The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will be signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the pilot testing of the enhancement of the provincial local government unit (PLGU) engagement in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). The MOA signing will be on May 2, 2013.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the three core poverty alleviation programs of the DSWD. It utilizes the community-driven development (CDD) approach, a strategy that gives citizens the opportunity and responsibility to analyze their poverty-related problems, generate solutions, and prioritize and implement their projects.

The results of the pilot testing, which is expected to run for 20 months, is meant to provide information on how to enhance the involvement of the PLGUs in the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP).

The NCDDP, which is the scaling up of Kalahi-CIDSS, will increase the current coverage of the program from 367 to 900 municipalities. This expands the current coverage from from 50% to 100% of the poorest municipalities in the country.

Compostela Valley is among the PLGUs that have demonstrated innovations in adopting the CDD approach in the past through their implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS. In 2010 to 2011, it implemented the Assistance Towards Unity for Progress thru Empowerment, Accountability, Cooperation, and Efficiency (ATU-PEACE) initiative, which was based on Kalahi-CIDSS and uses CDD in implementing small-scale projects, with financial support from the PLGU.

According to Governor Uy, Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the best programs of the national government because it addresses the actual needs of the communities. “It is not only what the barangay officials or what the barangay captains need or want,” he said, citing that the CDD implementation prevents politicians from dictating what subprojects will be implemented, thereby allowing residents to have direct control over their community decisions and resources.

He added, “If it is the whole community that decides the project, it must be the priority of that community. That is why I adopted the Kalahi-CIDSS concept.” By utilizing the CDD approach through ATU-PEACE, he said that the PLGU was able to prioritize which subprojects were truly needed by the communities.

Compostela Valley is also a recipient of the Seal of Good Housekeeping from the DILG.

It can be recalled that Albay was also chosen as one of the pilot sites for the PLGU engagement. The MOA signing with Albay Governor Joey Salceda was held on March 24 in Legazpi City.