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PIA Press Release

Siquijor: Pilot province for CBMS in CV

By Elvie Samson-Gaudan

Siquijor (17 February) -- All six towns in Siquijor province have finally completed poverty maps and data which are now consolidated with the provincial data through the assistance of the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) Network Manila, says CBMS Provincial Coordinator Elvie Samson-Gaudan of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), here.

The data, she said will be used by the local government units (LGUs) in the formulation of their respective Comprehensive Development Plans.

With the primary purpose of localizing the Millennium Development Goals, LGUs are encouraged to adopt and utilize the system as their instrument in identifying local needs as well as internal and external sources of assistance to implement poverty reduction initiatives, programs, projects, and activities, she said

Siquijor is the pilot province for CBMS, an organized system of monitoring and collecting household information at the local level to include data on poverty indicators such as health, food and nutrition, water and sanitation, shelter, peace and order, income, employment and education.

It was introduced to the local chief executives and functionaries of this province a year ago during the conduct of the Orientation Seminar-Workshop on the Utilization of the CBMS as a tool in local poverty diagnosis and planning last April 25-26, 2006 at the Siquijor Provincial Capitol, Siquijor, Siquijor.

It was then announced by representatives from DILG-7 that Siquijor Province was chosen as the pilot province in Region VII for the system.

"As a pilot province, the burden of completing the CBMS process was a great challenge for the DILG-Siquijor and the CBMS Technical Working Group," says CBMS coordinator. But with unified goal of uplifting the living conditions of the poor masses, the then governor Orlando A. Fua, with the six municipal mayors of this province absolutely expressed their commitment to adopt the system and signed the Memorandum of Agreement between the CBMS Network and DILG. The DILG Regional Office 7 commits to provide the traveling expenses of trainers from BLGD Manila and the reproduction of CBMS Survey Questionnaires and Manuals, she said.

Consequently, local officials, functionaries, other national and local agencies, NGOs and POs and the general public who are aware of the existing CBMS project unanimously express their great appreciation of the efforts of the DILG and the CBMS Network in coming up with this significant project which would eventually solve the problem of overlapping inaccurate data of the different agencies and units, the DILG official said. Above all, she said, the system will most certainly help the development planners in diagnosing poverty that may lead them to identify appropriate programs and projects for eligible beneficiaries of this province. A unique, evidence-based policy-making will surely be realized by the use of the information generated through the Community-Based Monitoring System, she said.

Series of complicated, tedious training were involved in the CBMS process, Gaudan said. Firstly, Training on Data Collection for Community Volunteer Enumerators was conducted last August to September 2006. Actual data collection was done sometime in October 2006 through January 2007. Upon the completion of the data collection process, a comprehensive training on Data Encoding and Map Digitizing was conducted last March 26-28, 2007 to train municipal encoders how to efficiently encode the data gathered and accurately digitized the respective barangay maps which is very vital in the processing of data. Then, actual data encoding and map digitizing was done from April to July 2007. With all the data already encoded and all 134 barangay maps completely digitized, a Training on Data Processing and Mapping was done last August 15-17, 2007, where poverty statistics, tables and maps were intricately generated. Some technical problems were encountered during this phase. However, driven with commitment and dedication, the Siquijor CBMS team led by CBMS provincial coordinator Elvie Samson-Gaudan, triumphed to push-through with the system and decided to be retrained in Manila last May 20-23, 2008 by BLGD trainers.

To date, with perseverance and relentless joint efforts of the DILG Siquijor headed by Provincial Director Dominica K. Lacuesta, and the 7 LGUs of the province, with active support from Governor Orlando "Shane" Fua, finally all six municipalities have now completed their respective poverty maps and data, and the provincial data now completely consolidated. (PIA Siquijor) [top]

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