Kalahi-CIDSS expansion in Region 12 starts in July

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 June) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 will begin by next month the implementation of the expanded Kalahi-CIDSS program in 17 municipalities in the region.

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said Friday they are currently finalizing their preparations for the rollout of the program, which is dubbed Kalahi-CIDSS National Community Driven-Development Program (NCDDP).

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 national government earlier approved the scaling up of the community-driven development program this year as a national strategy for poverty-reduction.

The identified beneficiaries in the region are the municipalities of Glan, Kiamba, Maasim, and Maitum in Sarangani province; Alamada, Aleosan, Banisilan, Carmen and Pikit in North Cotabato; and, Bagumbayan, Isulan, Kalamansig, Lambayong, Lebak, Lutayan, Palimbang and Senator Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat.

Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Taha said they gathered the officials and stakeholders of the 17 municipalities earlier this week to set off the necessary preparations on the ground for the program’s full implementation.

She said the gathering, which was attended by 70 local officials, focused on getting the necessary support for the program from the beneficiary-municipalities.

She said the mayors of the 17 municipalities have all committed their full support to the program’s expansion in their areas.

Gemma Rivera, DSWD Region 12 assistant director, said the gathering of the local government officials specifically covered discussions on the conditions and requirements for the beneficiary-municipalities.

She said they engaged with the 17 local government units though the presentation of the program’s rationale, program design and objectives, expected outcomes and basic requirements for enrolment.

“We explored possible collaborations for the provision of technical assistance and other forms of support for the program,” she said in a statement.

Kalahi-CIDSS-NCDDP mainly aims to empower communities to achieve improved access to services and to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting and implementation of community-based socio-economic projects.

It aims to cover 5.4 million households in 847 municipalities of 58 provinces in the entire country.

The national government has set aside some P43.9 billion for the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS-NCDDP, which was also set as a support initiative to the government’s post-disaster response and development activities in areas affected by typhoon Yolanda.

The program is supported by loan grants from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. (MindaNews)