Categorized | KALAHI-CIDSS, News, Updates

The power of ‘we’

kalahi catanauan

Since the start of Kalahi-CIDSS in Catanauan in 2010, a total of 214 sub-projects are implemented by the community residents and the LGU. Projects include farm-to-market roads, water system, health stations and day care centers among others.

For someone who was given the opportunity to serve the town of Catanauan, Mayor Ramon Orfanel believed that he will take the responsibilities all to himself.

This perspective, however, changed when he was introduced to a different approach in the local development process.

“Bilang Mayor, ang alam ko lang dati ay ang salitang ‘I’ sa pagsasagawa ng mga proyekto sa aming bayan. But because of the thrust of Kalahi-CIDSS to empower the people, I have learned the power of ‘we’ in effectively improving the town of Catanauan,” said Mayor Orfanel.

Mayor Orfanel pertains to the community-driven development (CDD) strategy of the Kalahi-CIDSS or the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The program is geared to harmonize ordinary citizens and local government units (LGUs) to work together towards the development of their communities and implement projects that would best address their pressing needs.

With the use of the CDD strategy, Mayor Orfanel believes that the town has greatly improved.

“Ang Kalahi-CIDSS ay sagot sa kahirapan. Ang mga mamamayan ay nagkaisa at nagtulungan upang magkaroon ng mga proyekto na makakatulong para umangat ang antas ng kanilang kabuhayan,” he proudly said.

The story behind the success

When Kalahi-CIDSS started in Catanauan, Quezon Province in 2010, Mayor Orfanel admitted that he had doubts with the CDD process of the program.

According to him, the Kalahi-CIDSS has an unusual strategy of project implementation, which fully engages the people and demands behavior change.

Nonetheless, he put his trust to his constituents to embrace the process. He accepted it and made the residents feel that their voice is important in the planning, decision-making and implementation of community projects.

According to Brgy. Capt. Jackelyn Rabi of Brgy. Cutcutan, Mayor Orfanel never misses Kalahi-CIDSS technical reviews of project proposals to listen to the reasons for the need of projects directly from the residents or community volunteers. He also provides assistance to community volunteers to help them meet documentary requirements.

“Dahil 100% ang suporta ni Mayor, nararamdaman namin na mahalaga kami sa katuparan ng mga proyekto at pagpapaunlad ng aming barangay,” said Brgy. Capt. Rabi.

Community volunteer Leonora Marquez from Brgy. Doongan Ibaba added that they are often encouraged by the Mayor. This, according to her, inspired them to keep going and work towards the completion of the project.

“Palagi niyang pinapalakas ang loob namin at sinasabing ‘Kaya niyo yan!’ Kung baga, kahit kaming mga hindi nakapag-aral ay pinagkakatiwalaan niyang maisasagawa namin ang proyekto,” shared Leonora.

As a result, the community residents were able to successfully implement their prioritized projects and, above all, they felt their worth in the community.

“Napakasarap sa pakiramdam na makatulong sa kaunlaran ng barangay lalo’t higit na marami kaming natutunan, at nagawa ko ang mga akala ko’y hindi ko magagawa dahil hindi ako nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Bago ako bawian ng buhay ay masasabi kong may nagawa ako para sa kaunlaran ng pamayanan ko,” shared Estelito Hernandez, a community volunteer from Brgy. Camandiison.

 Evident gains of CDD

As he shares the gains of their town through Kalahi-CIDSS, Mayor Orfanel cannot help but take pride of what his constituents have become.

“Nakaka-proud na ‘yung dating mga maybahay na mahiyain at hindi lumalabas sa kanilang mga tahanan ay nagiging kabatian ko na at nakakasalubong ko sa munisipyo dahil nagsasaayos raw sila ng mga dokumento. Sa tulong ng Kalahi, marami ang natuto at nagkaroon ng lakas ng loob na may magagawa sila para sa aming bayan,” the proud Mayor stated.

He also mentioned that the efforts of the people throughout the five-year implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS in their town resulted to a total of 214 projects that helped improve the delivery of social services in their communities. These projects include farm-to-market roads, water systems, health stations and day care centers among others.

This development, he believes, has an impact to the town’s reduced poverty incidence from 53% in 2010 to 43% last 2015.

Further, Mayor Orfanel said that the transparency principle of the program shaped the residents to trust again and work closely with the LGU in the implementation of community projects. Since the people are involved and can oversee all transactions and activities, they are ensured of a corruption-free project implementation.

For instance, volunteer bookkeeper Myla Retardo from Brgy. Tagabas Ibaba was engaged in the monitoring of their project’s budget. Together with other volunteers, they also share financial status to the residents so they know where the money is being used.

“Kung ang programang isinusulong ng LGU ay kaduda-duda, hindi rin naman susuporta ang mamamayan. Kaya nagkaroon ng pag-unlad dito sa amin ay dahil nagtulungan at nagkaisa ang mamamayan at LGU,” Myla shared.

With this, Mayor Orfanel is thankful that Kalahi-CIDSS helped them break labels on politics.

“Binasag ng Kalahi-CIDSS ang nabuong imahe ng pamumuno, ang imahe ng korapsyon at katiwalian. Dito, natulungan kaming ipakita na hindi lahat sa pulitika ay may anomalya. Kalahi helped us promote good governance,” Mayor Orfanel said.

Towards continuous development

With the good performance of the LGU and the people of Catanauan, the municipality received an incentive grant from Kalahi-CIDSS last 2015 through the Makamasang Tugon modality. They are provided with PhP19.75 Million for the implementation of their prioritized projects this 2016.

In this modality, the overall implementation of the program is run by the LGU following the Kalahi-CIDSS strategy. The DSWD, on the other hand, provides the grant for the construction of various community projects and technical assistance to the LGU.

Further, Mayor Orfanel was recognized as the Best Municipal Local Chief Executive (LCE) in the Kalahi-CIDSS 2nd National Bayani Ka! Awards for successfully using the CDD strategy in his town.

The Bayani Ka! Awards is an annual recognition of notable community volunteers and program partners who have actively promoted and participated in the CDD strategy of the program in their respective communities.

“Patuloy naming susuportahan ang Kalahi dahil kitang-kita ang positibong pagbabagong nagagawa nito sa mamamayan. Ang pagtutulungan at mga aral na natutunan namin sa Kalahi ay magtutuloy-tuloy sa bayan ng Catanauan,” Mayor Orfanel proudly said.#

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