform her tasks effectively.

According to Bryan Tatad, the Kalahi-CIDSS’ community facilitator assigned to Ananong, Flordeliz always explains the importance of their community project to her fellow residents and encourages them to participate in all community activities.

“She is very dedicated to her responsibilities. Despite her age, she can manage to engage in physical activities. She is a living example of a good leader and a good follower,” said Bryan of her.

Through Flordeliz’s leadership, dedication, and diligence, their community was finally able to realize the new water system.

Masaya ang mga taga-Ananong
Sa tubig na pinagawa
DSWD, MCC, Kalahi-CIDSS
Sa tulong niyo’y “Maraming Salamat!”

Flordeliz’s delight in finally having her community get its long-waited water system was expressed in the way she knew best: through song.

Known as the resident composer in her village, she penned the song, which is sang to the tune of Catandungan Inang Bayan, within five minutes, right after she was able to see their water system sub-project completed.

Flordeliz said that the song was a unique way of affirming the success of the Kalahi-CIDSS in Ananong during the inauguration of their water system.

“Dapat kasi may kakaiba sa inauguration kaya gumawa ako ng kanta (Our inauguration must have something different so I decided to write a song),” she said.

She had shared the song to her fellow volunteers in the community and rallied them to sing it aloud during the simple ceremony of the water supply system’s inauguration and turnover, held last August 5, 2014 at the barangay plaza.

The song was met with delighted surprise by Bryan, who said he did not know about Flordeliz’s composition and who thought that the melody was run-of-the-mill until he realized what the lyrics were about.

“I felt happy and proud hearing the song because they were very appreciative of the project despite the difficult processes they’ve been through,” Bryan said.

“Masaya ang mga taga-Ananong sa tubig na ipinagawa. DSWD, MCC, Kalahi-CIDSS. Sa tulong niyo’y maraming salamat (The people in Ananong is happy with the construction of our water system. DSWD, MCC, Kalahi-CIDSS, thank you for your assistance),” Flordeliz together with her colleagues sang the last few lines.

Through Kalahi-CIDSS, Flordeliz and her fellow residents in Ananong now have a new song in their hearts, a song of hope for a better, healthier future.

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Teachers hailed as DSWD songwriting contest grand winners

The family of school teachers from Legazpi City had won the DSWD songwriting contest last October 18, 2014 held at Pacific Mall, Legazpi City.

The song entitled “Kapit-Bisig” of SOP band made the audience burst into loud cheers while impressing the judges with their vocal stunts and outstanding musicality adjudging them as the grand winner of the recently concluded KALAHI CIDSS─NCDDP PAMANA Songwriting Contest taking home P30,000.00 as the grand prize.

The seven-piece band is composed of Jona Joy Orobia as the lead vocalist, Joash Orobia on bass guitar, Jephthah Orobia on keyboards, Leo Rosales on drums and Jediael Canicula on guitars with Joshua and Jireh Orobia as the lyricists and musical arrangers. Most of them are public school teachers.

The group’s original song conveyed the theme on community-driven development, a successful poverty-reduction strategy used in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

According to Jireh, the band’s representative, the inspiration for their composition was about the love for God and love for the country.

“We believe that a transformed nation starts from changed individuals. We also believe that when we move together with the government, we can do better than just finger-pointing at anybody,” he added.

Moreover, the same group won as the People’s Choice Award with the most number of likes in DSWD Field Office V’s official Facebook fan page with P5,000.00 incentive. They were also recognized as the best interpreter.

The band SOP had bested the other four finalists, namely, Mash-up, Team Gubat, Jan Aldrin and Rocha Sisters. Non-winners received P5,000.00 each as consolation prize.

The songs were judged based on their performance (20%), musical arrangement (40%) and lyrics and its relevance to the theme (40%).

In addition, Joshua and Jireh of SOP were awarded as the best musical arrangers and Jane Rocha of Rocha Sisters was the best lyricist.

The judges were Melanie Sison, the Communication Specialist from DSWD Central Office, Carlo Aycocho and Armand Mikhail Templado of DSWD FO V and Jospeh Perez and Victor Medalla. Dir. Arnel Garcia was also present during the activity together with Asst. RD Corazon Miña and Information Officer Evelyn Jerusalem.

The grand winner is a Christian band with progressive rock genre who aims to influence and promote transformation of nation through music and original compositions. They started playing together as a kids’ band in the year 2000, trained by their parents who were band members of Sounds Of Praise where the band’s name originated. They were frequently invited to play in different events around the region.

They also joined some contests and bagged awards. They won their first song-writing championship in the 2000 PhilHealth Jingle Writing Contest when they were still kids. This year they won in the Bottle of the Bands Song-Writing Title and also won the Best Composition and other major awards in the Magayon Festival Battle of the Bands 2014.

SOP will record their winning piece with DSWD as part of their responsibility as the grand winner. The other four finalists will also be invited to record their original compositions to form an album compilation for Kalahi CIDSS.

The said contest was an initiative of the field office to promote CDD and Kalahi CIDSS to the public specially to the new areas covered by the program’s expansion this year. (with reports from Jireh Orobia)

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