By Marlon A. Loterte
LEGAZPI CITY, May 7 (PIA) — Now on its eighth year in the Bicol region, the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHI-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development has been expanding its coverage in alleviating poverty and empowering communities.
According to KALAHI-CIDSS regional social marketing officer Jesseshan Manilla, the program has already reached 20 new municipalities.
The said municipalities are located in five provinces in the region namely Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Catanduanes.
KALAHI-CIDSS is the government’s flagship poverty-alleviation program, extending assistance to poor local government units (LGUs) whose approved projects are directly managed, supervised, and monitored by the villagers themselves.
Addressing the new KALAHI-CIDDS areas, DSWD Regional Director Remia T. Tapispisan said, “You might hear stories about the impact of Kalahi-CIDSS from other people who have experienced it in their communities and now, it’s your time to experience the project and testify to the true sense of the project.”
To concretize the three-year implementation of the program in the said areas, DSWD deployed KALAHI-CIDDS coordinating teams collaborate with the municipal and barangay LGUs who in turn expressed their full support and commitment in their own unique way.
In Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon, one of the new municipalities covered by the program, community leaders affixed their signatures corresponding to the name of their respective barangays while in Gubat, Sorsogon, everyone placed polychromatic hand prints on a white canvas, Marbella pointed out.
Warm welcome was likewise expressed by members of the youth, elderly, NGOs, and LGUs from the municipal and barangay levels during the program in their localities particularly during the opening ceremony, municipal orientation and MOA signing executed between DSWD and LGUs.
Based from the KALAHI-CIDDS National Project Management Team (NPMT) Year-end Report, KALAHI-CIDDS increased the labor participation, boosted residents’ interpersonal trust in government officials, raised household membership in organizations and improved household access to basic social services, Marbella added.
To date the program has expanded to 12 regions, 42 provinces, 200 municipalities and 4, 583 barangays from 2003 to 2011. (MAL/SAA-PIA 5, Albay)