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The pillar of strength in a house of the elderly

Age can endure the test of time but the physical features that comes with it can change.

Visually, Ulysis Lubiano is described as severely thin wearing a wrinkled and leathery face due to overexposure to sun and extra hollow cheeks with puffiness under the eyes.

His appearance might pose that he is old and weak but he is strong enough to carry diverse loads in life.

Originally from a remote village in Monreal, Masbate, Ulysis and his family moved to the agricultural and fishing town of Pilar in Sorsogon province after he brought Esperanza, his spouse, to Manila to get medical attention for Myoma in 2004.

Esperanza has hard stomach lumps and experiences vomiting as an effect of her current health condition. She also deals with asthma.

Because of old age, she can no longer undergo a major operation for her Myoma.

Just like his ill wife, Ulysis has also an eye disease called Glaucoma that can lead to vision loss if left untreated but he dreads to seek for cure.

On the other hand, Ulysis is grasping at straws for their daily sustenance.

Three out of his eight children are residing nearby, however, all of them have their own families who cannot regularly support the frail couple.

“Wara man makakatabang ta puros man nagatios (No one can help because they are also poor)” he said.

Ulysis and his wife are now confined within the wooden walls of a run-down stilt house found in the squalid part of the town for almost 14 years.

But the physical and mental acuity of the 84-year old Ulysis is quite impressive who can manage to carry about 25 kilos of used cardboard boxes.

Evidently, dirt had already accumulated underneath his nails with the frequent contact with trash. He walks on bare feet and its skin had already hardened and soiled.

He is unschooled that is why he resorted to garbage collection and brushes off the threat of sustaining injuries whenever he manually handles heavy loads.

He rises at four in the morning with a cup of coffee for breakfast and departs their small abode to recover garbage in their village.

The first meal he eats is lunch after a laborious work at dawn.

He can vividly recall the moment when he collapsed because of an empty stomach.

Ulysis was immediately rushed to the hospital after he lost his consciousness because of fatigue.

On the other hand, the recycled items are sold to his distant relative in exchange for a meager amount.

According to him, he takes home an estimated income of PhP2,400 monthly.

He allocates the budget for food and medicines but barely affords to purchase antibiotics for his wife because of its costly price of PhP1,200 apiece.

But his income varies so they incur debt from a neighbor’s store for them to eat.

His youngest daughter, Rosie, a solo parent of five, gives them a minimal aid from her income as laundress.

She is also a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Rosie said that the 4Ps grant support her three children to buy rice and augments to their education, thus, gives assistance to her parents if she has extra money.

“Ang bunso ko iyo nadadalaganan ko ta iyo ini ang arani samuya dae kami pipabayaan kung wara kami (We can turn to our youngest child if we don’t have money because she is reliable and she only lives near us),” Ulysis said.

Moreover, the employer of Ulysis gave him three carts as a form of help, however, these carts were damaged that led him to the manual handling of the trash again.

Both Ulysis and Esperanza became recipients of the monthly stipend of PhP500 each for indigent senior citizens under the Social Pension Program implemented by the DSWD. Ulysis was enrolled in 2016 while his wife got in last year. To date, there are 195,107 Social Pension beneficiaries in Bicol while 33, 571 of which are in Sorsogon.

“Sa pension namun, ang sobra sa bulong; nakakaipon man kami; nakakabakal kami, sa diit-diit, makakabakal man ako sarong orig. Dakula baga ang tabang arog kaan sa origan (We buy medicines if we have excess from our pension. We also save the money and use it to buy a pig. The piggery is a huge healp),”

From 2016 to present, the couple bought four pigs from the grant they received from the government. The estimated profit from each pig is Php 5,000 to PhP7,000.

Back then, Ulysis prioritized his wife’s health so he decided to sell their livestock to cover the hospital bills.

At present, he plans to buy another hog to raise.

“Dae kami nahahalean ning orig para sa emergency (We cannot miss to take care of a pig because of we can rely on this in case of emergencies),” Ulysis explained.

Ulysis is weak but needs to work for his sick wife. He has Glaucoma while his wife has asthma and Myoma. Medicines and hospitalization for his wife are expensive. They cannot even afford to repair their dilapidated house.

But in the midst of this plight, Ulysis remains steadfast for his wife and children.

He wants to acquire another female swine and repair their dilapidated house.

“Sagkod su mga aki ko pag nagugbon iyan, makatabang man ako (I can even help my children if the pig farrows),” he added.

Ulysis’ will to conquer great challenges manifests bravery even at an old age who is supposed to receive utmost care and attention from their family.

But every person should remember that the elderly members of the society should be given the caregiving they deserve. However, it is the other way for Ulysis Lubiano who ignores his aged physique to salvage his family from the verge of hunger and poverty.

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All hands on deck: 83 days to build a spillway

Labo, Camarines Norte – Motorcycle ride going to Barangay Cabatuhan is the most fulfilling experience for the residents. Every time passengers pass by the Busig-on river, they can’t help but adore the majestic concrete spillway painted in yellow and black. Despite its magnificence, it wasn’t easy for the community to complete a project in 223 days especially they have a deadline to meet.

This infrastructure project is a product of collective action or Bayanihan of the community. At the other end of the spillway, names of the people involved in the sub-project were written on the big concrete marking shaped in letter K that stands for Kalahi.

From the town of Labo, one must travel for 56.5 kilometers to reach the barangay proper. Before, traveling to Cabatuhan has never been easy because one must have the confidence to cross the river and muddy rocky path.

According to Barangay Captain Dante Balog, Cabatuhan is one of the poorest barangays. Its main livelihood is farming.

He also specified the three main problems that Cabatuhan has experienced which are education, lack of livelihood and accessibility.

To solve the community problems, the residents saw the need of constructing a spillway that will serve as bridge for the services they may acquire at the town proper.

Shirley Yago, 39, community volunteer shared her unforgettable experience when braving to cross the river.

Noon, kapag tumatawid kami, inaabot kami ng gabi para lang humupa ang ilog kasi napakalalim ng tubig. May balsa naman po pero malakas ang agos ng tubig. (In the past, there are times we spent the night along the road waiting for the flood to subside. The raft cannot traverse because of the strong current),” Yago recounted.

Muntik na rin ako mawalan ng buhay kasi nagbleeding ako noon hindi ko nga alam kung aabot pa ako kasi sa hirap tumawid (One time, I thought I was about to die because of excessive bleeding. I don’t have any idea if I can still survive because of the difficulty to cross the river),” she added.

Balog also claimed how crossing Busig-on became life threatening.

May nararanasan kami na mayroon kaming patay sa barangay na hindi mailibing kasi hindi maitawid ang bangkay sa ilog (There was an instance that we were not able to hold a funeral for the dead because of the difficulty to cross the river),” he said.

He also added that pregnant women are forced to give birth in their respective homes which is dangerous),” he added.

For the residents of Cabatuhan, the courage to continue for progress has been the most invaluable act of bravery.

With their participation for development, the spillway sub-project was prioritized under the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS).

The DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS is a program that helps in empowering communities to be part in decision-making, planning and project implementation, thus; reviving the Bayanihan spirit.

From 223 days to 83 days

The implementation of spillway has never been easy because the sub-project must be completed by May 2018 before the closing of Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded sub-projects.

According to its program of works, the spillway is expected to be finished in 223 days, but the construction started in March 10, 2018 which is beyond the prescribed deadline.

The community volunteers together with the barangay council come up with a plan that will ensure the speedy construction.

The barangay captain encouraged all skilled construction workers in their area to help in the sub-project.

Ang aming manpower sa tulong ng volunteer at mga mamamayan ng Cabatuhan, ay nagawa itong mabilis dahil sa lahat ng aming skilled workers ay dito namin ipinokus maging ang aming ibang proyekto sa aming barangay pansamantalang itinigil upang ibuhos namin dito yung labor force (Our village’s manpower with the help of volunteers and residents of Cabatuhan was able to meet the deadline. The skilled workers also prioritized the community project. We also paused the ongoing projects in the barangay to pour out the labor force for the sub-project.),” Balog explained.

The community also created two shifting system for the workers to cover all tasks needed to complete the construction.

According to Yago, community volunteer as well as laborer during the construction, they would work from 7:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon. Also, their two-shifting system were interchanged in two-weeks interval.

She also said that being a laborer made a great experience for her as a woman.

Hindi ko malilimutan na nakaranas ako ng trabaho ng lalaki, na kaya pala ng babae (I won’t forget working as a laborer which is believed to be exclusive only for men, but I was able to prove that women can also do the same,” she stated.

With the efforts of the community, the concrete spillway was finished last May 31, 2018 in which it was completed only in 83 days. This is 140 days advance as compared to the expected days of completion.

It might be considered as work of miracle, but it is a real manifestation that there are many possibilities in the impossible.

Just like what Tommy Lasorda, well-known former manager of Los Angeles Dodgers had said that the difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.

The will to continue despite facing big problems can be the best experience for a human that life isn’t just filled with dreams and aspirations but a sack full of effort.

For Yago, it is the happiest moment for her to achieve something beyond from what she has expected.

Napakasaya, napakagaan sa loob na nakikita na andiyan ang project. Nakikita ko rin yung pangalan namin na nakapaskil sa may spillway. Ito ay hindi lang sa akin pati rin sa mga anak ko (I felt so happy and fulfilled seeing the project. I am also proud to see my name painted along the spillway. This project won’t be just for me but also for my children),” she said.

The hard work and willpower of the community members became their 83 steps to great fulfillment and start for new developments. /ramsertan

About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Camarines Norte has implemented Kalahi-CIDSS in 12 municipalities with a total implementation grant of PhP 487,952,930.00 and local counterpart contribution of Php 7,735,912.43 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated Labo with PhP 60,000,000.00 with a counterpart from the LGU of Php 336,883.75.

The construction of concrete spillway has a total project cost of PhP 4,384,105.00 which will benefit 273 households.

For more details about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, follow this link:

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DSWD and partners host 26th Family Week Celebration

More than 100 individuals joined the kickoff event of the Family Week Celebration today at Albay Astrodome. This aims to emphasize the appreciation and development of the family as the cornerstone of our country. Likewise, it wants to communicate the importance of having quality time with the family.

Legazpi City— The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V and its partners celebrate the 26th Family Week by hosting series of activities this month of September adopting the theme: “Tungo sa Maginhawa, Matatag at Panatag na Pamilyang Pilipino”.

The said theme follows the Ambisyon Natin 2040 of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) that embodies the ambitions of the Filipino families for the next 25 years.

Earlier, the Regional Inter-Agency Committee (RIAC) on Filipino Family members officially launched the Family Week with a fun walk from Bicol University grounds to Albay Astrodome followed by a Zumba for the participants.

Dir. Arnel Garcia who joined the kickoff event today emphasized that any family can withstand shifting environments if they have built strong foundations.

He said that DSWD alone cannot eliminate poverty without the help of the poor families who are willing to make their lives better.

“We need to muster our efforts, the government agencies, private organizations and the people, to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty,” Dir. Garcia said.

On the other hand, he also thanked the RIAC member-agencies for their efforts to organize the Family Week events.

The national government agencies that are present earlier in the opening program were Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Audit (COA), NEDA, National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), Population Commission (POPCOM), Philippine National Police (PNP) and two faith-based organizations, namely, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventist.

Also, a Family Forum is scheduled on September 27, 2018 at FICC Amphitheatre, BU East Campus, Legazpi City with 200 individuals who will receive lectures and discussions about the following topics: Addiction Recovery for Families, Migration and Families, Issues in Families with Aging Members, Child Safety at Home and in the Community and Family Friendly Laws.

The Dionisio Family of Labo, Camarines Norte will be awrded during the said forum as the Regional Winner for this year’s Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). They will receive a plaque and PhP15,000.00 cash prize.

Every year, the Family Week is celebrated every fourth week of September. This is based on Presidential Proclamation No. 60 signed by former president, Fidel V. Ramos on September 28, 1992. It aims to emphasize the appreciation and development of the family as the cornerstone of our country. Likewise, it wants to communicate the importance of having quality time with our family.

The RIAC on Filipino Family was formed as the regional counterpart of the National Steering Committee chaired by DSWD. The steering committee develops plan and implements programs and activities in public and private sectors for Family Week observance. The committee is also tasked to raise the awareness of every Filipino in the issues facing the Filipino family and its effect on each member.

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DSWD Region V readies for Typhoon Ompong

Legazpi City— DSWD Region V is ready to provide relief augmentation to local government units (LGUs) that will be affected by Typhoon Ompong which entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) yesterday.

Signal No. 1 is now raised in five provinces (except for Masbate) in Bicol based on the 5 am weather bulletin of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“We are ready to provide additional aid to the affected LGUs as soon as we receive their disaster report and letter request,” DSWD Regional Dir. Arnel Garcia added.

The available standby funds at the DSWD Region V amounts to Php3,229,182.32 that can be used anytime a disaster hits the region

Currently, the warehouse stock of DSWD Region V which is located in Legazpi City contains the following items: 11,360 family food packs (FFPs), 376 tents, 9,066 sleeping kits, 623 dignity kits, 1,998 family kits, 2,297 hygiene kits, 115,296 malong, 327 laminated sacks and 46,350 blankets.

A DSWD FFP contains six (6) kilos of rice, four (4) tin cans of corned beef, four (4) tin cans of sardines and six (6) packs of energy drink or coffee sufficient for five members of a family good for two days.

The LGUs also provide relief supplies to affected families but the packaging and content may vary.

The DSWD provided a total of 21,837 FFPs and 32,600 malong which were prepositioned to all provinces in Bicol except for Masbate.

Emergency Management Team (EMT) activated
DSWD activated its Emergency Management Team (EMT) in each province yesterday that will coordinate and monitor the humanitarian relief assistance to affected areas.

The teams are closely working with the LGUs through the Provincial or Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (P/MDRRMO) to gather disaster reports and updates.

Also, the EMT at the Regional Office has started its duty today to consolidate disaster reports coming from LGUs that will serve as the basis if the affected LGU needs an augmentation from DSWD.

As of the writing, there are no evacuees recorded. Based on the DSWD Disaster Report, there are 157 stranded individuals at Tabaco and Pioduran ports in Albay province while there are 30 strandees at Pasacao Port in Camarines Sur. There are also 458 stranded passengers in Sorsogon (Pilar and Matnog ports).

Selling of relief goods prohibited
“We do not tolerate the selling and buying of the Department’s relief goods. Kindly report to our DSWD staff deployed at the city or municipal hall if they encountered this,” Dir. Garcia said.

Those who commit any of the prohibited acts face a fine ranging from P50,000 – P500,000 or imprisonment of six years up to 12 years
Section 19 of RA10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 prohibits the selling of relief goods, equipment, or other aid commodities intended for distribution to disaster victims. It also prohibits buying, either for consumption or resale, of relief supplies both from disaster relief agencies and from the recipient disaster-affected persons.

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LGU Calabanga adopts DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS’ Municipal Talakayan

The municipality of Calabanga, Camarines Sur spearheaded the Municipal Talakayan with the theme, “Progresibong Calabanga, Pagtarabangan” last September 4, 2018 at Calabanga Peoples’ Center – Octagon.

During the event, Municipal Mayor Eduardo Severo presented the accomplishments and plans for the municipality.

According to Mayor Severo, the local government unit (LGU) plans to convert the open dumpsite into an eco-tourism park. He also proposes the rehabilitation of public market and terminal as well as the construction of livelihood training center.

The activity was attended by the Civic Society Organizations (CSOs), Persons with Disability (PWDs), senior citizens, academe, department heads, community volunteers, barangay captains, Area/Municipal Coordinating Team (A/MCT), uniformed personnel, Department of Health (DOH), daycare workers and school heads.

The Municipal Talakayan is an evaluation tool which has been designed to capture and assess a “snapshot” of the overall development of municipalities being assisted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS)

This is conducted annually in municipalities implementing DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS wherein community citizens, local government officials, organized local groups meet and discuss their development situation, issues and identify actions to address concerns at the municipal level.

The Talakayan also increases the local stakeholders’ awareness on the development status of the municipality. The event also provides an avenue for systematic face-to-face feedback from the stakeholders.

Since the evaluation tool has been proven effective in achieving transparency in the municipality, the LGU fronted this year’s Talakayan instead of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

Mayor Severo cited that he adopted DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS’ Municipal Talakayan because he wants the constituents to know the programs and projects of the municipality.

According to Engr. Filipina E. Celso, EnP, the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC) and Municipal Area Coordinator (MAC), the municipality would like to conduct the activity yearly starting this 2018.

“Gagawa ng resolusyon ang Sangguniang Bayan para ipagpatuloy ang aktibidad sa mga susunod na taon na siyang paraan para ibahagi ang mga plano at proyektong naisakatuparan (The Municipal Council will craft a resolution to continue the activity for the succeeding years that serves as avenue of the LGU to share the accomplishments and plans for the municipality),” she said.

Likewise, municipalities of Ragay and Gainza in Camarines Sur will also conduct LGU-led Municipal Talakayan.

To date, Calabanga has 47 community projects under DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS wherein 39 are completed and eight (8) are ongoing with a total implementation grant of Php 82,310,717.91 and local counterpart contribution of Php 4,510,130.00. #PRRAMS2018Sep06

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DSWD 4Ps Bicol conducts LGU Stakeholders Conference

DSWD Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia giving message to the Mayor’s of Camarines Sur

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Bicol held a Local Government Unit (LGU) Stakeholder’s Conference at Prime Days Hotel, Naga City last August 28, 2018.

The activity aims to provide the status of implementation of 4Ps in Bicol Region to Local Chief Executives (LCEs) of various Municipalities in the Province of Camarines Sur.

According to Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, the forum is the Program’s way to reach out to the LCEs in order to address their concerns or other issues about the programs and services being extended by DSWD.

A total of 45 participants attended the said activity which includes the Municipal Mayors and other LGU Representatives.

The Municipal Mayors who attended the conference are Hon. Anthony Reyes of Milaor, Hon. Filimon Goyer of Presentacion, Hon. Ace Cruz of Pamplona, Hon. Oscar Borja of Bombon, Hon. Tomas Bongalonta of Pili.

During the said activity, an orientation about 4Ps was discussed by Provincial Link Arlene Fabellare while the status of accomplishments of the program was presented by Camarines Sur Provincial Link Rina Apuyan.

Thereafter, an open forum with the Mayors ensued to address issues on 4Ps and other programs extended by DSWD.

Meanwhile, Social Welfare Officer III Ma. Magdalena T. Magallano presented the various activities, other initiatives conducted by the Program and other issues that needs to be addressed under 4Ps implementation.

According to Dir. Garcia, the same conference will be conducted on August 29, 2018 to Barangay Captains of various Municipalities in Camarines Sur. “Also, the conference was already conducted in Masbate, Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte while Albay is scheduled on September 5, 2018,” he added.

To date, there are 373, 853 household 4Ps beneficiaries in Bicol Region. ***G.Lindio-4Ps-IO

Municipal Mayor Ace Cruz of Pamplona, Camarines Sur clarifying issues about Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA)

Dir. Garcia with the Mayors of Camarines Sur


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DSWD-Bicol registers indigent households for cash subsidy program

Legazpi City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V conducts simultaneous registration of the Listahanan-identified poor households as beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program in all local government units (LGUs) in Bicol Region.

“The poor households identified by Listahanan were the results of the validation conducted in the first semester of this year. The validation aims to update their family profile and ensure that they belong to the poorest households in the region”, explained DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia.

The regional office has an ongoing registration of 102,853 beneficiaries who are entitled to receive the cash aid under UCT. The agency targets to distribute the UCT cash grants to the Listahanan-identified poor households this year.

The said registration is being conducted in the municipalities and barangays in coordination with the local government units (LGUs).

During the registration, beneficiaries need to submit three (3) pieces 2×2 photos and one (1) photocopy of a valid government-issued ID. Likewise, they must accomplish the Landbank Cash Card Enrollment form. The beneficiaries will be notified by the Barangay Council and Municipal or City LGU of the UCT registration schedule.

For UCT program, as stipulated in RA 10963 or the TRAIN Law, qualified beneficiaries include the Pantawid Pamilya households, indigent senior citizens of the Social Pension program and the poor households identified by Listahanan.

The UCT is the cash subsidy provision of the government to the poor who will be adversely affected by the rising prices of primary commodities as the effect of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law implementation.

The program provides one-time unconditional cash grant of 2,400 equivalent to 200 per month this 2018. This will increase to 3,600 or 300 per month in the succeeding two years.

Formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), Listahanan is an information management system that identifies WHO and WHERE the poor are in the country. It serves as the baseline for the identification of potential beneficiaries of the social protection programs.

Meanwhile, Dir. Garcia clarified that being poor in the Listahanan database does not mean that the household will automatically be a recipient of any program.

“The identified poor households in the Listahanan will be prioritized if there are programs to be implemented but this will again undergo eligibility procedures based on the program requirements”, Garcia said.###

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A people-centered town beyond Community Driven Development

Municipal Mayor Josephine Alcantara-Cruz of Donsol, Sorsogon elucidates how she adopted Community-Driven Development (CDD) in her municipality.

Planning or deciding for yourself is a difficult task to do. How about the weight people carry on their hands in planning, budgeting and implementing projects to fulfill the needs or solve problems of the community as well as the country?

Making the right choices is not decided by one person or a group of individuals but the whole community itself because programs are executed to benefit many people for greater development outcomes.

This kind of intervention was made realized by an approach called Community Driven Development (CDD) wherein it actively engages beneficiaries in designing, managing and implementing development projects.

CDD is widely used in developing countries. Considered as an effective intervention in giving opportunities for vulnerable sectors in community participation and empowerment, CDD is being executed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) in helping communities identify their needs or problems to improve the delivery of services, reduce poverty and good local governance.

Through this strategy, many adopted the process to continue the collective action of communities particularly the municipality of Donsol.


At first, Donsol Municipal Mayor Josephine Alcantara-Cruz had some questions unanswered about the program.

Mayor Cruz narrated her experience on how she was oriented about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

“On a program orientation for the mayors way back in 2013, doon ko lang na-realize na hindi lang ako yung mayor na naliligaw at hindi nakakaintindi sa Kalahi-CIDSS projects ang dami pala namin (On an orientation for the mayors, I realized that I’m not the only one who is confused and doesn’t understand the program),” she recounted.

According to her, there was another mayor who vocally expressed sentiments questioning if there’s any trust for the mayors and why the funds should be directed to the community.

The local chief executive recalled that all mayors have similar questions:

Ano ba kasi yung Kalahi [-CIDSS] na yan (What is really Kalahi [-CIDSS])?”

Bakit ayaw ibigay at ipadaan sa mayor (Why are funds not directed to the mayors)?”

Bakit limitado ang role ng mayor sa mga proyekto (Why is the role of mayor limited)? Wala ba kayo tiwala sa amin (Do you have any trust in us)?”

Those were the statements that Mayor Cruz cannot forget.

“From there I took the effort of educating myself about Kalahi [-CIDSS] through trainings conducted for the community volunteers,” she said.

Mayor Cruz also raised the issue on volunteerism of barrio folks considering they don’t receive any salary for their efforts but she realized something upon attending the National Community Volunteers’ Congress and 3rd National Bayani Ka! Awards last 2017.

Nag-breakout session (we had a breakout session), then the volunteers started to share their stories about their experiences and sacrifices to improve their community. Gusto ko umiyak doon, sa dami na nai-share nila (During that time, I wanted to cry because of so many things they have shared),” the municipal mayor recounted.

“Others were so passionate na dahil sa volunteerism, nagkaroon sila ng self-worth na may magagawa sila (Others were so passionate. Because of volunteerism, they earned self-worth and they have something they can do for the community),” she added.


Despite doubts on the concept of the program, Mayor Cruz had observed the transformation in each person.

Nakikita ko yung Kalahi [-CIDSS] na parang University for the Barrio Folks (I see Kalahi [-CIDSS] as University for the Barrio Folks),” she stated.

Yung mga walang chance makapag-aral, nakakapag-aral na sila. Natututo sila ng bookkeeping, procurement, paano maghandle ng tao at operations (People who doesn’t have a chance to study were able to learn. They also gained new knowledge such as bookkeeping, procurement, managing and operations),” Mayor Cruz added.

The rationale of the program is to follow the concept of CDD through the application of the strategy in programs to be implemented and needed by barrio folks.

She also added that the first thing they did is the Community-Based Management System (CBMS) wherein they were able to establish the 201 filing system of each barangay containing the salient information such as population, livelihood as well as the problems experienced in the community.

“From here, lahat na proyekto o programang i-implement namin ay base sa data hindi kung saan lang ang gusto kung ano ang dapat (From here, all projects or programs to be implemented are based on a data not just through wants but what is right and needed),” Mayor Cruz stated.

Along with the creation of the OBA, Mayor Cruz also approved the creation of a regular position for the said office.

Among the responsibilities of the position are to assist the barangay in conducting consultations, dialogues and fora for genuine needs analysis and come up with relevant and responsive programs and projects for the people.

Also, OBA will conduct a feedback gathering mechanism among the people regarding the effectiveness of the general programs being implemented by the barangay and municipality.

According to Edwin Orticio, Planning and Development Coordinator, the projects that were not prioritized for funding of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS are included in the Annual Investment Program.

“In the adoption of CDD, the people must participate in the planning process and in the monitoring of the projects,” Orticio added.

Mayor Cruz also shared that she is trying her best to convert the municipality from mayor centered town to community-centered town wherein the people will have an ownership of everything that happens in the community.

“Ang gumagawa at may pag-aari ay ang community hindi lang ang LGU and hopefully this will bring us to next generation and beyond (The people are the ones who have role and ownership in the community, not just the LGU and hopefully, this will bring us to the next generation and beyond),” she added.

Through CDD, the municipality was able to step up beyond from what is expected in the implementation of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS as well as reliving collective action, thus; creating a new chapter in strengthening Bayanihan as one of the most valuable traits of being a Filipino.


About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Sorsogon has implemented Kalahi-CIDSS in 14 municipalities with a total implementation grant of PhP 697,428,961.11 and local counterpart contribution of Php 15,173,647.00 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated Donsol with PhP 66,588,200.00 with a counterpart from the LGU of Php 351,431.00.

For more details about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, follow this link:


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