School built atop a hill

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

DAUIN, Negros Oriental - A one-unit two-storey school building has been built in Barangay Mag-aso here through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) program to accommodate students of the Antonio B. Alejado Memorial High School.

The school building, which was built atop a hill, was constructed through the Community-Driven Development (CDD) technology of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), the flagship poverty reduction program of the DSWD.

The project cost was roughly P1.8 million, of which P1.4 million funding support came from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a funding agency created by United States Congress.


The balance of around P400,000 was provided as counterpart of the community, which consisted local aggregates like sand and gravel and even hard labor by the community volunteers.

The counterpart also included funds from the Barangay Local Government Unit of Mag-aso with local officials realigning development funds to attain the community project.

DSWD Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat explained the rationale behind why communities are required to counterpart to complete their project.

?In Kalahi-CIDSS, counterpart is a mechanism that provides a community a sense of ownership to whatever community project they have. Because when the community feels that they have a claim or a stake to the project, they will say this is not a DSWD project, this is our project, and because of that they will take care of it and facilitate its operation and maintenance,? Jabagat said.

More than the physical infrastructure, however, what stands taller is the community that has been empowered to be independent and self-reliant.

?We have had a many projects here in the barangay but we are always not included in the selection process and implementation. It is different in Kalahi-CIDSS. We are involved from the beginning until the completion of the project),? said Community Volunteer Gaudinsio Mangoquillo who heads the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC).

Seen as an effective strategy in addressing community needs and overall community empowerment, the present administration has scaled up Kalahi-CIDSS into a national program called the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP), which will cover over 104 poor municipalities in Central Visayas. The said national program will be launched sometime in April 2014. (PR)

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