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PIA Press Release

Eastern Samar welcomes KALAHI-CIDSS expansion anew

By Juvy Tabontabon

Tacloban City (March 6) -- For the second time around, the province of Eastern Samar welcomed anew the implementation of the KALAHI-CIDSS program, an anti-poverty program of the government spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

It was in Sulat, Eastern Samar where KALAHI-CIDSS 1 piloted the implementation in October, 2002.

It is another milestone for the province of Eastern Samar as the municipality of Hernani pilots the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services program implementation.

DSWD Regional Director Leticia Corillo, OIC-Assistant Regional Director/KALAHI-CIDSS Regional Project Manager Jaime Eclavea, Local Chief Executive Cesar Tagon, and Administrative Officer Philip Evardone who attended as representative of Governor Ben Evardone, led the ceremonial unveiling of the marker and signing of Memorandum of Agreement to officially declare the Municipality of Hernani a KALAHI-CIDSS area, last February 26, 2010.

OIC-ARD Jaime Eclavea stressed that "Hernani is indeed lucky to be among the four municipalities which signified to be chosen as pilot municipality for the additional 16 municipalities to implement KALAHI-CIDSS nationwide."

"He added that, originally Hernani was not identified as first priority in the first round of screening, until after the National Project Management Office sent another criterion to firmly scrutinize among pre-identified municipalities. It was then that Hernani was elevated to be in rank one."

"It took courage for a Local Chief Executive to take the risk of meeting the conditions, just to avail the program. Some of the conditions are provision of 30% local counterpart contribution, provision of office space, supplies, and the installation of the Municipal Coordinating Team," ARD Eclavea added.

Since the deployment of the Area Coordinating Team last February 16, 2010, the municipal government already provided support to the ACT such as office space with complete facilities, and the creation of Municipal Coordinating Team.

"The good leadership of Hernani was a big factor why the municipality was chosen as pilot municipality in the region, says Regional Director Leticia Corillo.

She added that Hernani was chosen not because it is the poorest municipality, but of its capacity to address problems, especially the concerns at the barangay level.

"Hernani is blessed not just of KALAHI-CIDSS, but likewise, the municipality will soon launch the 4Ps program. KALAHI-CIDSS answers the needs of barangays like facilities that contribute to alleviation of poverty while 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program answers the needs of families in terms of health, education, and even to increase the economic well-being of the people," RD Corillo added.

"The enthusiasm that the municipality showed may hopefully be continued until the end of KALAHI-CIDSS implementation. May the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the municipality of Hernani and the provincial government Unit of Eastern Samar, join efforts to reduce poverty in the locality," Director Corillo added.

Hope That Comes to Reality

Even during the initial implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS in Sulat, Eastern Samar, Mayor Tagon had already expressed interest to be included on the program. But the program already had identified municipalities, and Hernani was not one of them.

It was last January 18, 2010 when the KALAHI-CIDSS staff went to Hernani informing them that they are one of the identified municipalities qualify to become program beneficiary.

"We are thankful that at last, DSWD included Hernani to be a recipient of KALAHI-CIDSS. We have high hopes that the program will help us become a progressive municipality," said Mayor Cesar Tagon.

Mayor Tagon further stated that with the KALAHI-CIDSS Community-Driven Development Processes, its not the old practice that the Brgy. Captain and the Mayor only decide for the development of the people. But it's the voice of the people being heard and dictates.

"The program may not be pushing through here in Hernani without the unifying efforts of everybody. The support given by the legislative body, department heads and the people of Hernani made the program come to reality," the mayor added.

Mayor Tagon appealed to his constituents to support and help each other so that the project will be successful, and could help their impoverished town to become progressive one.

Hernani was chosen as part of KALAHI-CIDSS because it is also a 4Ps area, and has a poverty incidence of 74%. (PIA 8/KC) [top]

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