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DSWD-Bicol pushes for empowerment of communities in poor areas

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol (DSWD-5) is asking for the support of lawmakers in the region for the passage of the Community-Driven Development (CDD) Bill that ensures the involvement of communities in the implementation of programs and projects.

During the Community-Driven Development Knowledge Exchange Forum on Thursday, DSWD-Bicol Regional Director Norman Laurio said CDD institutionalization will capacitate every community in the country to have better programs and projects that are really needed in their areas.

“As for the support of our lawmakers in the Bicol region, they support pushing this bill. One of the co-authors of the bill is our very own Sorsogon 2nd District Representative Wowo Fortes. House Ways and Means Committee chair Joey Salceda is one of the representatives who always convince the World Bank to give funds to our programs, particularly in the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS),” Laurio said.

KNOWLEDGE FORUM. Agency officials and representatives in the Bicol region, media practitioners and stakeholders attend on Thursday (July 13, 2023) the Community-Driven Development (CDD) Knowledge Exchange Forum that showcases the impact of the KALAHI-CIDSS sub-projects particularly the CDD approach. CDD helps communities in poor municipalities identify challenges in poverty reduction and make informed decisions with regard to local development. (PNA photo by Connie Calipay)

He said the forum is an avenue to showcase to the authorities and stakeholders the impact of the Kalahi-CIDSS sub-projects particularly the CDD approach.

“With the Kalahi-CIDSS and CDD, community members are empowered to identify and address their community’s most pressing need through the implementation of community subprojects. Imagine if this approach is being used in the different government programs, activities and projects,” he said.

Laurio said that 78 percent of the 1,761 Kalahi-CIDSS subprojects for Bicol are now ongoing.

“As mandated by our DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, by the end of July, all funds of Kalahi-CIDSS subprojects must be downloaded to the communities. He doesn’t want funds of Kalahi-CIDSS that are unutilized,” he said.

Lawyer Mary Kristene Joy Paras, chief political affairs officer of Rep. Fortes, in an interview, said House Bill 3458, otherwise known as An Act Institutionalizing the Community-Driven Development Approach as a National Strategy for Inclusive Growth and Social Protection and Appropriating Funds has been approved in the committee level.

“The bill was filed last August 10, 2022, and was referred to Committee on Poverty Alleviation last Aug. 15, 2022. After a series of committee meetings and deliberation held, a substituted bill was already approved at the committee level,” Paras said.

She said they are waiting for the committee report together with the substitute bill to be filed in the bills and index services for a number to be indicated in the proposed measure.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty alleviation programs of the Philippine government being implemented by the DSWD and uses the CDD approach.

CDD helps communities in poor municipalities identify challenges in reducing poverty and make informed decisions on a range of locally identified options for development, including how this is made and in what form.

It also gives control of resources to address poverty in local communities.

The approach likewise builds the capacity of both government and civil society stakeholders to provide assistance and respond to calls for support from poor communities as they implement development initiatives. (PNA)


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