DSWD eyes wider Kalahi-CIDSS coverage in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY(MindaNews/22 December) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 is working for the expansion of the coverage next year of the national government’s flagship socio-economic program Kalahi-CIDSS in nine more municipalities in the region.

Gemma Rivera, DSWD-12 assistant director, said the preparatory activities are now underway for the implementation of the enhanced Kalahi-CIDSS in 34 impoverished towns within the region’s four provinces.

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.

In Region 12, the agency said a total of 25 municipalities have benefited from the program in the last 10 years.

Under its additional financing component that started in 2010, a total of 13 towns were enlisted as beneficiaries and five of them presently have ongoing projects.

The region, which is also known as 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.

Rivera said the expansion of the program, which had adopted the community-driven development approach as main strategy, is part of its planned “scaling up” in 900 municipalities of 15 regions nationwide.

The initiative, which presently covers 364 towns in 12 regions, will be expanded into the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP), she said.

“Supposedly the launching will be done this month but it was reset to early next year because of super typhoon Yolanda and other recent calamities,” Rivera told MindaNews.

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD-12 director, said the NCDDP mainly aims to provide poor communities with access to services and increase their participation in a more inclusive local planning, budgeting and implementation.

Under the NCDDP, the project’s expansion area covers municipalities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Of the 15 regions, 19,395 barangays from 900 municipalities in 68 provinces will be included in the program.

Aside from the expansion of the Kalahi-CIDSS, the official added that the agency is also set to expand its convergence strategy to improve access to health and education facilities, as well as livelihood opportunities.(MindaNews)