KALAHI-CIDSS towns total 200; to increase to 358 in 3 years
Manila (22 January) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development's poverty reduction Project is now in the process of selecting additional areas and negotiating its further expansion in the next three years according to its National Project Director.
"We are now screening additional 16 municipalities for the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) Project," Undersecretary Luwalhati F. Pablo said.
Adding 16 more to the original 184 municipalities was a "directive from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her September 15 visit in Arakan, North Cotabato last year. She was really impressed by the Project's impact on the lives of the poor," the undersecretary explained.
KALAHI-CIDSS operates in 4,229 barangays in the 42 poorest provinces located in 12 regions nationwide.
"The 16 additional areas, which are being assessed by our field offices, bring our municipalities to a total of 200 in the first quarter of the year," she added.
The 90 million-peso fund for the 16 municipalities will be sourced from Philippine government.
Considered for inclusion are towns that are "currently covered by the DSWD's conditional cash transfer program 4Ps" (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), those with "no prior engagement with KALAHI-CIDSS" and those that have a "poverty incidence of 50 percent or above," Undersecretary Pablo said.
The percentage of poverty incidence of municipalities is based on the 2003 Small Area Poverty Estimates released by the National Statistical Coordination Board in March 2009.
More World Bank Funding
Assistant Secretary Ruel G. Lucentales, Deputy National Project Director also said that aside from the 16 additional municipalities, KALAHI-CIDSS is seen to expand its coverage in the next three years with additional funding from the World Bank and a grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
"We are hoping to finalize negotiations with World Bank for three more years of KALAHI-CIDSS in 112 of our old municipalities and in 108 new municipalities," Assistant Secretary Lucentales revealed.
The total cost of the additional financing is estimated at 4.96 Billion pesos.
"We also expect more good news in the middle of the year as we firm up plans for KALAHI-CIDSS- Operations for Barangay and Municipal Assistance (OBAMA)," the deputy national project director said.
KALAHI-CIDSS OBAMA is MCC's commitment to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015," he said.
Some 193 municipalities- 62 from old KALAHI-CIDSS areas, 55 from the additional financing and 76 new areas- will be a part of the 7.8 billion peso worth of KALAHI-CIDSS-OBAMA Project according to Assistant Secretary Lucentales. He said that about 72 percent of the amount will be from the MCC grant.
KALAHI-CIDSS-OBAMA's implementation will be from January 2011 to December 2015.
"From the 184 current areas of KALAHI-CIDSS, the total number of municipalities are expected to be 358 in the next three years," he said. (PIA) [top]