MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Wednesday that areas heavily-affected by super typhoon “Yolanda” will be given top priority in the implementation of projects under the agency’s expanded Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP).
This was emphasized by DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman in a press briefing on the expansion of the agency’s KALAHI-CIDSS program to KALAHI-CIDSS-NCDDP at the Annabel’s Restaurant along Tomas Morato Ave. in Quezon City.
“We will be working on as top priority the 554 municipalities in Yolanda’s heavily-affected regions (VIII, VII, VI, and V) to roll out basic infrastructures to ensure that their immediate needs are being addressed,” the DSWD chief said.
According to her, there are 847 poorest municipalities in 58 provinces in 14 regions across the country that have been identified to benefit from the scaling up of KALAHI-CIDSS-NCDDP.
She said that part of giving priority to the areas devastated by “Yolanda” last November is giving them a higher allocation budget for the sub-projects that will be implemented under the KALAHI-CIDSS-NCDDP expansion.
“Giving them a higher allocation is a way to protect the people of the said areas from falling further into poverty by restoring and sustaining their access to basic social services,” she added.
The DSWD chief explained that the allocation for the expanded projects will come from the Php 9.3-billion funding from the national government and financial support of USD 479 million from the World Bank (WB) and USD 372.1 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The KALAHI-CIDSS is a program of the DSWD implemented for 11 years or since 2003 that uses community-driven development (CDD) strategy.
“Under the said approach, the power is being put in the hands of the people in the community by giving them the opportunity to decide on locally-identified options or projects that will contribute for their development or answer their immediate needs,” the DSWD chief.
The projects are usually those known by people in a poor community which will benefit them most or be their bridge to achieve linkages to opportunities for growth and progress like day care centers, health stations, bridges, seawalls, farm-to-market roads, water systems.
A specific project will then be voted upon by the community. From the same group of people will be chosen those who will participate in the planning and construction of the project. They will be paid with minimum wage under the program.
“That is an empowering and transparent strategy also for the people as it not only capacitates them to earn but also helps save a lot of money because the people who participate in the construction ensure that the project that they construct are sturdy enough for they themselves see how it is constructed and definitely they will not settle for any misuse of the funds therein,” said Benilda E. Redaja, national program manager of KALAHI-CIDSS-NCDDP.
According to ADB Country Director Richard Bolt, the approach also ensures transparent use of public resources in communities.
“I am confident that scaling up of KALAHI-CIDSS-NCDDP will boost the Philippines’ poverty reduction programs and can also be effective in post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-stricken areas,” Bolt said.
The DSWD will implement the expanded program in collaboration with other government agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), and others.