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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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The Town That Made CDD Institutionalization a Reality– Sablayan

Nature enthusiasts and adventurers at heart may know this town in Southern Luzon as home to the prestigious Apo Reef, the second largest contiguous reef collection next to Australia’s the Great Barrier Reef. Lies between the Mountain Rages of Iglit and the West Philippine Sea, the wonder-filled town of Sablayan is not only known for its natural resources, but it is also known to be the first in MIMAROPA to adopt the process of Community-Driven Development (CDD) in their local governance strategy.

Sablayan is home to various ethnic and indigenous groups in the country which includes migrant Ilocanos, Cebuanos, and Visayans and the native Alangan Mangyans of Mindoro. Agriculture is the primary source of income of the people. The waters of Sablayan is home to massive schools of tuna fish and now it is competing with General Santos City as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines.

Despite being a first-class municipality, Sablayan has a high poverty incidence compared to its neighboring towns. This was the reason why it was selected to implement the first leg of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS under KKB: Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KKB) in 2003. The communities in the town built a total of ten projects in the span of seven (7) years.

Later in 2011, the town also received funding from DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS under the Millennium Challenge Corporation Makamasang Tugon. It was a bonus one-year modality for municipalities that implemented the KKB.

The participation rate of the community volunteers from the two mentioned modalities of Kalahi CIDSS averaged 70-80% per cycle. Nevertheless, Dionisio Recente, one of the first community volunteers from Brgy Batong Buhay admitted that it was never easy to build the trust and encourage the people to attend the community assemblies. “Nagpapa raffle ang barangay noon para lang mahikayat ang mga tao na dumalo kasi kung walang mga ganoong pakulo ay nako, paniguradong kami kaming mga volunteer lang rin ang andun sa BA [The barangay would had raffle draws to encourage the attendance of the people because without those strategies, only the community volunteers will attend the BA.]”  enthused Dionisio.

These strategies, nevertheless, was effective as there has been a growth on people’s participation in the Kalahi CIDSS program. Soon, there are no more raffle draws to entice the people and yet they continually attended the Barangay Assemblies.  Salvador Quinio, a resident of Barangay San Agustin said “Nakita namin yung kagandahan ng pag punta sa mga patawag ng barangay na pulong kasi napapakinggan yung mga pangangailangan namin at pag sinuswerte ay nakakakuha ng project para sa aming barangay.”

The LGU found the acceptance of the community to participatory development process as noteworthy. Municipal Councilor of Sablayan Hon. Walter B. Marquez saw how the LGU realized the true meaning of participative governance when they witnessed how the community worked hand-in-hand with the LGU in implementing the Kalahi-CIDSS project.

Being a Community Volunteer himself before venturing politics, he saw how the CDD strategy unites the people to improve their community by addressing their basic needs.  “Ang LGU ay katuwang ng mga tao sa pag-unlad. Mas mapapaganda ang pag hahatid ng serbisyo sa mga tao kung aktibo silang nakikilahok para masabi kung ano ang pangangailangan talga ng kanilang barangay, at ganoon na nga ang nangyari sa Sablayan.” [LGU is partner of the people in development. The delivery of the service to the people will be better if they will actively participate and voice out the needs in their barangay, and that is what happened in Sablayan.] Said Hon. Marquez.

The LGU of Sablayan broadened their experiences and learning on participative governance from their implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS. In order to sustain these gains, Sablayan issued series of executive orders and legislations anchored in the principle of PTAS (participation, transparency, accountability, and sustainability) principle such as the following:

  • SPECIAL ORDINANCE 2014-006: “ An ordinance institutionalizing strategy for rural development, strengthening volunteerism and for other purposes in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.”

 

  • General Ordinance 2015 GO007: “Ordinance mandating all contractors that will undertake any government projects within the territorial jurisdiction of Sablayan, should hire 40% of their labor requirements from Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiaries

 

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 2014-002

“Amending Municipal Development Council (MDC) composition” Community Volunteers represented in Local Special Bodies, BDC and MDC.

 

  • ANNUAL BUDGET ORDINANCE

“Institutionalizing the 50% of 20 % MDF to Municipal Community Driven-Development Project since 2011 up to present.”

 

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2015- 004

“Creating and organizing the Local Project Monitoring Committee (LPMC) in the Municipality of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.” Includes membership of the Community Volunteers

 

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2011- 02

“An order mandating the establishment of a Citizens’ Charter for the Municipality of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro and creating the steering committee and task force for the purpose.”

 

More so, the municipality enacted supportive policies to prioritize the empowerment of the marginalized groups to ensure the inclusion and protection of the marginalized groups. Sablayan also institutionalized IP representation in local legislative councils (Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang Barangay, Local Special Bodies).

They also recognized transparency and accountability as salient points to development effectiveness. It has established accountability mechanisms within the systems of the MLGU such as the implementation of Full Disclosure Policy and establishment of a Citizens’ Charter for the Municipality of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro and creating the steering committee and task force for the purpose (Executive Order No. 2011- 02 and Ordinance Approving the Citizens’ Charter of the Municipality of Sablayan).

To further show transparency and accountability in the local governance, they created the Publication Unit under the Office of the Municipal Mayor (Executive Order No. 2011- 008). The MLGU is now operating the Tinig ng Bayan Radio Program (DWME 103.3 Radyo Natin) and publishes a Quarterly Newsletter. Sablayan has also implemented Seal of Good Barangay Governance (SGBG) 2015 through Executive Order No. 2015- 003.

“Arbor Day” is also institutionalized wherein Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiaries planted 36,000 coconut seedlings /trees and 60,000 malunggay branches for 3 years. The beneficiaries planted the seedlings in order to have livelihood opportunities aside from the aid they acquire from the government. Renan Bergornia, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary and Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer said that the Arbor Day will not only help them at present but will also benefit the future generations to come.

Through all these initiatives, the Municipality of Sablayan has raised the standards in improved local governance high for the other municipalities in Occidental Mindoro. They were granted various recognition and awards: Gawad Pamana ng Lahi, Seal of Good Housekeeping, Seal of Disaster Preparedness, Excellent Anti-Red Tape Act – Report Card Survey, Most Supportive LGU (DSWD), Kahanga-Hangang Bayan, Top 7 Government Efficiency Award, and Seal of Good Financial Housekeeping.

 

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Ginintuang Karagatan: Kwento ni Dalmacio ng Cajidiocan

Bawat tao ay pinapangarap na mabigyan ng maginhawang pamumuhay ang kanyang sariling pamilya. Para sa mga naninirahan sa malalayong probinsya, lakas ng loob at pagpupursigi ang tanging pinanghahawakan upang makamtan ang pangarap na ito.

Si Dalmacio Rey Rivera, 54 na taong gulang, at ang kanyang maybahay na si Ma. Evy Rivera, 51 taong gulang, ay mga residente ng Brgy. Taguilos, Cajidiocan, Romblon. Biniyayaan sila ng apat na anak na sina Eduardo, Francis, Daniel, at Dennis.

Bago mapasali sa Sustainable Livelihood Program ng Department of Social Welfare and Development noong taong 2017, si Dalmacio ay naghahanapbuhay bilang isang mangingisda.

Napili niya na magkaroon ng marine engine, isang makinang nagtutulak sa bangka o iba pang sasakyang pandagat, sapagkat mayroon na siyang bangkang pampalaot. Ang prokyetong ito ay napondohan sa ilalim ng Seed Capital Fund na nagkakahalag ng PHP 14,200.00.

Ang makinang ito ay inihandog sa kanya noong 2017 at agad namang ikinabit sa kanyang bangka. “Kahit gusto naming mangisda sa malayo dahil mas maraming huli doon, hindi kakayanin ng bangka ko. Masyadong maliit. Minsan ang ginagawa ko eh sinusundan ko yung mas malalaking bangka para makilagay ng mga huli,” salaysay ni Dalmacio.

Kung ang ibang mangingisda ay gumagamit ng langis na krudo, si Dalmacio ay bumili ng carburetor, isang tubo na ginagamit upang maghalo ang hangin at gatong sa makina. Sa paraang ito, nakatitipid siya ng PHP 700.00 bawat byahe kumpara sa paggamit ng krudo. Dito makikita na ang isa pang magandang puhunan bukod sa pera ay ang kakayahan na maging maparaan. Dahil isa nang ganap na bangkang de-motor ang bangkang papalaot ni Dalmacio, kumikita siya ng PHP 3000.00 hanggang PHP 5000.00 bawat byahe.

Ayon kay Evy, kumikita sila ng PHP 40,000.00 kada buwan dahil nakakapangisda na sila dalawang beses kada linggo. “Gusto namin ipaabot ang aming pasasalamat sa gobyerno dahil tinulungan nila kami. Isang beses lang sa buong linggo kami nakakapangisda noon pero ngayon na may makina na ang bangka namin eh naging dalawang beses na,” aniya Evy.

Mas lalong naging matatag ang kanyang paniniwala na ang lahat ng pagsisikap ng isang tao ay may magandang ibubunga. Sa kasalukuyan ay pinag-iipunan ng pamilya ang pagbili ng panibagong bangkang de-motor upang mas lumago ang kanilang kabuhayan. ###

Contributor:

Francis Salas, Project Development Officer II, Romblon

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Tindahan ng Malinsuno: A Model of Community Store in Balabac, Palawan

Convenience stores are often overshadowed by giant supermarkets in the city but for Sitio Malinsuno in Balabac, Palawan, sari-sari stores are important part of the community.

Being a thriving small town in the islet, Sitio Malinsuno is situated in the southernmost part of the province. All goods and services from the mainland are transported by water. Local residents literally rough their way to Barangay Buliluyan, (the last barangay at the southernmost tip of mainland Palawan) or to Barangay Rio Tuba (the most developed barangay in the municipality of Bataraza) to get their basic commodities.

Adding to the difficulty in transportation is that boats used to buy basic goods in the mainland are the same boats used for fishing as livelihood of the residents.

Aiding the Challenge through Small-Scale Enterprise

To aid in the inconvenient transportation of goods and services, the Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) brought an alternative livelihood to residents in 2013.

A seed capital fund was released to 30 members of the Malinsuno Island SEA-K Association. After two years, members were able to pay the rollback amount to DSWD and were able to save Php 5,000.00 each. Then, majority of the members decided to pull out their savings to put up a community store in the village.

The Birth of Tindahan ng Malinsuno

Tindahan ng Malinsuno SEA-K Association began its operation in 2015 with two objectives: to sustain the benefits gained from the seed capital fund and to make basic commodities readily available and affordable in their community.

Aside from raising the initial capital for this project, the Malinsuno Island SEA-K Association members strengthened their capability as an organization to manage a community enterprise.

Through the assistance of SLP and other agencies, innovative policies were formulated through participatory processes. Aside from establishing the community’s credibility as an association, this also served as an avenue for the government to provide welfare assistance to the remote areas.

The continuous partnership between the partner stakeholders and the association led to the increase in their assets. After a year of operation, the community store was able to gain profit enough for each member to have a fair share of Php 8,000.00 and also to earn enough capital for the next cycle of its operation.

By the end of 2017, each member’s share has rocketed to an increase from a minimum of Php 10,000.00 up to a maximum of Php 14,000.00. At present, the community store is still rolling out for another cycle and its assets continues to increase.

Empowering Women, Empowering Community

Majority of members of the Malinsuno Island SEA-K Association is women. The implementation of SLP generated employment to these women. The birth of the community store organized and empowered the women as they now earn and provide income for their families. Aside from managing their household, they became key players in this microenterprise. Every member has his/her assigned schedule to man the store every day to sustain its operations.

This collective effort has brought a drastic change in the purchasing power and even the mode of purchase of residents. From crossing the sea to buy their day-to-day commodities for a relatively higher price, they are now able to acquire these on cheaper prices. In effect to the community, this has also neutralized the product pricing in the islet as other enterprises also lowered their pricing.

The birth of a convenience store that provided products at lower prices and supplied the needs of the local residents without them crossing the sea to go to mainland is a clear manifestation of the impact of small-scale enterprise to the community. ###

Contributor:

DSWD – SLP Palawan

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Work Now Pay Later Scheme– the Secret to the Success of Road Implementation in Agojo

The only way used by the residents of Sawang going to the center of the barrio to which daycare center, elementary school, health center and barrio hall are situated is the Sawang/Datag Road, and people from the southern part of Barangay Agojo who wants to go to mainland Looc during Monsoon/Typhoon season is through the same road, the Sawang/Datag Road. Using this road during such season is a dangerous journey not only for children and women but to the elderlies as well.

Flood during rainy season reaches to 3-4 feet that is why pupils will absent in their class most of the time during this season that leads to declining grades of the pupils. Aside from that, this road becomes muddy that when floodwater subsides, mud is knee depth. Agricultural products and marine products by the fishermen cannot be peddled to the mainland due to bad condition of the road, and if luckily reaches the market in Looc proper, it is sold in much lower price because it is not fresh anymore and even in deteriorating condition, that really affect the economic survival of the people of Agojo. Patients and pregnant women cannot immediately brought to the hospital which is again located in mainland Looc and sometimes it resulted to worsening condition or death. Local and foreign tourist and even visitors from Looc are discouraged to visit Agojo because of the unfavorable condition of Sawang/Datag Road.

Sufferings of people of Agojo from this Sawang/Datag Road is prevalent for a long time. According to Ruby Mondia, a resident of Sitio Sawang and became Community Volunteer (BAC member) “simula pa noong bata pa ako at nag-aaral ng elementarya hanggang noong akoy nagkaanak, di ko naranasan magsuot man lang ng sapatos dahil sa putik ng daanan galing dito sa aming sitio papuntang Barrio. Hanggang yung mga ank ko ang nag aaral at hinanhatid ko sa school ay ganun padin ang kalagayan ng kalsadang iyan”. She was narrating her dilemma while crying. She added, “ayaw ko na sana maranasan ng mga anak ko ang mga naranasan ko dati pero wala naman akong magawa”. The same sentiment was expressed by other resident living in Sawang and Datag (adjacent sitio) Lito Santillan. They added that some of the residents of Sitio Sawang sustained injuries beacause of accidents in the same road that was confirmed by Brgy. Secretary Jovel Socito based on the Barangay Tanod’s logbook.

RAY OF HOPE

All the worries of the Residents of Agojo was turned into excitement when their Barangay was prioritized during MIBF in KC-NCDDP 3rd Cycle and the project proposal submitted for prioritization was for the concreting of 1.3 Km Sawang/Datag Road with RCBC and Stone Masonry. Majority of the Community Volunteer are from that Sitio who were most affected by the Sawang/Datag Road problem. They are much willing to help and work for the fulfillment and realization of their dreams to have a concrete road to alleviate the hardships of the people for so many years. The Sub-projects has a budget allocation of Php 5,603,574.00 and it was started on November 7, 2017.

 

SUB-PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PROBLEM

Sub-project allocation for the Sawang/Datag amounted to Php 5,603,574.00 but half of that budget cost was for the hauling cost of materials. There were no construction materials available in Barangay Agojo like sand, gravel, cement, stone (rubbles) and round bar iron. All these materials were purchased and hauled/transported from Looc mainland to Barangay Agojo by boat that cost a lot, aside from the risk from strong winds and rough to very rough sea caused by monsoon and typhoon season.

Apart from hauling problems by the suppliers, weather conditions and low tide dilemma, lack of laborers contributed to the delay of implementation the Sub-Project. Additional problem cropped up prior to the Sub-project Implementation when Suppliers are hesitant to bid because of the huge expenses that they will incur in delivering the materials, the risk and safety of their personnel and supplies is also at stake during transporting of the same. Also, no pump boats are allowed to travel during typhoon and monsoon season because the sea is rough due to strong winds that was the policy of Philippine Coast Guard and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Laborers are also scarce in Barangay Agojo, because of its location which is near to the island of Boracay, workers are enticed to work in that island which is paying double rather than working in KALAHI Sub-Project which is just paying Php 250 (Municipal Rate). Barangay Agojo already delivered its Bayanihan commitment worth Php 200,000 but it not enough since work to be done is huge especially on the embankment this is to raise the road so that flooding will not be a problem anymore.

 

“WORK NOW PAY LATER SCHEME” PROPOSAL

In the middle of Sub-Project implementation when the Community Volunteer were able to hurdle many problems related to supply of materials, weather conditions, lack of laborers and failure in bidding; Another major problem cropped up, the budget for the laborers for first tranche was already consumed and the next budget for labor is to be requested in 2nd and final tranche. The materials were available but there is no available budget for the payment of the laborers to sustain the remaining number of days of work. The requested fund for 2nd and final tranche is about 1.2 million and it will take many weeks before it can be downloaded from the Regional Office and these are still subject to review

During 4th Barangay Assembly last February 2018, issues and concerns with regards to the halt of work on the Sub-Project and labor cost were tackled by ACT, MCT and BLGU officials. According to the Municipal Area Coordinator Neil Fopalan, there is a need to finish the Sub-Project before the timeline of Asian Development Bank on April 2018. According to him, failure to obligate the fund for 2nd and final tranche before the deadline, will mean fund for the requested tranche shall not be downloaded to the community bank account, which means that in order to finish the project the M/BLGU will shoulder the remaining balance for the project cost to complete the project 100%. According to the Technical Facilitator Cyril Gado, requirements for the request of 2nd and final tranche is to have 60% Physical accomplishment, and according to him, the Physical Accomplishment of Agojo is just 50% below the required target of Kalahi-CIDSS.

Barangay Captain Minnie Torrente challenged her constituents to come up with a positive action in order continue the implementation of the project and ultimately finish the Sub-Project before the timeline even if budget for Labor is still to be requested and soon to be downloaded and she fears also that weather condition might change from good to worse for the next month, which could cause further delay in the implementation.

Community Volunteers and willing citizen responded to the call of the ACT/MCT and BLGU by presenting themselves to help resume work or volunteer to work as soon as possible for continuation of Sub-Project Implementation even if the payment/salary for laborer is to be paid after the downloading of funds for 2nd and final tranche, just to meet the timeline of ADB and the project could be used as soon possible by the people. That proposal was approved by the Barangay Assembly they called that scheme “WORK NOW PAY LATER”. Under this arrangement

Approved by the community, CV’s and Laborers will do the following:

  • Mag tratrabaho sila habang hinihintay ang pag download ng 2nd and Final tranche na kung saan doon kukunin ang kanilang pambayad.
  • Mag papaluwal si Kapitan ng sarili niyang pera para doon sa mga emergency na pangangailangan ng mga trabahador.
  • Mag tratrabaho ang 15 o mahigit pa na trabahador na ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan at walang sapilitan
  • Kahit linggo ay magtratrabaho ang mga laborer na gusto para lang matapos ang project bago sumapit ang deadline
  • Mag dodonate ng meryenda sa mga trabahador ang ang mga pamilya na malapit at madadaanan ng ginagawang kalsada.
  • Magbibigay din ng meryenda sa mga trabahador ang mga kagawad at iba pang gustong mag donate nito.

For the people of Barangay Agojo, MONEY IS SECONDARY and what is important to them is their commitment to finish the Sub-Project as soon as possible for the benefits of the community.

 

BEAT THE DEADLINE

Because of the willingness and sacrifices of the people of Barangay Agojo using the scheme

“WORK NOW PAY LATER” and able to fulfill the following

  • Installed the stone masonry on the side of the concreted pavement
  • Box Culvert was completed within 3 days
  • Riprapping was accomplished by one week
  • From 50% Physical Accomplishment they were able to complete the concreting of the road by 15 days.

The 2nd phase of Sub-Project Implementation go on smoothly and finished it last March 16, 2018 and inaugurated April 20, 2018. Fund for 2nd and final tranche was downloaded to the Community Bank account on April 3, 2018 and all the Laborers were paid immediately (good for 30 days works) and including the Suppliers of the materials.

The commitment of the people of Barangay Agojo paid off and they can use the SP earlier than expected and the whole community are happy to their accomplishments. “Completing the Sub-Project on time is much sweeter than the salary we received, but we got it both “Dominador Gregorio Jr. (Foreman) said.

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

When the Sub-Project was finished, the lives of the people of Agojo changed, according to Kagawad Segundino Buenaventura these are the changes happened in their community:

  • Maaga nang nakakapasok ang mga bata sa iskwelahan na safe at naka sapatos na
  • Madali nang sunduin ang mga bata sa school ng mga nanay at tatay sakay sa mga motorsiklo
  • Hindi na nalalamog and mga gulay at prutas kasama na ng mga lamang dagat papunta ng palengke ng Looc at dahil diyan lahat ng ito ay nabebenta sa mataas na presyo
  • Madali nang madala sa hospital ang mga may sakit at buntis.
  • Dumami na ang mga turista at madami na ang bumili ng lupa dito sa Agojo.
  • May bumabyahe nang mga single na motor at tricycle para maghatid ng mga bata sa school at mga pasahero
  • May peace of mind na at di na nag aalala sa mga anak na pumapasok sa daycare at elementary school.
  • Maliwanag na maglakad sa gabi at masarap na mamasyal

 

TEARS OF JOY

Sub-Project of Barangay Agojo was built by unity and sacrifices of the people. As a result, the finished road according to the people is “Sadya-sadya guid” (beautiful) “ag tibay guid” (well-built/quality work”. During inauguration last April 20, 2018, community volunteers specially the Project Implementation Team (PIT) Head Victor Tayco cried while narrating the hardships they experienced during implementation of the SP. He thanked everybody for the help and he said, “Why I am crying? It is a tears of joy” he said. He is happy because the project was finished and the people of Agojo specifically the children will never experience the hardships of travelling the muddy road anymore, but instead they can now use their bikes and can wear their shoes everyday going to school.

 

RECOGNITION BY THE STAKEHOLDERS

The Municipal Mayor of Looc, Hon. Leila M. Arboleda expressed gratitude to the Community Volunteer for the successful SPI and thanking the Laborers and the people of Agojo for their unselfish effort to work even if salary was not yet available only after the downloading of 2nd and Final Tranche. Because of their noble deeds, all Community volunteers were given a plaque of Recognition/Appreciation by the Mayor.

As a result of the extraordinary accomplishments of Barangay Agojo to beat the timeline of Sub-Project Implementation compelled by the funder, it was considered as a contributing factor why the Municipality of Looc was given again a BONUS CYCLE by KC-NCDDP under the THEMATIC/CDD Cycle.

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Posted in feature, Kalahi CIDSS, UncategorizedComments (0)

A Glimpse of Palawan: The Impact of Community-Based Ecotourism

While tourists might have known or heard about the majestic island of Palawan, more and more people would want to come and visit the Philippines’ Last Ecological Frontier.

Simply describing Palawan as beautiful does not give justice to it. the It has been awarded the ‘World’s Best Island’ in 2017 by a well-known international travel magazine. With its abundant biodiversity, rich culture, breathtaking spots, hospitable people, it is undeniably true that Palawan is a paradise, a must-go for every tourist.

Zooming in lies Puerto Princesa, a city that has gone through a long journey from an environmentally-degraded city into one of the major ecotourism sites around the world. Add the fact that the city houses the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature in 2011.

Part of the government’s objectives is to maintain a sustainable tourism that will serve as a livelihood for its people and promote economic development. To obtain this, the local government of Puerto Princesa City initiated the community-based ecotourism in Brgy. Buenavista.

Community-based ecotourism is a form of ecotourism that emphasizes the development of local communities and allows local residents to have substantial control over and involvement in its development and management, and also a major proportion of the benefits within the community.

This form of ecotourism allows the participants of the cooperative to share the environment and their way of life with visitors. While increasing local income and building local economies, community-based tourism allows communities to participate in the modern global economy while cultivating a sustainable source of income and maintaining their way of life.

Participants are now empowered through local leadership by creating plans and encouraging clear and transparent decision-making. Community members actively make decisions on strategies and acceptable levels of tourism based upon the community’s culture, heritage, and vision. Strategies also equip local communities with the tools and knowledge necessary for decision-making, and to build effective structures to enable the community to influence, manage, and benefit from ecotourism development and practice.

Puerto Princesa, the Eco-Tourism Center of the Philippines, received a remarkable increase in the number of tourists in the past few years bringing with them trade and businesses in the city. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with Local Government Unit, began the community-based ecotourism as part of supporting the advocacy of the municipality. They designed the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to alleviate poverty through livelihood projects and employment facilitation. Community-based ecotourism in Palawan proved the power of sustainable livelihood and biodiversity conservation to alleviate rural poverty.

 

Contributor:

DSWD-SLP Palawan

Posted in #SibolKabuhayan, #SibolNegosyo, feature, Sustainable Livelihood ProgramComments (0)

Farming in the Sea: The Cagayancillo Seaweed Farming

The town of Cagayancillo, located between the islands of Palawan and Negros in the Sulu sea, is endowed with beautiful beaches and rich marine resources. It is a 6th class municipality which is home to 6,285 people.

Cagayanins are known to have a culture of eating sea turtles or pawikan. When it was declared as an endemic species, they had to give up this culture and consume other allowable resources that can be caught in the sea.

Living in a remote island was never easy for Cagayanins especially that they are dependent on the sea for their livelihood. The unpredictable changes on weather, including monsoons and typhoons, limit the stability on their means of income.

Given this situation, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries, grabbed the opportunity to provide a viable alternative source of income for the people of Cagayancillo.

Since they rely on fishing and seaweed production, the beneficiaries organized an association called Cagayancillo Seaweeds Farmers Association that was created in February 2016 with Ms. Lory Aya-ay as its president. The association as a micro-enterprise will focus on seaweed reproduction. The marketability of seaweeds makes it a more feasible project for the community.

357 members of the association were able to raise materials needed for the project which amounts to PHP 4,500.00. These members had already been trained by the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP volunteer in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). This had marked their first roll out for the project in February 2016. The Project Development Officer assisted the association to come up with a project proposal for additional funding for the plantation.

DSWD was able to fund the project with a total amount of PHP 808,962.00 where members currently generate an average annual income for the enterprise amounting to PHP 22,000.00 which had made an impact to the community.

The favorable coastal condition of the community made the production of seaweed propagates sustainability. Their hardwork also yielded frequent harvest and growing production in a short span of time.

Aside from the favorable economic results of the seaweed production, members also became more environmentally aware, thus maintaining their marine area free from illegal fishing activities. They become more responsible and vigilant in marine life protection and conservation, knowing that destruction of marine area will affect their primary livelihood.

Another impact of the project is that other fisher folks had refrained from engaging on illegal fishing activities as they saw the potential of seaweed farming as an alternative livelihood. The positive development in terms of economic stability, environmental awareness, and improved livelihood of the beneficiaries and the community are clear implications that the objectives of DSWD were met.

Members of the association are exerting collective efforts towards a goal of making a sustainable livelihood. The project that aimed to provide an extra economic power had a positive domino effect – a developed community resulting to well-groomed citizens living in a healthy environment.

Contributor:

DSWD-SLP Palawan

 

Posted in #SibolKabuhayan, #SibolNegosyo, feature, Sustainable Livelihood ProgramComments (0)

Balancing a Flourishing Economy and the People

Home to indigenous tribe Pala’wan, the municipality of Brooke’s Point is one of the emerging municipalities in the south. With its rapid development, the local government preserves the environment through a mining moratorium. The local citizens are one of the staunch advocates of environmental protection.

The municipality’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, particularly rice and coconut production. For the past two years, the agriculture industry continues to grow. This eventually resulted to the creation of large number of job opportunities related to agriculture.

Among the projects of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in the province, this town invests into agro-industry with their vast and developed agricultural lands. Due to the fast-paced development of this town, there are factors such as income, skills, employment, and social insurance which are not equally proportionate to their booming economy.

Addressing the needs

To address this concern, a partnership between different government agencies – DSWD-SLP, MLGU and a private company called WILSERV had inked an agreement to execute a project that will be a great help to the people of Brooke’s Point: a micro-enterprise that focuses on manpower services. The enterprise hopes to capacitate the participants through the assistance of partners and service providers.

Partner Agency

WILSERV (Worldwide Service Provider Multi-Purpose Cooperative), operates and advocates the values of self-help, self-responsibility, equality, equity and solidarity as their core values. It extends its services to big companies and small property owners all over the Philippines since December 8, 2010.

With its mission to its clients, the MLGU and DSWD-SLP see WILSERV as a potential partner for this project. Also, WILSERV is the sole manpower agency of Cardinal Agri-Products Inc. (CAPI), an agribusiness enterprise in the Philippines that aims to uplift the agricultural communities in the country.

With the SLP Guidelines on Employment Facilitation Track, MAT-Brooke’s Point set a dialogue with WILSERV to discuss the terms and proposal of both parties. The output from the said meeting was presented during the Municipal Inter-Agency Committee meeting for critiquing and deliberation of its members. This yielded into a positive result in which all parties involved agreed to enter into an agreement with the company. A tripartite agreement that defines and formalizes the responsibilities of the parties involved was drafted in.

Fulfilling the tasks

Barangay Captains, Barangay Health Workers, Child Development Workers, Parent and IP Leaders in the municipality were called to disclose the results of the efforts of partner agencies to clinch an agreement with WILSERV. The project received positive response among different sectors and even the Philippine Marine Corps in Brooke’s Point declared their pledge of support to the said initiative.

The screening and referrals of applicants will be facilitated by DSWD-SLP and WILSERV. Those who will qualify the screening will undergo various skills training such as nuts deshelling, nuts pairing and nuts harvesting. These skills are essential in the operation of CAPI farm in Brooke’s Point.

Aside from the skills training, a Pre-Employment Assistance Fund (PEAF) will be given to those who will complete the training. This will be a great help for the applicants to be able to comply the necessary documents that they will need for their pre-employment requirements.

A total of 393 trainees or program participants are identified to be provided with guaranteed employment upon the completion of the implementation.

Turning the weakness into strengths

The factors that need to be strengthened in the municipality of Brooke’s Point are now being realized. The beneficiaries already enjoy the benefits of employment, income, and insurance.

Skills training

DSWD-SLP will shoulder the funding for capacity building activities while the technical skills training will be provided by WILSERV. Each aspiring qualified applicant needs to complete the following for each skills training:

80 hours           –             Nuts Pairing

56 hours           –             Nuts Deshelling

160 hours        –             Nuts Harvesting

Upon completion of trainings, the applicants are subject for assessment.

Employment

307 of 393 participants targeted for this program are already employed for regular positions. Just like other company rules and regulations, their employment is still subject for termination if found violating policies provided by the company. Upon retirement, the employee can recommend the vacant position to the person of their choice.

Income

As regular employees, they will receive a daily salary of PHP 290.00/day for those who will be assigned in the production area while those who will be working overtime and night-shift will receive PHP 355.00/day. Unlike the normal employer-employee status, those who were hired under this program are treated as co-owner of the cooperative. An amount of PHP 250.00 will be deducted from their monthly salary and will be placed on their capital share until they complete the PHP 5,000.00 of their individual shares. This will enable them to receive dividends from the cooperative, from 20% up to 30% of the total shared capital. Upon their resignation they will receive their shared capital from the cooperative as their back pay.

Social Insurance

At this modern times, one has to secure insurance to protect the individual in case an emergency happens. The beneficiaries under this program will receive benefits such as Social Security System (SSS), PAG-IBIG, PhilHealth, hospitalization insurance, incentive leaves, emergency loan, and a life plan. With regards to their hospitalization insurance, WILSERV gives a self-insurance of up to PHP 2,500.00 per year for outpatient consultations including medicines and an amount of up to PHP 20,000.00 per year. For inpatient, their insurance can amount up to PHP 100,000.00 under the company Insular Life.

Shares and dividends

Upon employment, program participants automatically become a member of WILSERV Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Members are required a maximum capital share of PHP 5,000.00 to be deducted from their salaries within 2 years. Members are also entitled to receive dividends equivalent to 20 up to 30% of the total shared capital.

The intervention of LGUs and DSWD-SLP had provided a great impact among the people under this project, particularly members from the Indigenous People.

Contributor:

DSWD-SLP Palawan

Posted in #SibolKabuhayan, #SikapTrabaho, feature, Sustainable Livelihood ProgramComments (0)

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