GENERAL SANTOS CITY(MindaNews/3 May) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to implement around P92 million worth of additional poverty alleviation projects in Region 12 through the Bottom-Up Planning and Budgeting (BUB) or participatory budgeting approach.
Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said Friday the agency is currently on the social preparation stage for the initiative, which is targeted to benefit 25 municipalities in three provinces in the region.
Region 12, also called the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
Under the program, the official said Sultan Kudarat province will get the biggest share of the BUB funding with P41.07 million while the provinces of North Cotabato and Sarangani will receive P30.44 and P20.20 million, respectively.
She said the implementation of the BUB projects will start in June and will be placed under the agency’s core-protection programs.
The projects include the construction and rehabilitation of day care centers, social development centers, potable water systems and other social infrastructure projects, she said.
Taha said these projects will be implemented through its flagship anti-poverty program Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services or (Kalahi-CIDSS).
“We already communicated these projects to the local government units (LGUs) and we are presently doing some follow-ups regarding the submission of the required documents and the setting of the necessary ground works for their implementation,” Taha said in a statement.
The agency’s Sustainable Livelihood Program unit will be handling the skills enhancement, provision of production and training centers and capital assistance, micro-financing, cash-for-work and other livelihood and entrepreneurial services in support of the initiative.
She said the DSWD-12’s Protective Services Bureau will spearhead the construction of women and children crisis centers as well as community learning centers.
It will handle the provision of shelter assistance, social pension for senior citizens, strengthening of initiatives for persons with disabilities or PWDs, supplemental feeding and other community-based welfare and development projects, Taha said.
The official said the municipalities of Lebak, Lutayan, Lambayong and Isulan in Sultan Kudarat and Magpet in North Cotabato were given the privilege to directly implement the identified projects in their areas.
“These are LGUs that were given the Seal of Good Housekeeping, have no unliquidated cash advances and have technical capability to implement the projects,” she said.
BUB is a planning and budgeting approach in the formulation of the budget proposals of government agencies, taking into consideration the development of poor cities and municipalities as identified in their respective local poverty reduction action plans as endorsed by the basic sectors and civil society organizations.
The implementation of the bottom-up planning and budgeting for the fiscal year budget preparation was mainly aimed at further reducing the poverty incidence in the country in consonance with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
For 2013, a total of P8.39 billion worth of projects will be implemented across the country by 13 national government agencies through the BUB approach. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)