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PIA Press Release

DSWD XI hails Comval as Best LGU, PSWDO for social services

by Fe Maestreids

Davao City (2 February) -- "Let me assure you that I am and will always be a good ship captain to all Comvalenyos." True to his word, Compostela Valley Governor Arturo "Chiongkee" Uy has set significant changes that has touched many lives among his people. Despite the many trials and catastrophes Comval has encountered in the past yet "we continue to hang on and remain resilient given by the same unity and cooperation we had," Gov. Uy said.

Seeing the landmark changes in the province, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office (DSWD) Reg. XI has conferred both individual and institutional awards to Comval.

Dubbed as the Gawad Panglilingkod sa Sambayanan (GAPAS), the Best LGU was awarded to Gov. Uy and the Best Provincial Social Welfare Development Office to Josephine Frasco. Elizabeth Uy is also the Best Municipal SWDO and the Binuangan SEA-K Association is the Best People's Organization (PO), they are both from Maco, Comval. The awards were given during the 59th Founding anniversary celebration of the DSWD on January 25 at the SM Event Center in Davao City.

Below are some of the highlights and achievements that the provincial government of Comval has achieved so far:

Uswag-GK Villages

Dubbed as Uswag-Gawad Kalinga Bayani Challenge, volunteers from all over Mindanao came to participate in the construction of GK houses in Brgy. Kinuban, Maco as the relocation site for the victims of the tragic Masara twin landslides which happened on September 2008.

Since then, the January 24-30 and the May 8-16, 2009 Bayani Challenge produced a total of 88 houses. Seeing the generous support and outcome of volunteers, another generous donor from DSWD office extended to the provincial government a P7.5 Million budget for this undertaking through its Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP). On October 23 to 30, the 3rd Bayani Challenge held in the same barangay produced a total of 116 houses with an average of more than a thousand builders who came daily for the challenge.

Barangay Kinuban in Maco now hosts 2 GK villages, the Uswag-GK Village and the adjacent DSWD-CSAP-Uswag-Gawad Kalinga Village. The 88 families and the 116 family-recipients, respectively, have found their new home and renewed hope---helping them recover from a tragic past.

And yet this would not have been made possible without the governor's initiative to tie up with the Gawad Kalinga movers. He was inspired by the thought that it is a matter of showing care to the people not only in words but more so in deeds. The GK Designer Village now serves as a showcase as its concept is replicated to the other municipalities of the province.

A-STEP and Project ARTURO on the go

The governor has also tirelessly visited public elementary and high schools province-wide in his aspiration to improve on the reading and English proficiency of the students. There, he would check their reading skills and comprehension, letting the students read words from the flashcards and visual aids made especially for the purpose.

Launched on October 2008, Project ARTURO or Accelerated Readers--Tomorrow's Ultimate Response to Opportunity, is an English and reading program jointly implemented by Comval's Department of Education under Deped Chief Dr. Lillian Calicdan.

"An English sentence a day is the road to English proficiency," is now a favorite moniker of the governor during his school sorties. The provincial government also has continuously focused on offering training courses for the teachers like the A- STEP (Advanced Study for Teachers' Enhancement Program) in order to enhance their ability to provide quality and modern education.

PWD's recognized

Recognizing their worth, the provincial government through the PSWDO joins the annual National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week and similar observance to persons with disabilities. "Kahit meron tayong mga kapansanan, sana ay patuloy pa rin nating sundin ang positibong direksiyon at panatilihin natin ang ating pananalig at pag-asa dahil ang lahat ay planado ng Diyos," he said.

The governor vowed to intensify the programs intended for them through additional funds and ensure their rights and protection through the implementation of Republic Act 7277 and RA 9442 or the Magna Carta for the Disabled Persons and its Amended Acts.

Replication of KALAHI-CIDSS

The impact programs of the KALAHI-CIDSS have also benefitted and empowered poor communities in the countryside. Such achievement has inspired the governor to replicate the KALAHI-CIDSS concept through the ATU-PEACE Program wherein it has enhanced the manner of the prioritization of the programs and projects. In this approach, priority programs and projects were determined and decided accordingly by and among the barangays themselves. Hence, social development is achieved through community projects.

Anti-red tape launched

The governor has also responded on the complaints of slow government processes and immediately set series of instructions and directives geared towards an effective and efficient public service.

On July 3, 2009, the launching of Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) Citizens Chapter has strengthened his pledge, formalizing what could have been a welcome change never before seen in the capitol workforce in the province.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) Regional Office and the Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has identified Comval as the model province in Region XI in the implementation of the Republic Act 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act.

Indeed, municipal LGUs in Comval have drafted a similar citizens charter bearing the service standard or a pledge that communicates in simple terms, information on the services provided by the government.

Health services intensified

With health and nutrition program utmost in his mind, various initiatives have been put in place to improve the health services provided by the provincial government. The medical-dental outreach program has always been a constant source of relief especially among far-flung barangays.

The province is also the beneficiary to the pilot implementation of the Family Health Book entitled in the vernacular as "Giya sa Maayong Panglawas." The FHB is a local initiative of the province with external support from the United States for International Development or USAID. Relative to this, is the declaration of the Family Health Day celebrated every September 3 of every year through an executive order from the governor.

The full implementation of the Early Childhood Care and Development Program (ECCD) in Comval is also on its way to promote the growth and development of the children aging 0 to 6 years through health, nutrition, early education, psychosocial, and other development interventions. (comval) [top]

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