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11 villages in ZamPen avail of Php17Million development projects through Kalahi-CIDSS

Zamboanga Sibugay – Eleven (11) barangays in the municipality of RT Lim (Surabay), Zambaoanga del norte have availed of development sub-projects from KALAHI-CIDSS after an “election” of their most urgent needs last week. Contrary to traditional project implementation, community-mobilized volunteers will steer these projects into completion, which amount to Php17Million. Last April 30, 2015, RT Lim has conducted the sub-project prioritization event, known as the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) wherein volunteers of Kalahi-CIDSS presented their sub-project proposals and chose which among the community projects will be prioritized. The forum participants will choose what they think is the most viable and feasible based on the criteria set by the volunteers themselves.

The most common proposed sub-projects are roads, Day Care Centers and school buildings which reflect the communities’ most pressing need. These sub-projects were deliberated by community folks who took part in a participatory situational analysis, where they discussed prevailing issues and inequities present in the barangays. After preparing the proposals, they endorsed it in a forum, the MIBF.

In this forum, representatives from the different barangays in a particular municipality are brought together to present their proposals, and afterwards vote for the “best and most urgent”. Their votes are strictly based on criteria, which they have also initially set forth as guidelines. The KALAHI-CIDSS project provides a grant of Php14,612.609 for the muncipality. Since the amount is limited and not all proposals can be prioritized for funding, the need to vote is essential. However, augmenting the grant for the realization of the sub-projects are local counterpart contributions, which may be pooled from many sources within and outside the municipality. RT Lim was able to raise more than Php2Million as a counterpart. 

The MIBF is a highly democratic avenue, which is very similar to the polls. Representatives from the barangays stand on stage and encourage the others to vote for their sub-project. They explain the community’s condition and why they need the sub-project badly. After the “campaigns”, the participants would then cast their ballots.

For RT Lim 11 barangays out of 26 are to undertake their own development sub-projects which are mostly road concreting, Day Care Centers, box culvert and farm-to-market road. They are expected to be completed by August this year.

One of the volunteers espressed their anticipation of the conduct of MIBF as they have accordingly been needing a Day Care Center for the Indigenous Kids in Barangay Sta. Rosario since the makeshift classroom aren’t conducive anymore for the children to occupy.

“Excited na kami ipatayo ang project kung mapili. Kasi 44 kabataan nga IP wala na sila maklasehan, nagiba na yung dati nilang classroom. Gusto namin madevelop ang kaalaman nila. Kaya umaasa talaga kami sa Kalahi para mas nindut gyud ang ilahang pag-iskwela.” Ederita Tecson shared.

Kalahi-CIDSS which has been implemented for over a decade in poor municipalities in the Philippines has just been scaled up in 2014 to cover additional municipalities in the next 5 years. It aims to empower communities through their active participation in the development cycle, enhance the responsiveness of local governance, and reduce poverty in the poorest municipalities. ###