Working with provincial LGUs high on KC expansion agenda
by Artha Kira R. Paredes
San Mateo, Rizal (19 February) -- The community-based KALAHI-CIDSS is now exploring the involvement of the provincial local governments in implementing development programs in the barangays.
The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, that hosted the "PLGU Caucus on KALAHI-CIDSS Provincial Engagements" on February 18, opened talks with provincial governments on their participation in implementing DSWD's flagship anti-poverty Project.
Participants included representatives from provincial government offices of the proposed 16 new municipalities of the KALAHI-CIDSS, World Bank, the National Project Management Office (NPMO) and the Regional Project Managers.
Director Camilo G. Gudmalin who headed the NPMO told participants that plans to engage provincial governments is part of KALAHI-CIDSS's goal to "make a change especially in the rural poor."
"DSWD cannot do it alone," he said adding that local governments also have to "combine" and "focus their limited resources" on "where to wage war against poverty."
Andrew Parker, KALAHI-CIDSS Task Team Leader and World Bank Senior Rural Development Economist posed the challenge for PLGUs to make their commitments in providing technical and financial support to KALAHI-CIDSS municipalities "regardless of political alliances."
If provincial and municipal governments cannot put aside their differences for the sake of development, then poverty alleviation becomes a "lost battle," he said.
Congressman Oscar Francisco of the Alliance for Rural Concerns and member of the KALAHI-CIDSS National Steering Committee also said that with contribution from internal revenue allotment of provinces, KALAHI-CIDSS can do more.
He also expressed hope that the partnership with PLGUs will contribute to the reform agenda that would allow congressmen's Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to be "influenced by the development planning of provinces."
Positive Initial Feedback
Surigao del Sur KALAHI-CIDSS focal person and Provincial Engineer Juliet Fino-Perez reported to participants that Governor Vicente Pimentel has already committed for their provincial government to shoulder half of the KALAHI-CIDSS local counterpart in Cagwait.
KALAHI-CIDSS requires municipal governments to make a 30 percent counterpart.
She shared her observation that there has been evidence of eradication of corruption in Surigao del Sur towns where KALAHI-CIDSS has already been implemented.
Negros Occidental Board Member Raul Rivera, chairman of their Provincial Committee on Finance and Appropriation also said that their province "will not turn down a Project for the people."
According to Board Member Rivera, Governor Isidro Zayco has already provided more than three million worth of provincial counterpart to the four old KALAHI-CIDSS municipalities and sees the province's support in its new area, La Castellana.
KALAHI-CIDSS, a community-driven development Project, has 184 old municipalities in 12 regions nationwide. The Project is expanding to 16 new municipalities as per directive of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The new areas being considered by KALAHI-CIDSS are Besao, Mountain Province; Macalelon and Catanauan in Quezon; Cawayan, Masbate; La Castellana, Negros Occidental; Hernani, Eastern Samar; Leon Postigo and Mutia in Zamboanga del Norte; Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte; Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental; New Corella, Davao del Norte; Gov. Generoso, Davao Oriental; Maasim and Maitum in Sarangani; Cagwait, Surigao del Sur and Veruela, Agusan del Sur. (KALAHI-CIDDS) [top]