18 Caraga towns eyed for expanded KALAHI-CIDSS 2 program
Butuan City (February 24) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced on Tuesday the inclusion of 18 towns in the Caraga region as beneficiary of the expanded "Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS)" this year.
Region XIII Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat made the announcement during the DSWD 59th founding anniversary celebration of the department on Tuesday with the theme "DSWD: Kaagapay at Gabay sa Kinabukasan" at DSWD Caraga Conference Hall here.
Jabagat said these 18 towns are mostly located in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte.
She said the negotiations on the additional funding of US$ 104 million from the World Bank and US$ 140 million from the Millennium Challenge Corporation will take place next week, which will help cover additional KALAHI-CIDSS areas nationwide.
Because of the success of the KALAHI-CIDSS program, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo late last year ordered the expansion of the KALAHI-CIDSS areas nationwide.
"We are still continuing evaluating these areas that so far has been identified as beneficiaries of the KALAHI-CIDSS Part 2, Director Jabagat added.
Concurrently, the DSWD Caraga is implementing KALAHI-CIDSS: "Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay" (KKB) in 20 barangays in Veruela town, Agusan del Sur province and 11 barangays in Cagwait town, Surigao del Norte province.
Since 2003 up to 2009, the KALAHI-CIDSS program-Makamasang Tugon (MT) have already served at least 63,440 household beneficiaries and released total project cost of P340.06 million to the far-flung towns spread all over Caraga region.
KALAHI-CIDSS is one of the Arroyo administration's flagship poverty alleviation programs implemented by the DSWD.
It is currently being implemented in 184 towns and 42 provinces nationwide. The program is also part of the Medium Term Development Plan which is funded through a loan from the World Bank and from other national and local government funds.
KALAHI-CIDSS specializes in community development where communities are made key decision-makers on livelihood and community projects.
Meanwhile, Jabagat also announced on Tuesday the projected target beneficiaries this year in the Caraga region for the Set 3 program of the "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program" or 4Ps.
She said at least 6,516 potential household beneficiaries so far had been identified in 17 municipalities and two cities in the Caraga region.
"Identification, evaluation and registration of potential household beneficiaries is already going on," she added.
4Ps program is another flagship project of the national government on poverty reduction and social development. It provides cash grants to the extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education, particularly children aged zero to 14.
The program also invests in human capital to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty among households.
In the 4Ps Set 1 and Set 2 project in 2009, the DSWD Caraga has already released cash grants to more than P423.4 million, added Jabagat.
In a related development, the DSWD in region 10 has launched early this week the "Project Helpline," a telephone hotline created solely to respond on inquiries on Republic Act 9344 also known as the "Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006," and to help callers handle cases of children in conflict with the law (CICL).
The aim of the project Helpline is to advocate RA 9344 and to encourage the public in reporting cases of abuse against a child in conflict with the law.
Despite the civic groups' negative comments on RA 9344, the social welfare department has strongly been advocating the law to minimize maltreatments and injustices caused against CICLs whose cases are still in due process.
"There are still children out there who are still placed in jails together with adult offenders thereby exposing them to manipulation, physical, verbal and sexual harassment and abuse," said DSWD 10 Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo.
Solamillo added the DSWD is doing everything it can to protect them from the brutal experience.
"Through RA 9344, the children are separated from adult offenders and are given psychosocial interventions such as counseling, skills training, education, and other activities which will enhance his or her psychological, emotional and psycho-social well-being." (muc/PIA-Caraga) [top]