11 fiber glass boats ready to set sail in Buenavista

Eleven fiber glass boats that measure 30 ft long were recently turned over to a fisherfolk organization in Buenavista, Quezon. This is the result of the pilot implementation of the livelihood and enterprise (L&E) modality of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS).

The Samahan ng Mangingisda sa Coastal Areas ng Bayan ng Buenavista (SAMACAB) received a P1.7 million grant worth of skills training and materials for fiber glass boat fabrication. Among the 217 members of SAMACAB, 48 were able to attend the skills training. A total of 11 boats were distributed to 11 beneficiaries from the nine coastal barangays of the municipality.

Increasing the fisherfolks’ income

Kalahi-CIDSS L&E modality follows the community empowerment activity cycle. For the fiber glass boat fabrication project, the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) started by conducting participatory situational analysis and social investigation in the following coastal barangays: Bukal, Cabong, Cawa, Hagonghong, Mabutag, Manlana, Pinamasagan, Sabang Piris, and Wasay Ibaba.

The community volunteers, led by BSPMC Chairperson Jennifer Iglesia, have identified the major challenges faced by the fisherfolks; primarily, the high cost of boat and net rentals. Based on the result of their data gathering, the fisherfolks in Buenavista only take home P4,975 a month and that 5% of their income covers operational expenses.

SAMACAB President Edgardo Magpayo explained that their measly income is also due to the lack of opportunity to catch more fish as the boats they are using are too small to reach fishing grounds where the so-called first class fishes can be caught. Big fishes like blue marlin, pampano, and tanigue which can only be caught farther out to the sea.  Magpayo expressed confidence that with their new fiber glass boat local fisherfolk would have better opportunity to catch these fish and earn bigger for their family and community as well.

Test of commitment

This is the first time for Kalahi-CIDSS to implement L&E projects through the community-driven development approach. During its regular implementation, subproject grants were mostly for community infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads, health stations, and water systems. Among the five pilot projects in Quezon, Buenavista’s fiber glass boat project is the first to have an official turn over.

“We went through a lot of challenges. Tears were even shed.” DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Regional L&E Coordinator Sheryl Cabrera said that it has been a difficult process that has tested the commitment of the members of SAMACAB.

“One thing we realized is that in livelihood projects, it is not just about the physical structure; more important is the readiness of the organization to operate and maintain the project,” she said.

SAMACAB went through a series of consultation with Kalahi-CIDSS, the local government unit of Buenavista, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to agree on the specifications of the boat and conceptualize a model for the sustainability of its operation and maintenance. This has led to the 15-day skills training provided by BFAR.

Anastacio B. Habagat was one of the SAMACAB members who shared their implementation experience during the turnover ceremony held in Brgy. Manlana. He was one of the fisherfolks who fabricated the boats through labor of love.

“The chemicals have strong odor that we had to endure and that irritated our hands,” Habagat said. “From the 48 who attended the skills training, only 23 were left,” he added.

Organizational strengthening

Baby Jean Roldan, another member and recipient of one of the boats, said that aside from the physical completion, SAMACAB also worked hard to develop the organization to ensure the sustainability of the project. SAMACAB went through a series of capacity-building activities that included the formulation of its constitution and by-laws and the drafting of the organization’s work plan.

Part of the requirements of the project grant is for the organization to secure its registration with the Department of Labor and Employment and its accreditation with the Municipal Council. Both of these were accomplished by SAMACAB before the project was officially turned over.

“The challenges we faced have strengthened our organization. I recalled that during those times, all we did was go back to the guidelines that we have set.” Roldan was pertaining to an encounter they had with some community fisherfolks whom SAMACAB had refused membership due to their illegal fishing activities.

“With our by-laws, we will not go astray. If any problems arise, we know that the organization could always sit down to resolve them.” Roldan said.

For his part, SAMACAB Pres. Magpayo, who is also a barangay kagawad, affirms the organization’s responsibility not just to its members but to the environment that has become the source of their livelihood.

“The sea has always been good to us. I was born to a family of fisherfolks and one of my son is also a fisherman. I would still encourage the younger generation to pursue fishing.”

Magpayo added that the Barangay Council has passed resolutions that mandate the fisherfolk community of Manlana to protect the coast. “That way, I could be at ease that my son’s children can still benefit from the bounty of the sea.” #

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4 Quezon towns receive Kalahi-CIDSS incentive grant


The residents of Brgy. Magsaysay in Tagkawayan, Quezon are starting the construction of their line canal project, which is funded through the incentive grant received by the town for their good performance in implementing the Kalahi-CIDSS program. [Photo credit: SModestano]

Four local government units (LGUs) of Quezon Province are granted with a total of PhP26.92 Million by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as an incentive for successfully adapting the community-driven development (CDD) strategy of the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

The said LGUs are Tagkawayan, Alabat, Perez and Gumaca, which are all assessed to have effectively complied with the CDD standards of the Kalahi-CIDSS based on their performance in the program’s implementation from 2014 to 2016.

The total cost of the incentive grant is funding a total of 22 new community projects to help improve the delivery of basic social services in the communities. Projects include sanitary toilets, river control protection, seawalls, day care centers, water systems, access roads, evacuation centers and footbridges, which are being implemented by the residents this year.

The town of Tagkawayan is granted with PhP15.22 Million for nine projects, Alabat with PhP6.20 Million for six projects, Perez with PhP4.96 Million for six projects, and Gumaca with PhP539,000 for one project.

According to Ma. Philda Luteria-Potes, the Kalahi-CIDSS Community Development Specialist in the CALABARZON Region, these LGUs have successfully adopted the Participatory, Transparency and Accountability (PTA) principles of the program not just in the Kalahi-CIDSS implementation but also in their own local development programs.

One of the evidences is the inclusion of representatives from the vulnerable sectors in their local development councils for a more holistic and need-responsive decision-making of development projects and activities.

Further, Potes said that the residents in these areas were successfully empowered to engage in the development process of their communities, which are reflected in the fast and efficient construction of the community projects and liquidation of funds in their previous program implementation.

“We have high participation rate of residents attending barangay assemblies in these municipalities. Here in Kalahi-CIDSS, assemblies are very important as this is the venue where residents exercise their power to decide and plan as one community,” Potes said.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty reduction programs of the DSWD that applies a bottom-up approach in the planning, decision-making and implementation of community projects. Aside from the four towns, the Kalahi-CIDSS program is implemented in 12 other towns of Quezon Province.#

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Burdeos volunteers set to start Kalahi-CIDSS projects


The community volunteers from Brgy. Poblacion in Burdeos, Quezon work on developing financial and construction estimates plan for their proposed one-classroom high school building project during the Kalahi-CIDSS Community Volunteers’ Training in the said town. [Photo credit: CMacasinag]

The community volunteers from Burdeos town in Quezon Province are now set to start the implementation of community projects after completing the training on project implementation processes and procedures through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The town of Burdeos is granted with PhP10.14 Million to fund the construction of need-responsive community projects including farm-to-market roads and school buildings under the Kalahi-CIDSS.

The Community Volunteers’ Training, held last July 27 to 29 in the said town, is part of the community-driven development strategy of the Kalahi-CIDSS where local residents are empowered and capacitated to work towards the development of their communities.

Sessions include financial management, community procurement and construction estimates as well as discussion of roles and responsibilities of the community volunteers towards a transparent and effective implementation of projects.

These volunteers came from the seven barangays of Burdeos that were prioritized to receive funding for their proposed projects. These barangays include Amot, Anibawan, Bonifacio, Caniwan, Cabugao, Mabini, and Poblacion.

Further, representatives from the Dumagat tribe residing in Burdeos were also trained as they are provided a separate grant worth PhP500,000 to delineate their ancestral domain in the town.

According to Marrieta Azores, 26, one of the community volunteers from Brgy. Poblacion, the training made her realize that implementing a community project requires a lot of heart and hard work.

“Malaking tulong sa amin ang training dahil hindi pala basta-basta lang ang pagsasagawa ng proyekto. Kailangan magbigay ng panahon at dedikasyon para masiguro na maganda at maayos ang kalalabasan nito. (The training is a big help for us as it really is not easy to implement a community project. We all need to give time and dedication to ensure success in our project.),” said Azores.

The community volunteers’ training in Burdeos is the last leg of training in the 15 Kalahi-CIDSS-covered municipalities in Quezon Province this 2016. Other municipalities that have conducted the same training are Agdangan, Alabat, Buenavista, Catanauan, General Luna, Perez, Padre Burgos, Pitogo, Macalelon, Quezon, San Andres, San Antonio, Tagkawayan and Unisan.# with reports from JBallesteros and CMacasinag

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Dumagat tribal hall – ‘a home of opportunities’


It takes a two to three-hour boat ride before reaching the Dumagat community in Brgy. Cagsiay 3, Mauban, Quezon Province.

Being settled in a far-flung barangay for so long, the Dumagat tribe senses fear and hesitation whenever people visit their community. Through the years, however, they have been trying to overcome the anxiety of meeting new people by casting big smiles and extending their hands for a warm welcome.

The Dumagat is an indigenous people (IP) group residing in the mountains of Brgy. Cagsiay 3, the northernmost barangay of Mauban town in Quezon Province. Their community can be reached through a two to three-hour boat ride from the town proper. During stormy seasons, the community can only be reached by foot through a day of walking along a treacherous trail.

With such distant location, the Dumagat got used to living within their own tribe, thus being timid when meeting non-IP residents whom they call the Katagalugans.

Through several years of keeping their tribe isolated, they have learned that opening their community will not only bring them closer to the Katagalugans but will also welcome a lot of change in their tribe.

Welcoming change

In their remote community, the construction of a tribal hall is a visible sign of acceptance and change within the Dumagat tribe.

The residents are able to participate in the construction of a tribal hall project in February 2016 through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Mahirap sa pakiramdam namin pero sinusubukan naming makilahok dahil para naman sa ikabubuti ng aming pamayanan ang hatid nila. Unti-unti, natututo rin kaming makihalubilo sa iba. (We have hesitations, but we are trying our best to participate since the projects they bring are for our community. Little by little, we are starting to learn to deal with other people),” said Rosalinda Del Mundo, 63, the Kaksaan or chieftain of the Dumagat tribe.

According to Rosalinda, this tribal hall symbolizes the welcoming of new opportunities for their tribe. This will be the center of all activities and projects towards the development of their community.

Learning through the process

In Kalahi-CIDSS, the whole Dumagat community is engaged in the decision-making, planning and implementation of the tribal hall. They were trained on proposal development, financial management, and construction estimates to be equipped with skills in managing the project.

They chose to implement a tribal hall because they do not have a permanent place for their gatherings and meetings.


The Dumagat tribe now has a permanent place to hold their meetings, which are mostly about the activities and projects they engage into for the improvement of their families and community as a whole.

“Hindi namin maintindihan ang proseso noong una. Hindi naman kasi mataas ang aming pinag-aralan. Pero matiyaga naman kaming tinuruan ng mga staff ng Kalahi hanggang sa kayanin naming gawin ang mga ito. (We had a hard time understanding the process because most of us did not finish school. But the Kalahi-CIDSS staff were very patient to us and guided us until we finish the tasks),shared Rosalinda.

Another challenge for them was the canvassing of materials in different stores in the town proper where they had to talk and negotiate to several people. The canvassing of materials is a requirement in the Kalahi-CIDSS process to ensure that the project fund is maximized without compromising the quality of the materials being used.

Leonel Luna, 18, assigned with the task, shared that he was so shy dealing with the Katagalugans because of fear of being teased or misunderstood. But he realized that they were actually friendly and there’s no need to be scared at all.

“Masaya rin kasi marami akong natutunan sa pagka-canvass at marami akong nakilalang mga tao. Hindi ko akalain na nakayanan kong gawin ‘yun. (I’m happy because I learned a lot from canvassing materials for our tribal hall. I got to know a lot of people. I can’t even believe that I was able to do it),” said Leonel wearing a proud smile.

Leonel also added that transporting the materials to their barangay was a struggle as they had to deal with the big waves during rainy season. Leonel marked it as an unforgettable yet worthy experience for the sake of their tribe.

As of August 2016, they are halfway from finishing the construction of their tribal hall. The PhP486,900 project will serve the 108 Dumagat households in Brgy. Cagsiay 3.

New opportunities for the Dumagat

As Rosalinda puts it, the tribal hall is a home of opportunities.

During the construction of the project, some of them were hired as laborers where they earned around PhP250 to PhP350 a day.

Jose Borrommeo, 30, shared that this was a good opportunity to earn for their family even for a short period of time.

“Malaking tulong sa amin ‘yun dahil wala naman kaming kinikita dito mismo sa amin. Naipambili ng ilang kagamitan sa bahay ang kinita namin sa pagko-construction. (It’s a big help since we do not have any source of income here. We were able to buy stuff for our home with the money we earned from the construction),” Jose shared.

Last July 2016, they used the tribal hall as a venue for doing and storing crafts as part of the livelihood project offered by the municipal government of Mauban. They made Christmas trees from coconut husks, which will be sold in the town’s tourism center.


The tribal hall, made of concrete walls and galvanized iron roof, is strong enough to withstand strong winds and rains. This can serve as their evacuation center in times of disasters.

Further, Rosalinda sees the tribal hall as a place for refuge. Since the tribal hall is concrete and a lot sturdier than their houses made of nipa and cogon, it can serve as an evacuation area in times of disasters.

But above all, Rosalinda reiterated that their tribal hall is a sign of their being open to new opportunities and building ties with other people.

“Paraan din ito para maipakita namin na hindi kami tamad at may ginagawa kami para umunlad ang aming buhay. Iyon ang ganti namin para sa mga taong tumutulong sa amin. (This is also our way of showing that we’re not lazy and we’re doing something to improve our lives. This is how we give back to the people helping our tribe.),” said Rosalinda with a big smile.

For the Dumagat community in Brgy. Cagsiay 3, welcoming change is acceptable as long as it is for the good of their tribe. From now on, they are ready to embrace bigger possibilities to help improve the life of everyone in their community.#

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Quezon residents complete PhP300M community projects


SAFER PATH FOR THE RESIDENTS. The pathways within Brgy. San Lorenzo in Mauban, Quezon Province are now concreted to provide better access for the residents whether by foot or by vehicle. This is one of the 630 implemented projects of the residents in the said province through DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS program.

The local residents from 20 towns of Quezon Province worked together to build a total of 630 community projects worth PhP385.79 million to improve the delivery of social services in their communities and provide livelihood opportunities to the people.

These projects were implemented through the residents’ participation in the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a community-driven program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Projects include farm-to-market roads, community centers, health stations, day care centers, river controls, water systems and electrification among others.

A total of 127,193 households are now benefitting from these projects in the towns of Agdangan, Alabat, Buenavista, Burdeos, Calauag, Candelaria, Catanauan, General Luna, Guinayangan, Gumaca, Macalelon, Mauban, Perez, Plaridel, Quezon, San Andres, San Antonio, San Francisco, Tagkawayan and Unisan.

Since 2014, the residents have been managing the implementation of these projects from the prioritization, document preparation, procurement of materials, construction and operations and maintenance. They were also provided trainings to equip them with skills in managing the projects.

Conchita Calusin, 32, one of the community volunteers from Brgy. San Lorenzo in the town of Mauban, shared that it’s a rewarding experience for them to implement an infrastructure project for their community.

They implemented the concreting of pathway project and the installation of 14 solar street lights worth PhP1.31 million to secure the safety of the residents as they travel within the community.

“Dati’y mga simpleng maybahay lang kami at walang pakialam sa mga gawaing pang-barangay. Pero dito sa Kalahi, natuto kaming makisalamuha sa iba at magtulungan para mapaganda ang aming lugar. (Most of us are simple housewives who do not care about community projects or activities. But in Kalahi-CIDSS, we learned the importance of working together to help improve our community.) said Calusin.

Towards the end of 2016, the residents will be starting the construction of new projects in their communities under Kalahi-CIDSS. A total of PhP160.54 million grant is allotted for the implementation of these projects.

Fourteen of the 20 towns will be continuing with this second cycle of the program implementation in their communities. These towns are Agdangan, Alabat, Buenavista, Burdeos, Catanauan, General Luna, Gumaca, Macalelon, Perez, Quezon, San Andres, San Antonio, Tagkawayan and Unisan.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty-reduction programs of the DSWD that uses the community-driven development strategy, which empowers ordinary citizens to engage in the local development process.

In the CALABARZON region, the Kalahi-CIDSS is implemented in the poorest municipalities of Quezon Province.#

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Ending decades of children’s suffering


Vivenia Quizon, 26, is a former student in Hagonghong Elementary School who experienced having classes in the old, shabby classroom. She now teaches in the said school and is glad that students will no longer experience studying in an unsafe place through the new classroom constructed under the DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS program.

Back in 1997, Vivenia Quizon recalled her school days with the struggle of studying inside a shabby classroom in Hagonghong Elementary School in Buenavista, Quezon Province.

Their classroom was made of sulirap (weaved coconut leaves) walls that have gone dry and weak throughout the years. The room was also too crowded with around 40 students inside as they were sharing it with another grade level.

Their situation was even worse during the rainy seasons as they get soaked and dirty because the room has no flooring and has a dilapidated roof.

Two decades later, Vivenia is back in the same school as a teacher. It hurts her to see that their old classroom hasn’t been changed or even repaired.

“Isa ako sa mga buhay na patotoo na nakaranas ng hirap na makapag-aral sa classroom na iyan. Alam ko ang hirap ng mga estudyante ngayon kaya naman naaawa ako sa kanila. (I can testify as to how hard it is to study in that kind of classroom. I know that the students are now also having a hard time and I feel sorry for them.),” said Teacher Vivenia, 26.

Minda Dival, 44, a resident in the barangay and a mother of students who previously used the classroom, cried the same sentiments.

“Bulok na talaga ang classroom doon. May mga anak akong nag-aral diyan na nakaranas talagang nauulanan sila habang nagkaklase at putikan ang paa. (That classroom is really old and damaged. I have children who experienced getting soaked in the rain and having muddy feet while having classes.),” said Minda.

However, last 2015, Vivenia and Minda, together with the other residents of Brgy. Hagonghong, have found hope that the stories of suffering of school children will finally be ended.

They had the opportunity to build new classrooms when Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program came to their barangay. This community-driven program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) encouraged them to collectively work for the future of the children.

Seizing opportunities

Minda remembered the day back in January 2015 when the residents were gathered in a barangay assembly to discuss the problems of their community and how they can address these. Here, they identified the building of new classrooms to secure the safety of the elementary students.

Their identified project was funded with PhP1.47 Million by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian Government, a development partner of the DSWD that aims to address significant gaps in education in poor communities. The budget is enough to construct a two-classroom school building for the elementary school.

“Na-prioritize namin ang proyektong dagdag classroom para gumanda naman ang aming school. Para pagdating ng oras, ‘yung mga anak namin, pamangkin at apo ay makakaranas na rin ng magandang paaraalan. (We decided to prioritize the building of additional classrooms to help improve our school. With this, our children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren will have a better school experience in the future.),” Minda added.

The residents were then organized as community volunteers to take charge of the implementation of the project. They were trained on proposal development, financial management and construction estimates to guide them in properly managing the project.


Minda Vidal, 44, is proud to give her grandchildren a better place to study by being a community volunteer of their Kalahi-CIDSS school building project.

Minda volunteered to be part of the Monitoring and Inventory Team. As a member of the team, she needed to attend weekly volunteers’ meetings and be always available whenever construction materials are delivered to the site.

The schedule was hectic for her since she solely tends to her two toddler grandchildren but she used them as a motivation instead to put more effort in her work.

“’Nung una ay sinabi kong hindi ko kaya dahil may mga apo ako. Pero nasabi ko na lang sa sarili ko, sige, kakayanin ko ‘yan tutal mga apo ko rin naman ang makikinabang ng classroom na iyan balang araw.’(At first, I hesitated to be a volunteer because I was taking care of my grandchildren. But I changed my mind and told myself, ’I will do this for my grandchildren so they can enjoy good classrooms in the future’), shared Minda.

‘Bayanihan’ for the children

Minda recalled how fascinated she was seeing the residents work together and relive the ‘bayanihan’ spirit while constructing the school building.

She also noticed some women who worked hand-in-hand with men in the construction. Minda realized that the project gave equal opportunities to everyone in the village.

Deodiya Melencio, 40, one of the women-volunteers, shared that the bayanihan spirit and the common goal to improve their school gave her a lot of inspiration to work hard for the project.

“Hindi ramdam ang pagod dahil lahat ay masayang nagtatrabaho. Gusto naming maging maganda ang pagkakayari ng building kaya pinag-aralan ang lahat at tulong-tulong talaga kami. (We don’t feel tired because we are happy at work. Everything was thoroughly studied and everyone worked together because we wanted the building to be beautifully constructed.),” added Deodiya.

Through the residents’ collective efforts, the two-classroom school building was completed last November 2015. The project benefits at least 60 households in the community.


The two-classroom school building is being used by Grades Five and Six students this school year.

“Ay di ngayon, ang ganda na ng school! Masaya kami dahil ‘yung mga anak at apo namin ay makikinabang sa proyektong pinaghirapan namin. (Now, we have a beautiful school! We are very happy because our children and grandchildren will benefit from the project.), Minda said as she joyfully hugs her grandchildren.

As for Teacher Vivenia, she is glad that students of the next generation will have a better experience with their new classrooms. Also, multi-grade classes are no longer necessary as the school finally has enough rooms for every grade level.

“Hindi na mahihirapan ang mga bata. Mas madali na para sa kanila ang mag-aral at matuto. (The students will never have a hard time again to study. It will be easier for them now to learn.),said Teacher Vivenia.

With all that had happened, the residents of Brgy. Hagonghong are thankful for the opportunities that led them to work as one to improve their elementary school and their community as a whole.

They are all proud to have been a part of collecting good stories from school children as they enjoy a better learning experience and start journeying towards a brighter and better life ahead.#

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