The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the World Bank held a three-day visit to Bingawan and Lambunao, Iloilo to assess the progress on the implementation of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) as part of the 9th Implementation Support Mission from February 4 to 6, 2019.

The World Bank delegates were Senior Social Development Specialist and co-Task Team Leader Maria Loreto Padua, Senior Procurement Specialist Rene Manuel, Financial Management Specialist Maria Liennefer Rey Penaroyo, Social Safeguards Specialist Marivi Amor Ladia, and Environment Specialist Maurice Rawlin.

They were accompanied by the DSWD team headed by Assistant Secretary for Specialized Programs Rhea B. Peñaflor, National Program Manager Annie E. Mendoza, DSWD-VI Regional Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre, and Assistant Regional Director for Operations Delia Bagolcol.

“We call it the Implementation Support Mission because it is not an audit, though we want to take account on how the project is being implemented . . . and know whether some deviations or variations were made in which case we probably need to review. The important thing is to document these and that decisions are based on lessons learned,” Padua explained.

The three-day visit brought the group to Barangays Malitbog Ilaya and Ngingi-an in Bingawan, and Barangays Agsirab and San Gregorio in Lambunao, where the Kalahi-CIDSS National Community-Driven Development (CDD) Program funded roads and hanging bridges are located respectively. The group also conducted separate focus group discussions with local government unit (LGU) officials and staff and community volunteers to validate if the policies and standards were observed during project implementation.

After the visit, Padua noted that in Bingawan and Lambunao, DSWD has successfully “planted principles of Community-Driven Development,” the approach championed by     Kalahi-CIDSS, noting that “the contribution of Kalahi is deepening the practice and mechanisms for participation.”

Based on the municipal data, since 2008, the people and LGU of Bingawan have completed 17 access roads, four school buildings, a mobile rice mill, day care center, health center, footbridge, water system, and a streetlight project under Kalahi-CIDSS. These were completed with the help of 516 male and 818 female community volunteers.

Meanwhile, Lambunao climbed from being a 4th class municipality with a poverty incidence of 40.7% in 2006 to a 1st class municipality with a 26.6% poverty incidence in 2012. It is the municipality with the largest land area in Iloilo, where 16,116 households have benefited from Kalahi-CIDSS. There are 43 completed community sub-projects worth P38.09 million in the municipality from 2014 to present.

Both municipalities passed an ordinance that institutionalized the principles and practice of CDD.

“I think one of the valuable lessons in Iloilo is that there are existing mechanisms in the LGU that promote participation. One of the things that really struck us in the report is how it attempts to go beyond seeing Kalahi beyond the sub-projects. It tried to attempt to look and articulate the results of Kalahi in terms of quality of life,” Padua said.

When asked about the appreciation of the program, Lambunao Mayor Jason Gonzales said, “This [Kalahi] is a program I believe in and something that I want to continue because I have seen the results on the ground and I have heard the stories.”

Bingawan Vice Mayor Matt Palabrica echoed Mayor Gonzales’ optimism, “As long as there are poor people, there will always be Kalahi,” he said.

Kalahi-CIDSS, a poverty-alleviation program implemented nationwide by DSWD, uses the CDD approach that empowers communities in poor and disaster-affected municipalities to identify their own needs, and collectively implement and manage solutions to these needs. The program scaled-up its implementation to cover 847 municipalities in 2014 with the support from World Bank and Asian Development Bank. #