Archive | KALAHI-CIDSS

4 Quezon towns receive Kalahi-CIDSS incentive grant

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The residents of Brgy. Magsaysay in Tagkawayan, Quezon are starting the construction of their line canal project, which is funded through the incentive grant received by the town for their good performance in implementing the Kalahi-CIDSS program. [Photo credit: SModestano]

Four local government units (LGUs) of Quezon Province are granted with a total of PhP26.92 Million by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as an incentive for successfully adapting the community-driven development (CDD) strategy of the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

The said LGUs are Tagkawayan, Alabat, Perez and Gumaca, which are all assessed to have effectively complied with the CDD standards of the Kalahi-CIDSS based on their performance in the program’s implementation from 2014 to 2016.

The total cost of the incentive grant is funding a total of 22 new community projects to help improve the delivery of basic social services in the communities. Projects include sanitary toilets, river control protection, seawalls, day care centers, water systems, access roads, evacuation centers and footbridges, which are being implemented by the residents this year.

The town of Tagkawayan is granted with PhP15.22 Million for nine projects, Alabat with PhP6.20 Million for six projects, Perez with PhP4.96 Million for six projects, and Gumaca with PhP539,000 for one project.

According to Ma. Philda Luteria-Potes, the Kalahi-CIDSS Community Development Specialist in the CALABARZON Region, these LGUs have successfully adopted the Participatory, Transparency and Accountability (PTA) principles of the program not just in the Kalahi-CIDSS implementation but also in their own local development programs.

One of the evidences is the inclusion of representatives from the vulnerable sectors in their local development councils for a more holistic and need-responsive decision-making of development projects and activities.

Further, Potes said that the residents in these areas were successfully empowered to engage in the development process of their communities, which are reflected in the fast and efficient construction of the community projects and liquidation of funds in their previous program implementation.

“We have high participation rate of residents attending barangay assemblies in these municipalities. Here in Kalahi-CIDSS, assemblies are very important as this is the venue where residents exercise their power to decide and plan as one community,” Potes said.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty reduction programs of the DSWD that applies a bottom-up approach in the planning, decision-making and implementation of community projects. Aside from the four towns, the Kalahi-CIDSS program is implemented in 12 other towns of Quezon Province.#

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Burdeos volunteers set to start Kalahi-CIDSS projects

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The community volunteers from Brgy. Poblacion in Burdeos, Quezon work on developing financial and construction estimates plan for their proposed one-classroom high school building project during the Kalahi-CIDSS Community Volunteers’ Training in the said town. [Photo credit: CMacasinag]

The community volunteers from Burdeos town in Quezon Province are now set to start the implementation of community projects after completing the training on project implementation processes and procedures through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The town of Burdeos is granted with PhP10.14 Million to fund the construction of need-responsive community projects including farm-to-market roads and school buildings under the Kalahi-CIDSS.

The Community Volunteers’ Training, held last July 27 to 29 in the said town, is part of the community-driven development strategy of the Kalahi-CIDSS where local residents are empowered and capacitated to work towards the development of their communities.

Sessions include financial management, community procurement and construction estimates as well as discussion of roles and responsibilities of the community volunteers towards a transparent and effective implementation of projects.

These volunteers came from the seven barangays of Burdeos that were prioritized to receive funding for their proposed projects. These barangays include Amot, Anibawan, Bonifacio, Caniwan, Cabugao, Mabini, and Poblacion.

Further, representatives from the Dumagat tribe residing in Burdeos were also trained as they are provided a separate grant worth PhP500,000 to delineate their ancestral domain in the town.

According to Marrieta Azores, 26, one of the community volunteers from Brgy. Poblacion, the training made her realize that implementing a community project requires a lot of heart and hard work.

“Malaking tulong sa amin ang training dahil hindi pala basta-basta lang ang pagsasagawa ng proyekto. Kailangan magbigay ng panahon at dedikasyon para masiguro na maganda at maayos ang kalalabasan nito. (The training is a big help for us as it really is not easy to implement a community project. We all need to give time and dedication to ensure success in our project.),” said Azores.

The community volunteers’ training in Burdeos is the last leg of training in the 15 Kalahi-CIDSS-covered municipalities in Quezon Province this 2016. Other municipalities that have conducted the same training are Agdangan, Alabat, Buenavista, Catanauan, General Luna, Perez, Padre Burgos, Pitogo, Macalelon, Quezon, San Andres, San Antonio, Tagkawayan and Unisan.# with reports from JBallesteros and CMacasinag

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Dumagat tribal hall – ‘a home of opportunities’

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It takes a two to three-hour boat ride before reaching the Dumagat community in Brgy. Cagsiay 3, Mauban, Quezon Province.

Being settled in a far-flung barangay for so long, the Dumagat tribe senses fear and hesitation whenever people visit their community. Through the years, however, they have been trying to overcome the anxiety of meeting new people by casting big smiles and extending their hands for a warm welcome.

The Dumagat is an indigenous people (IP) group residing in the mountains of Brgy. Cagsiay 3, the northernmost barangay of Mauban town in Quezon Province. Their community can be reached through a two to three-hour boat ride from the town proper. During stormy seasons, the community can only be reached by foot through a day of walking along a treacherous trail.

With such distant location, the Dumagat got used to living within their own tribe, thus being timid when meeting non-IP residents whom they call the Katagalugans.

Through several years of keeping their tribe isolated, they have learned that opening their community will not only bring them closer to the Katagalugans but will also welcome a lot of change in their tribe.

Welcoming change

In their remote community, the construction of a tribal hall is a visible sign of acceptance and change within the Dumagat tribe.

The residents are able to participate in the construction of a tribal hall project in February 2016 through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Mahirap sa pakiramdam namin pero sinusubukan naming makilahok dahil para naman sa ikabubuti ng aming pamayanan ang hatid nila. Unti-unti, natututo rin kaming makihalubilo sa iba. (We have hesitations, but we are trying our best to participate since the projects they bring are for our community. Little by little, we are starting to learn to deal with other people),” said Rosalinda Del Mundo, 63, the Kaksaan or chieftain of the Dumagat tribe.

According to Rosalinda, this tribal hall symbolizes the welcoming of new opportunities for their tribe. This will be the center of all activities and projects towards the development of their community.

Learning through the process

In Kalahi-CIDSS, the whole Dumagat community is engaged in the decision-making, planning and implementation of the tribal hall. They were trained on proposal development, financial management, and construction estimates to be equipped with skills in managing the project.

They chose to implement a tribal hall because they do not have a permanent place for their gatherings and meetings.

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The Dumagat tribe now has a permanent place to hold their meetings, which are mostly about the activities and projects they engage into for the improvement of their families and community as a whole.

“Hindi namin maintindihan ang proseso noong una. Hindi naman kasi mataas ang aming pinag-aralan. Pero matiyaga naman kaming tinuruan ng mga staff ng Kalahi hanggang sa kayanin naming gawin ang mga ito. (We had a hard time understanding the process because most of us did not finish school. But the Kalahi-CIDSS staff were very patient to us and guided us until we finish the tasks),shared Rosalinda.

Another challenge for them was the canvassing of materials in different stores in the town proper where they had to talk and negotiate to several people. The canvassing of materials is a requirement in the Kalahi-CIDSS process to ensure that the project fund is maximized without compromising the quality of the materials being used.

Leonel Luna, 18, assigned with the task, shared that he was so shy dealing with the Katagalugans because of fear of being teased or misunderstood. But he realized that they were actually friendly and there’s no need to be scared at all.

“Masaya rin kasi marami akong natutunan sa pagka-canvass at marami akong nakilalang mga tao. Hindi ko akalain na nakayanan kong gawin ‘yun. (I’m happy because I learned a lot from canvassing materials for our tribal hall. I got to know a lot of people. I can’t even believe that I was able to do it),” said Leonel wearing a proud smile.

Leonel also added that transporting the materials to their barangay was a struggle as they had to deal with the big waves during rainy season. Leonel marked it as an unforgettable yet worthy experience for the sake of their tribe.

As of August 2016, they are halfway from finishing the construction of their tribal hall. The PhP486,900 project will serve the 108 Dumagat households in Brgy. Cagsiay 3.

New opportunities for the Dumagat

As Rosalinda puts it, the tribal hall is a home of opportunities.

During the construction of the project, some of them were hired as laborers where they earned around PhP250 to PhP350 a day.

Jose Borrommeo, 30, shared that this was a good opportunity to earn for their family even for a short period of time.

“Malaking tulong sa amin ‘yun dahil wala naman kaming kinikita dito mismo sa amin. Naipambili ng ilang kagamitan sa bahay ang kinita namin sa pagko-construction. (It’s a big help since we do not have any source of income here. We were able to buy stuff for our home with the money we earned from the construction),” Jose shared.

Last July 2016, they used the tribal hall as a venue for doing and storing crafts as part of the livelihood project offered by the municipal government of Mauban. They made Christmas trees from coconut husks, which will be sold in the town’s tourism center.

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The tribal hall, made of concrete walls and galvanized iron roof, is strong enough to withstand strong winds and rains. This can serve as their evacuation center in times of disasters.

Further, Rosalinda sees the tribal hall as a place for refuge. Since the tribal hall is concrete and a lot sturdier than their houses made of nipa and cogon, it can serve as an evacuation area in times of disasters.

But above all, Rosalinda reiterated that their tribal hall is a sign of their being open to new opportunities and building ties with other people.

“Paraan din ito para maipakita namin na hindi kami tamad at may ginagawa kami para umunlad ang aming buhay. Iyon ang ganti namin para sa mga taong tumutulong sa amin. (This is also our way of showing that we’re not lazy and we’re doing something to improve our lives. This is how we give back to the people helping our tribe.),” said Rosalinda with a big smile.

For the Dumagat community in Brgy. Cagsiay 3, welcoming change is acceptable as long as it is for the good of their tribe. From now on, they are ready to embrace bigger possibilities to help improve the life of everyone in their community.#

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Quezon residents complete PhP300M community projects

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SAFER PATH FOR THE RESIDENTS. The pathways within Brgy. San Lorenzo in Mauban, Quezon Province are now concreted to provide better access for the residents whether by foot or by vehicle. This is one of the 630 implemented projects of the residents in the said province through DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS program.

The local residents from 20 towns of Quezon Province worked together to build a total of 630 community projects worth PhP385.79 million to improve the delivery of social services in their communities and provide livelihood opportunities to the people.

These projects were implemented through the residents’ participation in the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a community-driven program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Projects include farm-to-market roads, community centers, health stations, day care centers, river controls, water systems and electrification among others.

A total of 127,193 households are now benefitting from these projects in the towns of Agdangan, Alabat, Buenavista, Burdeos, Calauag, Candelaria, Catanauan, General Luna, Guinayangan, Gumaca, Macalelon, Mauban, Perez, Plaridel, Quezon, San Andres, San Antonio, San Francisco, Tagkawayan and Unisan.

Since 2014, the residents have been managing the implementation of these projects from the prioritization, document preparation, procurement of materials, construction and operations and maintenance. They were also provided trainings to equip them with skills in managing the projects.

Conchita Calusin, 32, one of the community volunteers from Brgy. San Lorenzo in the town of Mauban, shared that it’s a rewarding experience for them to implement an infrastructure project for their community.

They implemented the concreting of pathway project and the installation of 14 solar street lights worth PhP1.31 million to secure the safety of the residents as they travel within the community.

“Dati’y mga simpleng maybahay lang kami at walang pakialam sa mga gawaing pang-barangay. Pero dito sa Kalahi, natuto kaming makisalamuha sa iba at magtulungan para mapaganda ang aming lugar. (Most of us are simple housewives who do not care about community projects or activities. But in Kalahi-CIDSS, we learned the importance of working together to help improve our community.) said Calusin.

Towards the end of 2016, the residents will be starting the construction of new projects in their communities under Kalahi-CIDSS. A total of PhP160.54 million grant is allotted for the implementation of these projects.

Fourteen of the 20 towns will be continuing with this second cycle of the program implementation in their communities. These towns are Agdangan, Alabat, Buenavista, Burdeos, Catanauan, General Luna, Gumaca, Macalelon, Perez, Quezon, San Andres, San Antonio, Tagkawayan and Unisan.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty-reduction programs of the DSWD that uses the community-driven development strategy, which empowers ordinary citizens to engage in the local development process.

In the CALABARZON region, the Kalahi-CIDSS is implemented in the poorest municipalities of Quezon Province.#

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Ending decades of children’s suffering

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Vivenia Quizon, 26, is a former student in Hagonghong Elementary School who experienced having classes in the old, shabby classroom. She now teaches in the said school and is glad that students will no longer experience studying in an unsafe place through the new classroom constructed under the DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS program.

Back in 1997, Vivenia Quizon recalled her school days with the struggle of studying inside a shabby classroom in Hagonghong Elementary School in Buenavista, Quezon Province.

Their classroom was made of sulirap (weaved coconut leaves) walls that have gone dry and weak throughout the years. The room was also too crowded with around 40 students inside as they were sharing it with another grade level.

Their situation was even worse during the rainy seasons as they get soaked and dirty because the room has no flooring and has a dilapidated roof.

Two decades later, Vivenia is back in the same school as a teacher. It hurts her to see that their old classroom hasn’t been changed or even repaired.

“Isa ako sa mga buhay na patotoo na nakaranas ng hirap na makapag-aral sa classroom na iyan. Alam ko ang hirap ng mga estudyante ngayon kaya naman naaawa ako sa kanila. (I can testify as to how hard it is to study in that kind of classroom. I know that the students are now also having a hard time and I feel sorry for them.),” said Teacher Vivenia, 26.

Minda Dival, 44, a resident in the barangay and a mother of students who previously used the classroom, cried the same sentiments.

“Bulok na talaga ang classroom doon. May mga anak akong nag-aral diyan na nakaranas talagang nauulanan sila habang nagkaklase at putikan ang paa. (That classroom is really old and damaged. I have children who experienced getting soaked in the rain and having muddy feet while having classes.),” said Minda.

However, last 2015, Vivenia and Minda, together with the other residents of Brgy. Hagonghong, have found hope that the stories of suffering of school children will finally be ended.

They had the opportunity to build new classrooms when Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program came to their barangay. This community-driven program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) encouraged them to collectively work for the future of the children.

Seizing opportunities

Minda remembered the day back in January 2015 when the residents were gathered in a barangay assembly to discuss the problems of their community and how they can address these. Here, they identified the building of new classrooms to secure the safety of the elementary students.

Their identified project was funded with PhP1.47 Million by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian Government, a development partner of the DSWD that aims to address significant gaps in education in poor communities. The budget is enough to construct a two-classroom school building for the elementary school.

“Na-prioritize namin ang proyektong dagdag classroom para gumanda naman ang aming school. Para pagdating ng oras, ‘yung mga anak namin, pamangkin at apo ay makakaranas na rin ng magandang paaraalan. (We decided to prioritize the building of additional classrooms to help improve our school. With this, our children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren will have a better school experience in the future.),” Minda added.

The residents were then organized as community volunteers to take charge of the implementation of the project. They were trained on proposal development, financial management and construction estimates to guide them in properly managing the project.

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Minda Vidal, 44, is proud to give her grandchildren a better place to study by being a community volunteer of their Kalahi-CIDSS school building project.

Minda volunteered to be part of the Monitoring and Inventory Team. As a member of the team, she needed to attend weekly volunteers’ meetings and be always available whenever construction materials are delivered to the site.

The schedule was hectic for her since she solely tends to her two toddler grandchildren but she used them as a motivation instead to put more effort in her work.

“’Nung una ay sinabi kong hindi ko kaya dahil may mga apo ako. Pero nasabi ko na lang sa sarili ko, sige, kakayanin ko ‘yan tutal mga apo ko rin naman ang makikinabang ng classroom na iyan balang araw.’(At first, I hesitated to be a volunteer because I was taking care of my grandchildren. But I changed my mind and told myself, ’I will do this for my grandchildren so they can enjoy good classrooms in the future’), shared Minda.

‘Bayanihan’ for the children

Minda recalled how fascinated she was seeing the residents work together and relive the ‘bayanihan’ spirit while constructing the school building.

She also noticed some women who worked hand-in-hand with men in the construction. Minda realized that the project gave equal opportunities to everyone in the village.

Deodiya Melencio, 40, one of the women-volunteers, shared that the bayanihan spirit and the common goal to improve their school gave her a lot of inspiration to work hard for the project.

“Hindi ramdam ang pagod dahil lahat ay masayang nagtatrabaho. Gusto naming maging maganda ang pagkakayari ng building kaya pinag-aralan ang lahat at tulong-tulong talaga kami. (We don’t feel tired because we are happy at work. Everything was thoroughly studied and everyone worked together because we wanted the building to be beautifully constructed.),” added Deodiya.

Through the residents’ collective efforts, the two-classroom school building was completed last November 2015. The project benefits at least 60 households in the community.

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The two-classroom school building is being used by Grades Five and Six students this school year.

“Ay di ngayon, ang ganda na ng school! Masaya kami dahil ‘yung mga anak at apo namin ay makikinabang sa proyektong pinaghirapan namin. (Now, we have a beautiful school! We are very happy because our children and grandchildren will benefit from the project.), Minda said as she joyfully hugs her grandchildren.

As for Teacher Vivenia, she is glad that students of the next generation will have a better experience with their new classrooms. Also, multi-grade classes are no longer necessary as the school finally has enough rooms for every grade level.

“Hindi na mahihirapan ang mga bata. Mas madali na para sa kanila ang mag-aral at matuto. (The students will never have a hard time again to study. It will be easier for them now to learn.),said Teacher Vivenia.

With all that had happened, the residents of Brgy. Hagonghong are thankful for the opportunities that led them to work as one to improve their elementary school and their community as a whole.

They are all proud to have been a part of collecting good stories from school children as they enjoy a better learning experience and start journeying towards a brighter and better life ahead.#

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When it rains, it pours

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NO MORE FEARS. Residents of Brgy. Remedios I no longer fear about their safety going to and from their community because of this cable bridge they have built together through DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS.

In a barangay only accessible by foot, residents have learned to adapt to whatever resources are available to get by.

For several years, the residents of Brgy. Remedios I in Mauban, Quezon Province have learned to set aside their fears of crossing two wooden hanging bridges to get to and from their barangay. School children, on the other hand, suffered from attending classes in their cramped barangay hall.

Despite their dreams to change the situation, progress seems to be far from reach.

However, looking at Brgy. Remedios I today, the fears and suffering of the residents are replaced with high hopes and dreams for the future.

This, according to them, is made possible by the countless opportunities that came to their community.

Identifying the needs of the community

Soledad Ureta, the former barangay captain of Remedios I, shared that the residents, in a barangay assembly, have agreed that the most pressing concerns of their community are the lack of classrooms for their elementary school and the stability of their hanging bridges, which provide primary access to their barangay.

In 2014, the residents had the opportunity to address these problems when the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan—Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) came to their community.

In the Kalahi-CIDSS, the residents are involved in the local development process from the identification of their pressing needs up to the planning, implementation, operations and maintenance of the projects.

“Gusto talaga naming magkaroon ng dagdag classrooms para sa mga bata pero masyadong mahal ang pondo na kailangan para rito. Kaya pinili namin ang proyektong hanging bridge dito sa aming barangay,” said Soledad, who acted as the head of the volunteers during its implementation.

Improving access in the community

Reaby Oliveros, also a Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer, described their wooden hanging bridge as a threat to the safety of the residents not only of their barangay but also of their neighboring barangays who use the same bridge to get to the town proper.

“Yung tulay namin ay dating marupok at gawa lamang sa kahoy. Delikado talaga ito lalo na sa mga bata. Dahil sa tulay na pinagtulungan naming gawin, madami ang nakikinabang. Wala na kaming agam-agam sa tuwing tumatawid kami sa tulay,” shared Reaby, who is a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, another program of the DSWD that provides conditional cash grants in support for the educational and health needs of children zero to 18 years old.

Reaby recalled how hard it was to work as part of the Project Preparation Team in charge of the proposals and documents of the project especially that she had a newborn child during the project implementation.

“Kahit mahirap, nagsakripisyo ako. Naalala ko na tinuturo sa amin sa Pantawid Pamilya na ano ang magiging silbi mo sa barangay kung hindi ka tutulong,” Reaby shared with pride.

In the Pantawid Pamilya, parent-grantees are also encouraged to actively participate in their community which is being strengthened through discussions in Family Development Sessions (FDS).

The FDS is a monthly gathering of parent-grantees that teaches them on various family enhancement topics including strengthening marital relations, child’s rights, financial management and disaster preparedness among others.

In March 2016, the PhP461,046-worth hanging bridge project has been completed and is now being used even by the residents of Brgy. Remedios II, their neighboring barangay.

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BETTER EXPERIENCE FOR THE STUDENTS. Teacher Liza Diasanta of Remedios I Elementary School shares her gratitude to the Kalahi-CIDSS and the community volunteers because of the three-classroom school building that is ready to be used by the students this school year.

More blessings for Remedios I

The realization of the cable bridge in the barangay has been a big achievement for the residents; however, it also meant the end of their dreams of new classrooms for their children.

“Napakaswerte namin at tuwang-tuwa kami noong nalaman namin na popondohan din ang school building dito sa aming barangay,” said Soledad.

The DSWD has submitted the school building proposal of the residents for possible funding. In 2015, the project was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government, a development partner of the DSWD for closing gaps in education facilities in poor communities.

The project was provided a grant of PhP2.4 million which was spent for the construction of a three-classroom school building complete with chairs, furniture and comfort rooms for the students.

“Parang rags to riches ang k’wento ng school namin dito. Mula sa pagsisiksikan ng mga bata sa barangay hall, nagkaroon kami ng school na may tatlong classrooms. Ngayong pasukan, dahil sa Kalahi-CIDSS, mayroon na kaming anim na classrooms na sapat para hindi na maging multi-grade ang mga klase,” shared Liza Diasanta, a teacher in the elementary school.

She also added that having enough classrooms for their pupils will make both the learning for the students and the teaching for the teachers easier.

“Parang ito na ‘yung simula ng pag-abot ng pangarap naming mga guro at ng kanilang mga magulang para sa mga bata,” said Liza.

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FOR THE CHILDREN’S FUTURE. This school building, with three classrooms, will ensure a better learning experience for the children. Starting this school year, children will no longer attend multi-grade classes in this school.

Only moving forward

The implementation of the two projects in the barangay, according to the residents, have brought them together and made their dreams closer.

Marilou Delos Santos, another Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary who volunteered for the Kalahi-CIDSS projects, shared that they are working together to take care of these blessings.

“Tumutulong ang mga beneficiaries ng Pantawid Pamilya sa maintenance ng mga proyekto. Mayroon kaming monthly cleanup drives at tumutulong din kami sa Brigada Eskwela sa school dahil kami rin naman ang nakikinabang dito at ito rin ang maisusukli namin sa pagtulong sa amin ng programa,” shared Marilou.

To date, there are 50 household-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya in the barangay.

Today, the residents of Brgy. Remedios I have only gratitude towards the progress they are experiencing in their community. And what makes them happier is that they know that they have all been a part of realizing this change.#

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A flood-free Pinagtalleran

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Francisco Bondeci explains that the canals have concrete covers that not only prevent clogging but also serve as pathway for the residents in the community.

Being a public servant in their barangay for more than 25 years, Francisco Bondeci is proud of finally resolving the flooding problem in their community.

What makes him even prouder is that the way towards solving their long-term problem is a collective effort of the members of their community.

“Noong nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon na magsagawa ng proyekto para masolusyonan ang pagbabaha, naging madali ang paghihikayat sa mga tao na makiisa dahil gusto na talaga naming matapos ang problemang ito,” shared Francisco, 65, the former barangay captain of Brgy. Pinagtalleran in Calauag, Quezon Province.

Francisco and 25 other residents of Brgy. Pinagtalleran are the organized community volunteers who implemented the 155-meter-long drainage canal system in their village. They have implemented the project through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a community-driven program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Through Kalahi-CIDSS, the local residents were given the opportunity to plan, decide and implement their identified drainage canal project. They were trained on proposal development, construction estimates, finance and procurement to help them all throughout the project’s implementation.

Taking full responsibility as community residents

In the project implementation, Francisco said that their decisions and suggestions about the project were always considered. This made them feel that their voices are important in improving their community and had empowered them to take full responsibility of the project.

“Kinakausap namin mismo ‘yung engineer para sa disenyo at detalye ng drainage canal at talagang pinapaliwanag namin ang terrain ng lugar. Kapag may malasakit ka kasi sa baranggay mo, lahat pakikialaman mo mapaunlad lang ito,” he proudly said.

Given a PhP356,438 grant, the community volunteers procured the needed materials such as pipes, hollow blocks, bags of cement and other construction supplies. Francisco shared that they ensured every peso was well accounted and properly used.

“Isa rin sa dahilan kung bakit hindi namin maresolba ang problema sa baha ay dahil maliit lang ang budget ng Sanggunian at hindi makapagpagawa ng mahaba at maayos na drainage system. Kaya napakalaking tulong ng Kalahi sa baranggay namin,” he humbly said.

In just a month and a half, the community volunteers have finished constructing the 155 meters drainage canal project, which has concrete covers to prevent trash from clogging it. With such design, the canal also serves as a pathway for the 116 households in the barangay.

According to Francisco, the construction of the canal was finished ahead of the given two months-timeline. This was because of the additional workforce provided by the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, another DSWD program for poor households.

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Flordeliza Anda, 76, is thankful for not experiencing kneel-level flood anymore whenever it rains since the construction of the drainage canal last February 2016.

More than 20 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries helped in the construction of the canal for free.

Yolanda Canas, 47, one of the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who worked in the drainage canal project, shared that she really wanted to help in solving this problem in their community. She added that this is also her way to give back the benefits she receives from the Pantawid Pamilya program.

“Naglaan talaga ako ng oras para makatulong. Ayaw ko na rin kasi ng baha dahil delikado lalo na sa mga bata. Ang iba nagkaka-dengue pa. Kaya mahalaga na hindi na kami babahain pa kapag umulan na naman,” shared Yolanda.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor

Since the project’s completion in February 2016, the barangay never experienced flooding again whenever it rains.

Flordeliza Anda, one of the beneficiaries of the project, is thankful for not suffering from flood anymore.

“Umaabot hanggang tuhod ang baha sa loob ng bahay namin dati. Saglit na pag-ulan lang ‘yun. Ngayon, kahit malakas na ulan pa ay hindi na talaga bumabaha dito,” shared Flordeliza, 76.

Now that their problem is resolved, Francisco said that they must focus on ensuring the project’s sustainability so many residents would still benefit from it in the future.

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Portions of the canal have removable covers so the residents can still clean the drainage. They conduct regular canal cleaning every second and last Sunday of the month.

The community volunteers formed the Pinagtalleran Multi-Sectoral Organization that will oversee the operations and maintenance of the project.

The organization now has 35 members who conduct drainage canal cleaning every second and last Sunday of the month.

“Malaking bagay talaga ang proyekto para sa amin kaya pangangalagaan talaga namin ito,” Francisco said.

After all his years in public service, Francisco confessed that it is just now that he felt genuine happiness with an achievement. For him, it is very rewarding to work hand in hand with the residents in fulfilling their dream for the community.

“Sa pagtutulungan naming mga residente, natupad na ang matagal naming pangarap na hindi na malubog sa baha ang aming barangay,” Francisco said with a smile.#

Posted in KALAHI-CIDSS, News, Pantawid Pamilya, UpdatesComments Off on A flood-free Pinagtalleran

Building roads, not lies

kalahi villa padua gumaca

BETTER ACCESS ROAD. Vehicles can now easily pass through Brgy. Villa Padua in Gumaca, Quezon Province after the residents have completed concreting the critical slope area in their community through the DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS program.

Of the many projects they have worked on as on-call construction workers, Nestor Macarilay and Pancho Ona felt that they were building lies instead of infrastructure.

At work, whenever they see and hear suspicious deals around, the two felt disappointed for working for people who manipulated the project budget and kept money for themselves. For them, these people were simply satisfying their personal interests even to the point of sacrificing the quality of the projects.

“Ganoon na yata talaga ang kalakaran sa construction,” said Pancho, 46.

Despite this, the two had no other choice but  continue working in this kind of business as this is one of their main sources of income for their families.

“Bukod sa pagsasaka ay ito lang din ang alam naming trabaho. Kailangan naming kumita para matustusan ang pangangailangan ng aming pamilya,” added Nestor, 43.

However, last 2014, their judgment changed when they worked for a farm-to-market road project in their village of Villa Padua in Gumaca, Quezon Province. The two realized that a corruption-free project is possible for people with greater interest – the interest to improve their community.

“Posible pala na magkaroon ng transparency sa construction kapag mamamayan mismo ang nagplano, nagpatakbo, at nagsagawa ng proyekto. At ‘yun ang nangyari sa proyekto namin,” shared Pancho, who is also the Brgy. Capt. of the village.

The farm-to-market road is a project of the Villa Padua residents through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The Kalahi-CIDSS aims to empower residents to engage in the local development process of their community for a transparent implementation of projects.

Nestor, who became the head of the project implementation, said that this process was greatly appreciated by the residents.

“Sinuportahan ng mga mamamayan ang Kalahi dahil naramdaman nila na para talaga sa kanila ang proyekto. Walang labis, walang kulang,” said Nestor.

Kalahi-CIDSS as a community-driven program

As a community-driven program, the residents themselves are given the power to prioritize the project that will address the needs of their community.

They decided to concretize a critical slope of their road to have easier access to their barangay. They are provided with PhP587,156 grant for the project.

“Tuwing umuulan, sobrang maputik ang kalsada namin. Hindi nakakadaan ang mga motor lalo na sa parteng paliko ng kalsada. Kaya nilalakad lang namin ito, lalo na ang mga bata na papasok sa school,” shared Nestor.

To ensure that most residents are involved in the project implementation, they were organized as community volunteers who were in charge from the planning, construction and the preparation of the maintenance plan for the project.

According to Nestor, they were trained on each step of the implementation such as proposal development, financial planning and community procurement that have guided them in properly managing their project.

Further, other residents were hired as laborers during the construction of the road and were paid with PhP250 to PhP350 a day. Brgy. Capt. Pancho shared that different residents were employed per week to give everyone a chance to earn even for a short period of time.

“Meron ditong kumikita lang ng 50 pesos sa pamamasura na kung bibigyan mo ng pagkakataon ay kaya namang magtrabaho at kumita ng mas malaki para sa pamilya niya. Kung baga, hinikayat namin ‘yung mga talagang walang-wala para mabigyan sila ng pansamantalang pagkakakitaan,” shared Brgy. Capt. Pancho.

He added that women were also welcomed to work in the construction to show that gender does not define what a person can do for the community.

Nelia Talabia, 61, is one of the women volunteers who worked for the road. She had offered a space in her house to store the construction materials for the project.

“Alam ko naman kasing may patutunguhang maganda ang pagtulong ko. Isa rin naman ako sa lubos na makikinabang dahil nasa tapat lang ng bahay namin ang proyekto,” shared Nelia.

Last September 2015, the Villa Padua residents have successfully completed the 448 square meter road project. Now, they have a better road in their barangay.

Greater opportunities

According to Nestor, the road gave greater opportunities for the residents, especially for the farmers.

As the president of the farmers’ association in their barangay, Nestor is glad to see that they no longer need to carry their sacks of harvest and walk for an hour just to bring their goods to the market. Tricycles can now pass through their barangay and directly pick-up the products.

With the tricycles, transportation time is cut short. The goods are now delivered fresh to the market early in the morning. This doubled the monthly earnings of the farmers.

“Nakatulong ang proyekto para masiguro ang magandang kabuhayan naming mga magsasaka at maggugulay dito sa Villa Padua,” Nestor said with a smile.

Nestor added that children now have a more comfortable travel to school. Whenever it rains, they can already wear their shoes and uniforms starting from home without the fear of getting dirty and muddy along the way.

“Nung ako’y estudyante pa, naka-short lang kami kapag papasok kasi putikan talaga kami. Ngayon, sosyal na ang mga bata kasi kaya nang dumaan ng tricycle sa amin at pwede na silang sumakay,”  Nestor shared in laughter.

Taking care of their efforts

To ensure the sustainability of the road, the barangay council created an ordinance wherein 10 to four wheeler trucks are not allowed to pass through the road. Hence, they developed a by-pass road for these types of vehicle.

Also, the council allotted PhP20,000 a year for the maintenance of the project.

“Kapag hindi mauubos ang budget kada taon, maiipon ito na pwedeng gamitin para dugtungan pa at pahabain ang kalsada,” added Brgy. Capt. Pancho.

On the other hand, the farmers’ association led by Nestor was in charge of the overall operations and maintenance of the road. Every day, a member is on duty to monitor the vehicles passing through the road. They also conduct clean-up drives together with the beneficiaries of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program on a monthly basis.

“Maganda ang naging impact ng Kalahi sa aming mamamayan. Naging malaking tulong sa amin ang kalsada at higit sa lahat, natuto kaming magkaisa para sa ikakaayos ng aming pamayanan,” Nestor said proudly.

With all these, Pancho and Nestor realized that a clear and collective goal can oppose personal interests to arise. For them, it is much satisfying to work on a project not built with lies but with perseverance to improve the lives of the people. #

Posted in KALAHI-CIDSS, News, UpdatesComments Off on Building roads, not lies

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