AusAID to fund 41 school buildings in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 6 July) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 is pushing for the completion before yearend of 41 additional school buildings and day care center projects in the region that were funded by the Australian government.

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said the school building projects were part of a grant released by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to sustain the implementation of the national government’s flagship anti-poverty program Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

She said AusAID earlier forged a partnership with the DSWD to fund proposed school buildings and day care centers in the country through the Kalahi-CIDSS program.

Taha said AusAID specifically committed to finance the construction of 35 school building projects and seven day care centers worth around P62.21 million in 40 remote villages in the region.

Earlier this week, Taha said a two-classroom school building unit that was funded by the program was completed in Barangay Kolambog, Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat province.

The school building project, which cost around P1.299 million, is the first project that was completed in the region through the AusAID fund, she said.

Taha said the newly-completed classroom building is now being used by pupils of the Kolambog Elementary School.

“It helped solve the school’s problems with its dilapidated, overcrowded and makeshift learning facilities,” she said in a statement.

The official said that with the opening of the new school building, Kolambog Elementary School pupils “no longer jostle for space” during their classes.

“It provided more conducive learning environment for young eager learners so we expect that it will eventually improve the quality of education at the school,” Taha said.

Kalahi-CIDSS, which is also supported by the World Bank, forms part of the three-pronged anti-poverty convergence programs of the national government that are implemented by the DSWD.

Dubbed “Tatsulok,” the initiative includes the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps and Sustainable Livelihood Program.

Under the Kalahi-CIDSS, poor communities are capacitated to analyze their own problems, manage, plan, and implement their identified project to answer their pressing needs.

In Region 12, the project was able to help build various community infrastructure projects such as school buildings, bridges, health stations, water systems, day care centers, roads, post-harvest facilities, and other common services.