How Community-Driven Development Flourished in a Small Town– The Calatrava’s Kalahi-CIDSS Journey

Calatrava is one of the partner Local Government Units of DSWD Kalahi CIDSS in MIMAROPA. They have implemented the program since 2012 under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Currently, the municipality has finished the Cycle three and Cycle 4 milestone 7 of the CEAC process implementation of DSWD Kalahi CIDSS under Community-Driven Development Program (KC NCDDP).

 

The Local Government Unit of Calatrava, saw community-driven development (CDD) as an opportunity to propel the development in their little municipality. Recognizing CDD as the suitable governance strategy towards inclusive community growth in Calatrava, the LGU supported the program beyond what is expected from a 5th class municipality. This commendable dedication to service and partnership of the LGU with the DSWD and other national program agencies have brought the town it’s well-deserved recognitions and praises.

Where it all started

From 2012, the Municipality of Calatrava was one of the randomly selected municipalities to implement the DSWD Kalahi CIDSS program under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Former Mayor Hon. Bong Fabella noted how the process of Kalahi CIDSS was new and very different from the standard LGU governance strategy that they used in Calatrava before.

Still testing the water, the communities in Calatrava, with the guidance of the LGU and staff from Kalahi CIDSS implemented the first cycle of the program. The community has already felt a sense of project ownership even though it is their first time implementing a project, let alone using the Community-Driven Development Strategy.

The municipality of Calatrava finished the implementation of DSWD Kalahi CIDSS under MCC in 2014.  As they transitioned to DSWD Kalahi CIDSS under NCDDP, the volunteerism spirit of the Calatravans continued to yield its gains from the previous implementation of MCC. The Barangay Assembly participation never went lower than the 80% Kalahi CIDSS requirement and the participation of the IPs, women, and Pantawid beneficiaries are always above 50%. This just shows how well-represented the marginalized sectors are during community assemblies.

KC-NCDDP Cycle 1 to Cycle 4 Data on Community Participation

Cycle Household Participation Women’s Participation Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiaries Participation IPs
1 85.14% 63.66% 66.54% 63.39%
2 85.24% 64.88% 69.26% 68.16%
3 83.40% 60% 72.81% 71.33%
4 82.88% 59.62% 74.92% 78.55%

Source: geotagging desktop-app

A hand that is always there to help

The LGU of Calatrava always provides technical assistance and support to the communities as they implement the Kalahi CIDSS project. All community Sub-Projects in Calatrava from Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 have passed the Sustainability Evaluation Tests (SET) with an average of 4.48. This means that all the projects are still in very good condition during the conduct of SET and are being effectively sustained by the formed O and M groups with the help from the barangay local government unit. The BLGU have even allocated 1% of their annual 20% development fund for the sub-project sustainability cost of the Kalahi CIDSS projects. The sub-projects underwent regular monitoring and inspection from the Municipal Engineering Office together with the Kalahi CIDSS community volunteers to ensure that the sub-projects meet the infrastructure standards of the municipality.

With this, the town of Calatrava has received numerous commendations from DSWD MIMAROPA including Model LGUs implementing Kalahi CIDSS in MIMAROPA, Kalahi CIDSS Best Municipality in Sub-Project Implementation, Two-time awardee of Best in Data Management, Awardee for Zero (0) Findings in Request for Fund Release, Best in Procurement with zero (0) findings in the No Objection Letter (NOL) documents.

The dedication and unwavering support of the Municipal Inter-Agency Committee (MIAC) to the community volunteers have earned the town of Calatrava these praises. Once the community has furnished the Request for Fund Release they forward it to the MIAC for review. During the MIAC technical review, the MIAC coach the community volunteers on resolving and preventing the technical findings. They also provide tips and techniques to the community volunteers on how they could improve the crafting and presentation of their RFRs.

The LGU of Calatrava has seen the effectiveness of using community-driven development in involving the people to active community growth. As Linelyn Juanzon, one of the Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer from Calatrava said the people no longer shrug or passively accept projects proposed or given to them, they now take part in the decision making and planning on which projects they believe are the deem necessity of their community. The timid day care worker before is now one of the community volunteers who helps in mobilizing her community towards their community’s development.

The notable transformation of the people from merely recipients of projects to active participants in Calatrava’s trailblazing community development initiative has been noteworthy to the LGU of Calatrava which served as the epiphany to them on finally taking the steps of incorporating the community-driven development approach into their governance strategy. The current Mayor of Calatrava, Hon. Marietta Babera noted this progression that has happened in their town and is currently planning to conduct a learning visit to one of the towns in MIMAROPA that has embraced and institutionalized the process of Community-Driven Development—the Town of Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro. Mayor Babera wants to ensure that their transition to CDD process will be as smooth as that of Sablayan. This visit would be their first step in institutionalizing the CDD process in Calatrava.

LGU’s Innovations in DSWD Kalahi CIDSS program implementation

One of the innovations contributed by the town of Calatrava, in order to effectively implement the Kalahi CIDSS program is the provision of higher cash counterpart than that of the program’s requirement. From their implementation of Kalahi CIDSS MCC to Kalahi CIDSS NCDDP, the town of Calatrava never fails to provide more than 30% of the total project cost.  The provision of the said cost enabled the town of Calatrava to prioritize more barangays in sub-project implementation as they believe that all the sub-projects proposed during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum are necessities of the communities. It is also a way of boosting the morale of the community volunteers to ensure that their flame of volunteerism is still ablaze. Each BLGU, on the other hand, provide their in-kind counterpart through the purchase of gravel and sand, warehouse, and other construction support.

KC MCC and KC NCDDP Funding and Local Cash Counterparts provided by LGU

Fund Source Total Cost KC Fund Local Counterpart
KC-MCC  

14,145,479.99

 

9,601,114.39

 

4,544,365.60

 KC-NCDDP  

33,534,176.00

 

 

21,706,800.00

 

11,827,376.00

Source: geotagging web-app

More so, the LGU’s hiring of full-time Municipal Coordinating Team allowed the Calatrava to religiously follow the program implementation timeline because these staff are dedicated to monitor, do parallel implementation, and provide support to the Area Coordinating Team of Kalahi CIDSS in Calatrava. This practice also ensured that the LGU are always updated and informed on the real-time status of the Kalahi CIDSS program implementation.

 

Result of the LGU’s implementation of DSWD Kalahi CIDSS program

The constituents of Calatrava expressed improved confidence in community participation because they have learnt that their opinions and insights mattered in addressing issues and problems in their barangays.  Having experienced the KC process that promoted transparency and accountability, they have built more trust to the LGU and expects that the same (CDD) process be used in the future projects (Municipal Talakayan FGD 2016).

The municipality has a population of 11,477 and a total of 1,459 target household beneficiaries in its seven (7) barangays. For the three (3) RS cycles of MCC, nine (9) sub-projects were delivered to the communities and 1 sub-project from incentive grant, which improved the lives of 2,802 households. Under the KC-NCDDP, fourteen (14) sub-projects were funded in 4 cycles. Eight (8) of these were already completed. Six (6) remaining sub-projects physical accomplishment as to date range from 62% – 98% wherein the Municipality targeted to finish all the implemented sub-projects by end of February 2018 until March 2018. The first two (2) cycles target 1,459 household beneficiaries.

The spirit of volunteerism was uplifted in the Municipality of Calatrava as 683 community volunteers were mobilized to conduct various activities under KC Being chosen by the community as the main project implementers of the program, the community volunteers were expected to showcase their passion and their unwavering service to their community. Many volunteers have gone beyond what is expected of them and therefore they serve as a pool of potential future leaders in Calatrava. Being said, twenty (20) community volunteers have been barangay councilors in Calatrava. Also, many of them were employed by their barangays as barangay treasurers, barangay health workers, or barangay secretaries because the BLGU recognized their leadership potential and capabilities.

The formation of the operation and maintenance groups with the guidance and supervision of the LGUs have helped the community to effectively organize and mobilize the community in participation and bayanihan. Bayanihan is a Filipino culture that has been practiced less and less in the communities. As Kalahi CIDSS revived the spirit of bayanihan through a day non-paid labor, the LGU of Calatrava has shown to their constituents that the practice should be revived and strengthened in their town. One notable instance of this is when the LGU started clearing the lot where the project will be placed and soon afterwards the people followed.

Presently, the LGU has adopted the process of participatory situational analysis of the Kalahi CIDSS process during their crafting of the annual comprehensive development plan. Ensuring that all the sectors, emphasizing the presence of the marginalized ones, are being well-represented.

As one of the advocates and champion of community-driven development, Mayor Marieta Babera envisions the town of Calatrava to continually progress together with its empowered citizens who steer the town towards their desired development. She also influences the other Local Chief Executives of MIMAROPA to provide their utmost support to the Kalahi CIDSS program by exemplifying how the people in the town of Calatrava have became active agents of development during the Local Chief Executives Fora and during Regional Program Review and Evaluation Workshops.

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