Butuan City- The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian government extended AUD 12 M (Php 487 M) funding support for development works in the Philippines of which Caraga is one of the benefiting regions.

Six (6) towns in the region namely Pilar, Jabonga, Bayabas, Del Carmen, Sta. Monica, and Hinatuan, are targeted for the project implementation which will run from 2014 to 2016.

These DFAT-funded projects will be facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga as this will be implemented using the development strategy of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services- National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP).

Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli said that this Aussie grant will finance classrooms and day care centers to help poor children meet the requirements of the supply side of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program  and also to provide support to KALAHI CIDSS- NCDDP for the broader Yolanda reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

“The widened coverage of the Pantawid Pamilya program, as well as the K-12 implementation, calls for further increase in the demand for early childhood care centers and school buildings,” Brigoli bared.

KC-NCDDP Regional Program Manager Mita G. Lim also bared that 13 barangays of the non-prioritized villages of the KALAHI CIDSS- NCDDP Yolanda-affected areas are expected to benefit the project.

“The estimated cost for the project implementation in the region is Php 23.6 M since the approximate costs of the units are Php 800,000 for every day care center, and Php 1,000,000 for every classroom,” disclosed KC-NCDDP Regional Community Infrastructure Specialist Macrino S. Sumagang.

KC-NCDDP DFAT Municipal Monitor Maryfel B. Jerios updated that the Work and Financial Plan for the project implementation had already been finalized and involved Local Government Units were already communicated about the said foreign grant.

“Site validation to identified barangays is ongoing, along with the updating of detailed proposals and the 1st tranche request for fund release,” Jerios added.

Australian DFAT is one of the modalities handled by the KALAHI CIDSS- NCDDP, one of the poverty-alleviation programs of the DSWD. ###(KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)