Western Visayas launches P2.3B in community projects

Didith Bosoen, Deputy National Program Manager for Support at the KALAHI-CIDSS national project management office, inspires community volunteers during her keynote address at the 8th Bayani Ka Award ceremony held on July 5 at the Grand Xing Hotel in Iloilo City.

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) revealed during the 8th Bayani Ka Award ceremony that Western Visayas has benefited from P2.3 billion worth of community development projects since 2021.

These initiatives, comprising 2,226 Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) sub-projects, spanned 94 local government units.

The event was held on July 5 at the Grand Xing Hotel in Iloilo City.

The National Community-Driven Development Program-Additional Financing (NCDDP-AF) led with 1,863 sub-projects, showcasing the largest portfolio. This was followed by KALAHI-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) initiatives alongside Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KKB), numbering 185 projects.

The Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Program (PMNP) contributed 148 projects, with Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) completing the efforts with 20 projects.

In her address, Didith Bosoen, Deputy National Program Manager for Support at the KALAHI-CIDSS national project management office, credited the program’s success to the collaboration between community volunteers and LGUs, calling them the lifeblood and lifeline of the program, respectively. She emphasized their crucial role in providing technical guidance and resources essential for project implementation.

She noted the upcoming closure of the National Community-Driven Development Program – Additional Financing (NCDDP-AF) this year and expressed optimism about future initiatives.

“The largest portfolio program, the NCDDP-AF, will be closing this year, but let this not be the end of our efforts. As we reflect on our journey, let us look to the future with optimism and determination. Our work is far from over. We still have to hurdle many challenges to deliver the remaining tasks and ensure that no sub-project is left behind,” she said.

Looking ahead, she mentioned ongoing efforts to institutionalize Community-Driven Development (CDD) beyond 2024. She outlined plans for the “Panahon ng Pagkilos” program, scheduled to begin in 2025 with a USD 700 million loan from the World Bank.

The initiative aims to bolster local capacities for climate resilience planning and action in vulnerable communities, in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Climate Change Commission.

“This project will work toward the enhancement of the local climate change action plan of LGUs and support them in achieving the required competencies for the Seal of Good Local Governance. It will also help capacitate local governments to access the People Survival Fund,” she remarked.

Meanwhile, Atty. Carmelo Nochete, DSWD-6 regional director, underscored the importance of community volunteers, who have played a pivotal role in the success of KALAHI-CIDSS initiatives. He praised their dedication and commitment, reflecting on their significant contributions over the past four years.

The Bayani Ka Award ceremony recognized volunteers for their dedication to the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) initiatives, highlighting their significant contributions to sustainable development across Western Visayas.

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