KALAHI-CIDSS convergence helps more communities in Masbate
by CL Martinez
Legazpi City (1 June) -- Poverty remains the country's greatest nemesis and over the years, strategies have been developed and refined to defeat poverty that has gripped the Filipinos for many decades.
One revolutionary strategy developed was the Community Driven Development or CDD approach which is being implemented in 12 regions nationwide through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS).
In Bicol Region, KALAHI-CIDSS covers 24 municipalities with 633 barangays participating in CDD process. The project has funded a total of 666 community interventions that respond to people's prioritized problems from 2003 to 2009 in the amount of P7.6 million and over 160,065 household beneficiaries presently reap benefits from the project.
In March 2010, KALAHI-CIDSS was officially launched in the municipality of Cawayan in the province of Masbate. Cawayan is the only municipality in Bicol for additional 16 municipalities to implement KALAHI-CIDSS. Adding 16 more to the original 184 municipalities was a directive from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her visit in Arakan, North Cotabato last year.
Shortly after its launch, the project has gained major headway with the institutionalization of CDD by forming a 20-member Municipal Inter-Agency Committee (MIAC), which has the widest representation among KALAHI-CIDSS areas in Bicol. At the onset, the LGU has also provided a complete Municipal Coordinating Team (MCT) as partner implementers in the field whose primary task is to ensure the implementation of Local Counterpart Contribution (LCC) Plan and start-up plan which was prepared by the municipal officials.
To identify other activities and strategies in sustaining CDD at the municipal level, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) headed by Regional Director Remia T. Tapispisan, spearheaded the conduct of ACT-MCT-MIAC Assessment Workshop.
She said that one of the major responsibilities of the LGU that is stated in the Memorandum of Agreement is the institutionalization of Participation, Transparency and Social Accountability (PTA). She added that among the strategies that can be explored is the convergence of national poverty reduction projects and programs implemented at the LGU. Inasmuch as Cawayan is implementing DSWD programs like Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K), Tindahan Natin, 4Ps or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Supplemental Feeding (SF) and the KALAHI-CIDSS: KKB.
During the workshop, members of the MCT-ACT and MIAC explored new initiatives to address the development gaps in the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS in the areas of project implementation, institutionalization and convergence, operation and maintenance (O&M) and gender and development. They also rationalize training initiatives, which were found to be useful in KALAHI implementation.
One key recommendation identified during the planning workshop was the need to firm up agreements on undelivered commitments of the LGU based on the LCC plan.
One of the very helpful topics identified was the clarification of roles, duties and responsibilities of ACT, MCT and MIAC. Ester Mapa, District Guidance Coordinator, said "the topics discussed are very interesting and a great help for me. It equipped me in facilitating community activities with the use of new information and updates discussed in this workshop."
Aside from the members of the ACT, MCT and MIAC, the meeting was attended by representative from PLAN International and other funding donors.
After the planning workshop, the DSWD through the Regional Project Management Team (RPMT) will monitor and provide technical assistance on the implementation of the action plan.