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PIA Press Release

Governors, mayors vow to support new KALAHI-CIDSS areas in Caraga Region

Butuan City (26 February) -- Two of Caraga Region's Provincial Governors supported the newly-launched KALAHI-CIDSS:KKB Project and committed some amount of their Provincial Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as counterpart contribution to this DSWD-implemented flagship anti-poverty project.

Mayor Bonifacio Ondona of Cagwait Surigao del Sur reported during the Project's launching and orientation on February 22, 2010 that Provincial Governor Vicente Pimentel has allocated almost P1 M to help fund community projects in the area.

"With this amount from the Provincial Government and with our own municipal cash counterpart, we can assure you of our efficient and effective KALAHI-CIDSS implementation, " the mayor said adding that despite the election period, "politics won't be a hindrance to our success."

Meanwhile, Agusan del Sur Provincial Board Member Sammy Tortor, who represented Governor Ma. Valentina Plaza, announced that the lady governor committed more than P1.3 M for Veruela's implementation of this pro-poor program.

Veruela is the second municipality in the region to make it in the 16-town KALAHI-CIDSS expansion in the country.

Board Member Tortor said that it was the request of Governor Plaza to especially insert the KALAHI counterpart contribution to the already approved 2009 budget, "to avoid delays in the release of funds," he said.

Eager LCEs

Thankful to DSWD for the inclusion of Veruela in the KALAHI-CIDSS expansion, Mayor Salimar T. Mondejar has high hopes that the Project will "shift" his impoverished town into a "progressive municipality."

Mayor Mondejar further said that, "with KALAHI-CIDSS' Community-Driven Development processes, the old attitude of the people will be gradually changed as "development calls for moral revolution."

Even during the early talks in October 2009 between DSWD and the MLGU, Veruela's local chief executive has consistently been showing enthusiasm in availing KALAHI-CIDSS. Like the case of Cagwait, Veruela also complied all the requirements like Sanggunian Bayan resolutions for the Memorandum of Agreement between DSWD and MLGU, and enrolling for the Project despite the unclear picture of whether the Provincial Government will or will not help them with the cash counterpart.

Mayor Ondona, on the other hand, has been writing the DSWD office in Caraga since 2007 of their desire to benefit from the KALAHI-CIDSS Project. It can be noted that the Project has been implemented in their neighboring towns of Bayabas, Marihatag and Tagbina in 2006 ? 2009.

"It is always refreshing to see government officials who are very supportive and appreciative of the projects we offer them," says DSWD Director Mercedita P. Jabagat. "We recommended these two towns not just because they passed the criteria and the selection process, but more of their willingness to avail of the Project," she further added.

DSWD Assistant Regional Director and Project Manager Mita Gupana ? Lim also noted this enthusiasm saying that, "implementation is always successful with both the MLGU's executive and legislative bodies' unified support."

Cagwait and Veruela were chosen as part of the KALAHI-CIDSS expansion because of: 1) it is a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) area; 2) it is a "new KALAHI-CIDSS" area; and 3) has a poverty incident of 52% and above. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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