The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) commits to sustain its partnership with local government units and citizens in helping ensure that their basic needs will be met through the continuation of implementation of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) even amidst the elections.
Kalahi-CIDSS is implemented by the residents of the covered municipalities of the program, following its community-driven development (CDD) strategy.
Through CDD, the program seeks to empower citizens by training them so they can develop, implement, and maintain projects that would address their most pressing needs.
The program will not halt its operations given the agreements between DSWD, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank, as a large percentage of Kalahi-CIDSS’ funding comes from the two latter institutions.
Kalahi-CIDSS seeks to cover 19,283 barangays in 825 municipalities across the country in 2016. As of February 2016, it was able to reach 18,049 barangays in 766 municipalities, training 504,272 citizens as its community volunteers. The program also funded the implementation of 14,393 community projects, most of which come in the form of small-scale infrastructures.
According to DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the program’s community volunteers serve as the reason for continuing implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS despite the elections, as their potential for change cannot be paused given their needs.
Sec. Soliman referred to her personal experiences as a community organizer, saying that sustainable change happens only when the projects and programs brought to them are responsive to the needs of the people and take their own needs into account.
She emphasized that citizens have the right, responsibility, and the capacity to instigate the changes in their lives. She added that the government’s role is to provide mechanisms and an enabling environment that would allow people to pursue their development, which would in turn change the country.
“Ang susi ng pagbabago diyan ang mga mamamayan, ang mga mamayan na nakikiugnay sa atin. Ang mga mamamayan ang susi ng kanilang pagbabago (The citizens are the key to change, the citizens who link with us in the government. The citizens are the key to their own development),” she said.
Kalahi-CIDSS aims not only to capacitate these people so they will have ownership of their projects, but also so they can explore additional opportunities even beyond the program. It also links to their citizens to their local government units (LGUs) so they can make their elected officials more responsive to their needs. The program also seeks to make LGUs sustain the environment of participation, transparency and accountability to and for their constituents.
Sec. Soliman added, “Ang pinakamahalaga ay ang malaking paniniwala ng mga mamamayan na kanila ito, dahil sila ay nanindigan (What is important is that the citizens believe that this is theirs, that they were the ones who held strong).”