Siargao Island- The strong community involvement in sub-project implementation and development works  were observed by the representatives of the three (3) national government agencies namely the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Education (DepEd), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) during the conducted inter-agency monitoring of sub-projects implemented through the Government of Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (GOA-DFAT), one of the modalities handled by the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program.

Led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga, the joint monitoring team conducted on March 26-28, 2015 site visits to the completed classroom sub-projects at barangays Lobogon, Bacagay, Sayak, and Cancohoy in the municipality of Del Carmen, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte.

Barangay Rizal in Sta.Monica and Caridad in Pilar were also visited by the team.

Senior Economic Development Specialist Glenn Batincila of NEDA, Engineer III Neil Espinido of DepEd, and Engineer II Orly Sagay of DPWH comprise the monitoring team together with the Kalahi-CIDSS GOA DFAT staff namely Regional Monitor Maryfel Jerios, Project Officer III Melton Merza, and Finance Analyst III Cindy Jacobe.

“The project was efficiently implemented and the strong community involvement is clearly shown. In the barangays that we visited, we have also observed the notable participation of women.” said Banticila.

He added that the communities have the sense of ownership to the projects and they have shown value and importance to the projects of the Government.

“The communities showed their interest through their efforts and time during the implementation,” disclosed Banticila.

In the visit, the community volunteers of the barangays also gave their testimonies of their experiences in implementing the sub-projects.

Kining among building kinsaing-kasing namu ni nga gibuhat. Ulan ug init ang amoang pag-implementar ani, gi-agwanta gyud namu na para sa among mga kabataan. Walay mabutangan ang akong kalipay tungod niini. (We heartily realized this building. We have experienced sunny and raining days along the implementation but we patiently braved those for the sake of our children. Nothing can contain my happiness today that the classrooms are already completed.)” shared the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chairperson in Rizal.

Ako tagdawat ang katungdanan isip boluntaryo kay nakit-an ko na isa jud akong bata ang makagamit niining classroom labi na kuman nga ilang classroom kay guba na gajud.  So, kuman June nga muabot ila na gajud ni magamit nga mga classroom. (I received the responsibility as a volunteer because my child is one of those students who will benefit especially now that their current classroom is already dilapidated. So, this coming June, they will be able to use this classroom.)” expressed a mother in Rizal.

To express their gratefulness for the help extended by the national government to their constituents, Mayors Alfredo Coro II and Lucio Gonzales of Del Carmen and Pilar respectively strongly supported the inter-agency monitoring. They also articulated steadfast support to the social protection programs and services of DSWD in their municipalities.

After the visit, an exit conference was conducted to draw out learnings, comments, appreciation, and suggestions from the members of the team. Some technical advice for the improvement of project implementation was also given.

The main objective of the monitoring is to share to the Program stakeholders one of the mission of Kalahi-CIDSS which is to empower communities through Project implementation.

Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli said that this activity is also to synergize different efforts to avoid duplication of funding donors and maximize limited resources.

“We wish to communicate with the stakeholders that it is a shared responsibility and accountability to ensure community resiliency,” added Brigoli.

Kalahi-CIDSS DFAT is one of the special projects of DSWD which is geared towards poverty-reduction in the country. This project aims to help the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program partner-beneficiaries and the Poor Filipinos by way of providing grants for the construction of classrooms and day care centers. In the course of implementation, recipient barangays make use of the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach incorporated by the Kalahi-CIDSS program. ###(Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)