Php1B poured in Mindanao for anti-poverty projects in last 8 years

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 Apr) – The national government has already poured in more than a billion pesos worth of socio-economic investments in various impoverished communities in Mindanao through the implementation of its flagship anti-poverty initiatives in the last eight years.

Bai Zorahayda Taha, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Region 12 director, said Thursday the agency’s records showed that it has already spent some US$23.1 million or roughly P1.03 billion for the implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.

She said some US$11.5 million or around P517.5 million were released to the 4Ps beneficiaries while the rest of the funds were utilized to implement the Kalahi-CIDSS projects.

“People who have relatives both in the communist and Moro rebel movements have benefited from these projects,” Taha said in a press statement.

Kalahi-CIDSS stands for Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, a World Bank-assisted poverty alleviation project implemented since 2003 by the DSWD.

The program had been recognized by the World Bank as one of the best ongoing poverty reduction initiatives in the world.

4Ps is an ongoing conditional cash transfer program for the “poorest of the poor” residents that started in 2008 under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Under the 4Ps, the country’s poorest families were given monthly cash incentives for as long as they send their children to school and pregnant mothers go for regular check-ups in public health centers.

Kalahi-CIDSS and 4Ps had been adopted by the national government as part of its anti-poverty “convergence strategy.”

Taha said they are currently continually expanding the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS and 4Ps to cover more poor residents, especially in remote parts of Mindanao.

“We’re looking forward to cover more communities and help lessen the hardships being suffered by our poor residents mainly due to lack of proper access to basic government services,” she said.

Taha earlier said the DSWD central office has allocated some P101 million for the expansion of Kalahi CIDSS, 4Ps and its livelihood component SEA-K program in Region 12 for this year.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato.

Under the Kalahi CIDSS, some P333.9 million worth of socio-economic projects have already been implemented in Region 12, benefiting some 189,160 households or roughly 1.1 million individuals in 13 impoverished municipalities of the region’s four provinces.(Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)