Jabonga, Agusan del Norte – The partners of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga visited some barangays of the town on October 17, 2014 to personally see the gains of the core poverty-reduction and social protection programs of the agency.

In an event dubbed as Stakeholders’ Learning Visit and Project Exposure Trip, the DSWD Caraga through the Social Marketing Unit and the Convergence Strategy in partnership with the local government unit of Jabonga, gathered the representatives from the National Government Agencies (NGAs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and local Media, and toured them to some of the villages which had implemented the various programs of the Department.

Barangays Poblacion, San Vicente, and Dinarawan were the villages that the partners visited. Along the excursion they were able to see the sub-projects in the other barangays of the town.

In the tour, the participants were able to see for themselves the sustained community sub-projects such as day care centers, multi-purpose centers, access roads, solar power street lights, health stations, classroom buildings, and other infrastructure projects that were spearheaded by the villagers themselves in terms of implementation and sustainability.

Two (2) community volunteers also shared testimonials about their unforgettable journey in the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) project as it was implemented since 2003 up to present in Jabonga.

Now a punong barangay in San Vicente, Honorable Marlene E. Beluan, 50, narrated her walk and dedication being once a volunteer.

“Our place is the farthest barangay in the town of Jabonga. For many years, we had been suffering from inconvenience of transportation and lack of community facilities.  Until such time that Kalahi-CIDSS was introduced to us. Our people are now enjoying the farm to market road, the multi-purpose building, and the day care center,” she shared.

“Because we experienced ourselves that the sub-projects in Kalahi-CIDSS are completed on time and followed a strict, yet sure process of implementation, and promoted unity in our humble village, we made use of the CDD strategy and realized our barangay hall to which we replicated the Kalahi-CIDSS way using the LGU fund,” Beluan added.

Another testimonial from Ms. Lolita T. Culta, Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chairperson of A. Beltran was also heard by the program partners.

“Isip usa ka volunteer, na-empower usab ako kay daghan na mga trainings akong naapilan. Kani nga mga trainings nagtudlo kanamo unsaon pagdumala ang ug pagpadagan sa usa ka proyekto. Naka-apil pud kami ug Infrastructure training diin nakahibalo kami kung unsa ang saktong mga materyales nga gamiton sa construction.

 (As a volunteer, I was empowered because of the trainings I have joined. These trainings taught us to manage a project. We also joined an Infrastructure training of which we learned the appropriate materials to be used in construction.)” said Culta.

Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli of DSWD-XIII emphasized about the great impact of the convergence among the development partners.

The CDD strategy puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves. ###( Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)