Community organizations recognized in National BAYANi Ka! Awards

Eight (8) community-based organizations from the Cordillera Administrative Region were recognized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development during the 5th BAYANi Ka!
Awards held in Butuan City on August 13, 2019.

The organizations has been active partners of DSWD in the implementation of the Kapit-bisig Laban Sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). Kalahi-CIDSS is an anti-poverty program of the department which uses thecommunity-driven development approach to empower communities, to reduce poverty, and improve local governance.

The BAYANi Ka! Awards is an annual recognition event for program partners who showed
exemplary dedication in the implementation KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP by putting their bayan
(community) first before themselves (i).

Four community-based organizations in Kapangan, Benguet took the pride of being the
BAYANi for improved local governance, indigenous peoples welfare, gender and
development, and peace promotion. These are Cayapes Kapangan Irrigators Association
Incorporated, Barangay Sub-project Management Committee of Pudong Kapangan,
Cayapes Womens Organization and Datakan Women’s Brigade.

There are also two organizations in Pudtol, Apayao that were recognized under the BAYANi
Ka! for Environmental Protection, and Youth category. These are the San Jose Upland
Farmers’ Association and Amkiland Youth Organization.

Further, the Natubleng Ladies Association of Buguias, Benguet was acknowledged under
the Sustained Community Volunteers Group category while the Senior Citizens of Barangay
Quidaoen of San Juan, Abra was awarded as BAYANi under the elderly category.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista lauded the BAYANi Ka! Awardees for their
selfless service to their communities. He added that with the 600,000 community volunteers
around the country, the department is assured that the sub-projects built through Kalahi-
CIDSS will benefit of most of the community members.

Meanwhile as part of the National Community Volunteers’ Congress which followed the
BAYANi Ka! Awarding on August 14 and 15, participants from the 15 Regions covered by
Kalahi-CIDSS visited communities in Surigao Del Sur and Agusan Del Norte that
implemented Kalahi-CIDSS.

The participants shared their common and unique experiences in implementing a
community-driven development program through a focused group discussions with fellow
community volunteers in the municipalities of Carmen, Agusan Del Norte, and in San
Agustin, Barobo and Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur. They also visited sub-projects implemented
in the said municipalities.

After the activities, Community Volunteer Roger Garcia from Kapangan, Benguet reflected
that Kalahi-CIDSS should be continued as a program of DSWD since it has helped so many
communities. “Based on what I saw and heard during the event, the [Kalahi-CIDSS]
implements projects that are needed by the communities,” he added.

Garcia also agreed with Surigao Del Sur Representative Johnny T. Pimentel who said during
his inspirational message that the process of implementing projects should start from the
bottom to top and not the other way around; to ensure that projects will really benefit the
communities. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Jasmin Kiaso

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DSWD to provide livelihood assistance to 3,979 IDPs

CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION – A total of 3,979 individuals affected by the onslaught of TY Ompong and Rosita in the region, will be receiving livelihood assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

This livelihood assistance is a Php 20,000.00 worth of Seed Capital Fund (SCF) grant in support to the initiative of providing start-up capital for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) for the establishment or rehabilitation of their livelihoods.

In 2018, the Department has already distributed livelihood assistance to more than 300 IDPs affected by the typhoon resulting to their loss of livelihood in Itogon. The release of assistance to the remaining 446 IDPs of Apayao, Ifugao, and Mountain Province will be within the month of May, while the 3,533 IDPs of Benguet and Kalinga will be after the Commission on Election’s (COMELEC) election ban.

The ban on disbursements from March 29 to May 12 aims to prevent the misuse of government funds to sway voters in the May 13 midterm elections. The ban covers the release, disbursement, or expenditure of public funds.

On April 4, 2019, DSWD received a resolution from COMELEC approving the petition of the Department for the authority to continue its ongoing disaster relief, early recovery and rehabilitation efforts, and to undertake possible relief, early recovery and rehabilitation efforts during the election period.

However, during the 45-day election ban period, the total disbursements for the program should not exceed 25% of the 2019 annual budget of SLP, which amounts to PhP12, 537,428.50 that could only cover available checks for the IDPs of Apayao, Ifugao, and Mountain Province.

Thus, disbursement of available checks of assistance for Benguet and Kalinga will be on hold since it sums to PhP70, 660, 000.00 that exceeds the 25% limitation of COMELEC’s election ban.

“We seek for your understanding during this period, rest assured that after the lifting of the election ban all available checks for IDPs of Benguet and Kalinga will be disbursed,” said Director Janet P. Armas. #DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Babble Mae Gorio

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Floods No More

Looking around the community, it looks as if it had always been healthy and typical for a lowland barangay. Patches of vegetable farms and sporadic fruits trees can be seen around the community. It is difficult to imagine what the community looks like a year ago.

Barangay Guimba, San Juan, Abra is plagued by floods especially during the rainy season.  Residents cannot plant in their farms or engage in livestock farming since knowing by experience, they will eventually lose those to the floods. Community members are too focused in taking care of their families and saving their properties during extreme weather conditions.

Punong Barangay Ricky Bernos narrated that whenever a typhoon hits the province, the community would keep watch of the Malanas River, which is roughly 15 meters away from the major residences.

“The flood became a usual thing in our barangay, so we are already used for overnight watch during disasters,” Bernos stated in vernacular. Sometimes, we would spend all day evacuating once we are informed of a typhoon or monsoon rains, he added.

Bernos also related that there were efforts of the local government unit to build a flood control. However, the flood control only made a small difference. “Our community is still flooded whenever the river swells,” Bernos continued.

“When we first heard about Kalahi-CIDSS, we grabbed the opportunity to partner with the program as we learned that they could help us build our capacities at the same time assist us implement a community project,” Bernos recalls. Unfortunately, the barangay was not prioritized during the first cycle implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS.

Bernos remembers that many community volunteers were dismayed after they did not make it to the priority projects to be implemented in 2016.

Disappointed as they may have been, they were still persistent that their time will come to implement their proposal to build a better flood control along the Malanas River. Without giving up, the barangay officials and community volunteers worked even harder to convince the assembly during an inter-barangay forum that they need to improve their flood control sooner than later. Their efforts paid off as their barangay was prioritized to implement the cycle 2 of the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

 

Journey towards completing a community project

Severina Bosque, one of the community volunteers during the second cycle implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS reflected that it was not easy for them to follow the processes in implementing the program. “There were many times that we got overwhelmed on the processes we have to learn in implementing a project. Along the way, we all seem to be running out patience,” she said while letting out a sigh.

Mobilizing the community members is another challenge they had to tread. According to her, many residents doubted the success rate of program after they were not prioritized during the first cycle.

Holding on with the encouragement of their barangay officials and DSWD staff, the community’s doubts and sighs were replaced with smiles and laughter after their project proposal landed the top priority for the second cycle of Kalahi-CIDSS in their municipality.

The community volunteers had mixed feelings of excitement and worry, as it was their first time implementing a community project. “Our worries faded since the Kalahi-CIDSS staff assured us that they will provide trainings,” Severina shared. She also mentioned that she was happy to work as a paid laborer during the construction of the flood control. “I worked mostly on the hauling of aggregates and materials for the project,” she recalled.

After the project was completed in 2017, the community members did not yet feel the benefits of the improved flood control until the monsoon rains, which lasted for a month, affected the barangay on August 2018.

“It feels like a huge burden was lifted from our chest,” Punong Barangay Ricky Bernos commented when asked about their situation during the monsoon rains. “Our barangay didn’t experience flood in 2018,” he continued.

The 421 linear meter flood control now stands as a proof of cooperation and resilience of the people of Barangay Guimba. Cheers, to floods no more.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a program of DSWD that uses the community-driven development process as a strategy in poverty alleviation. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Jasmin Kiaso

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Community Gets Refreshed with New Water System

With each vigorous pump, the well brings forth generous amount of water. The bucket was almost full when the teenager stopped to wipe off his sweat using the back of his hand. He told our team that he has been fetching water from the well since he came home from school.

This is the daily life of every household in Barangay Tagodtod in Lagangilang, Abra. The residents have to manually pump water for household uses. Marites Molina, a resident of the barangay, says that her family has been living without stable water supply as far as she can remember. “Nagrigat ah! (It is tough!),” she exclaimed when asked about how they manage their daily water needs.

Barangay Tagodtod, where around 358 households live, is being supplied by the municipality’s water district. However, its water supply is not sufficient to cater to the needs of every resident in the town.

According to Marites, water from the district is available for two hours only within the day. “We get to fill our water containers for two hours, but this is not enough for our kitchen, laundry, and for our bathroom needs,” she said.

When DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS was introduced to them in 2015, little did they know that their situation was about change ─ but not after going through a process and leaping through challenges.

During the first barangay assembly, Marites volunteered to join the project preparation team, where their main responsibility is to prepare the project proposal. Finally, this was her perfect chance to help end their struggle for safe and sufficient water for her community.

Marites says that preparing the project proposal was challenging. It was their first time doing it. She, however, expressed that the three-day training helped them to craft a proposal for a Level II Water System in their barangay.

Creating their own proposal was a success, but the implementation of such seemed elusive for them. The community was dismayed when they were not prioritized to implement their proposed sub-project during the first cycle of Kalahi-CIDSS. At that time, they had their first failure. Nevertheless, still, holding on with a tinge of hope, they were determined to make their proposal a reality.

Finally, in 2017 their persistence won them more than PhP 1.7 million budget to implement an electric-driven water supply system.

According to the community volunteers, the implementation of their sub-project went by smoothly and finally on February 2018, Barangay Tagodtod Electric-driven Water Supply System was completed.

Barangay Sub-project Management Committee Chair Salvador Viste, Sr. proudly told the visiting staff of Kalahi-CIDSS that the water system is already supplying over 250 households.

 

After care and maintenance of the water system

Completing the proposed sub-project refreshed and eased the residents of Barangay Tagodtod from their daily struggle for water. However, after the turnover of the project, the community members have to manage and maintain the water system on their own, which is even a greater task.

After a series of consultations and planning, the Tagodtod Barangay Water and Sanitation Association (TAGBAWASA) was designated to manage the operation and maintenance of the water system.

According to Viste, who is now the president of TAGBAWASA, there are obvious changes around the community after the water system started operating. “There are already vegetable gardens around the community because we can already grow them without relying on the rains,” he says. Improvement of health and sanitation in the barangay is also perceived.

As the operation and maintenance group of the water system, the TAGBAWASA has established officers and collectors to manage the project after it was turned over to them.

“We started from zero (budget), but we were able to start the operation [of the water system,” he shared. The organization collected 20 pesos membership fee to have a start-up budget to finally start operating their water system. As of November 2018, members of the association increased from 218 to 255. It is expected that the remaining households in the barangay will join the association soon.

Since the water system started operating, the association recorded at least PhP 22,000.00 pesos collection per month.

Further, the water system generated employment for the community members as officers and collectors as well as meter readers are receiving honorariums of at least 500 monthly.

The association also works closely with the Barangay Local Government Unit to improve their services. The BLGU even financed the fencing of a tank in the barangay. “Since the membership in the association is increasing, we are planning to build another distribution tank if we will accumulate enough budget,” Viste shared.

From 280 pesos monthly water bill, Marites says that after the water system in her barangay was established, she is now paying 100 pesos per month. “Our water bill decreased by 60% and we have sufficient water already so it’s really a big improvement,” she added.

From manually pumping water everyday, the people of Tagodtod now have water in their homes everytime they open their faucets. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Jasmin Kiaso

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