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Feature: A concrete road to progress

Zamboanga City (18 October) -- Dongos is a very remote barangay in Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur whose people are mostly Lumads. During rainy season, it is almost inaccessible because it is situated on a very mountainous terrain and the mud is knee-high.

Even farm animals like horses and carabaos get stuck in the mud making it a perrenial problem since rural folks would walk for seven kilometers to bring their farm products to the market.

That was before KALAHI-CIDSS: KKB came into their barangay.

KALAHI-CIDSS:KKB is a flagship project of the government under the Department of Social Welfare and Development in response to poverty alleviation. It aims to empower communities through improved local governance and provide funds for infrastructure and facilities including capability building.

It stands for Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services: Kaunlaran at Kapangyarihan sa Barangay. Kaunlaran in the sense that it ushers development into their respective communities and Kapangyarihan because it empowers them to make decisions among themselves in the spirit of unity and volunteerism.

Barangay Captain Sumandag Mangual recounts how, after several barangay consultations and assemblies, they were able to prioritize what project to undertake. And that was concreting of the 512-meter stretch of road which was almost impassable during the rainy season.

Mangual said “Ang tanan mitabang aron mahuman ug dali ang proyekto. Ulan o init, adlaw ug gabii mi magtrabaho bisan walay kuryente magsulo lang mi”. (Everybody helped so that the project will be finished immediately. Rain or shine, day and night we worked, even without electricity, we used torches).

Dinas Mayor Wilfredo Asoy said “it was a long cherished dream of their great grandparents to see that stretch of road cemented. Now, their children’s children and generations yet to come will enjoy the fruit of their labor of love.”

The road concreting project has a total budget of P1,441,916.00. KALAHI funds amounted to P917,416.00. The provincial government also poured funds for the project amounting to P100 thousand while the municipal government provided the heavy equipment, cement, sand and gravel totaling P157,500.00. Barangay funds in the amount of P71- thousand was spent aside from the “pahina system” intiated in the community.

In the next six years, KALAHI-CIDSS is expected to be implemented in 5,000 barangays in 200 provinces from 42 municipalities to usher in development and alleviate poverty. Indeed, KALAHI makes a great difference in the lives of rural folks. [top]

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