Teacher Donates to Kalahi-CIDSS Project in Masbate Town
High school teacher from Cataingan, Masbate handed down P5,000 as her personal contribution to the upcoming construction of a concrete pathway in a far-flung barangay of the said town.
The Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) Donors’ Forum held in Cataingan Astrodome last October 24 paved the way for Belma Vistones to share her haunting experience in barangay Abaca where she almost lost her twins when she was pregnant.
As a member of Department of Education (DepEd) Evaluation Team for their district, Belma needed to take the rough path in Abaca for more than an hour just to reach the next community to conduct their yearly assessment.
It was in 1989 when the incident happened. The slippery path caused Belma, who was pregnant with her twins, to slide. According to her, the road was steep and difficult to tread, especially during the wet season.
“Dahil din sa daan, nahihirapan talaga ang mga tao na magdala ng kanilang mga produkto sa palengke [People find it very difficult to transport their crops to the market because of the path],” she narrated.
The miserable situation in Abaca coupled with Belma’s unforgettable incident prompted her to give her own money for the construction of the proposed pathway in Abaca.
It was when Kalahi-CIDSS came to Cataingan this year that the opportunity came for Belma to become one of its community volunteers. She serves as one of the members of the Barangay Representation Team (BRT) in the poblacion barangay in Cataingan.
During their actual inter-barangay site visit, Belma and other BRT volunteers came to see all 36 barangays of Cataingan. The group recognized the difficulty experienced by the residents of Abaca and came to an accord that the community needed financial support from Kalahi-CIDSS to construct a concrete pathway.
BRT members represent the barangay in the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) for criteria setting and for prioritization. In behalf of the community, they select the projects which sub-projects will be funded and implemented through Kalahi-CIDSS. The BRT is composed of the Barangay Captain and another two members who are not public elected officials of the barangay.
Through MIBF-Participatory Resource Allocation (PRA), community proposals are ranked by the BRT members according to priority. At this stage of Kalahi-CIDSS project, proposed community projects like concrete pathways, school buildings, health centers, water systems, and other interventions are finally approved for funding.
Kalahi-CIDSS is the flagship poverty-alleviation program of the Philippine government which adopts the community-driven development (CDD) approach as its overall strategy in targeting the poorest municipalities in the country. It is one of the three core poverty alleviation programs implemented by DSWD in partnership with local government units (LGUs).
CDD empowers the communities by allowing the people themselves to determine what their needs are and what strategies can be utilized to address these. They also design and implement their chosen sub-project themselves, as well as manage the resources to be used in implementing this.
From 2003 to 2012, Kalahi-CIDSS project covered 48 municipalities from all of the six provinces of Bicol region, with a total of 1,327 barangays receiving development interventions for small-scale community projects. At present, Kalahi-CIDSS projects in Albay, Masbate, and Sorsogon are funded by World Bank, while those in Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur are financed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation of the United States of America.
In Cataingan, the total grant fund from Kalahi-CIDSS is P16,200,000 with 30% counterpart from the barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs). Cataingan is one of the new twenty (20) municipalities qualifying under the expansion of Kalahi-CIDSS in 2012. ###jmarbella