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DSWD to recognize modern-day heroes of community development

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to conduct the first “bayanI Ka!” Awards on January 23 at the AIM Conference Center in Makati City, to recognize representatives from various sectors in their initiatives for community development through their participation in the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP), one of the Agency’s biggest poverty alleviation programs.

Called the “bayanI Ka!” Awards, the event will recognize ordinary citizens, local government units (LGUs) at the barangay, municipal, and provincial levels, and program staff who have gone beyond what is expected of them in their involvement in KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is a program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through the community-driven development (CDD) strategy, a development approach that puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves. It is the scaling up of Kalahi-CIDSS, which started in 2003.

‘bayanI’ campaign

The “bayanI Ka!” Awards is part of the “bayanI” information campaign of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, which promotes the involvement of Filipinos in community development, regardless of their age, gender, educational attainment, and status, by encouraging them to put their community (bayan) before their own selves (“I”).

The “bayanI Ka!” Awards pays special focus to the areas KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP deems important: community participation, local governance, peace, gender, and disaster risk reduction and mitigation (DRRM).

Special awards are also given for the Best Youth, Best Senior Citizen, Indigenous People (IP), and Best Person with Disabilities (PWD)-Volunteers.

LGUs are also recognized for the promotion of good governance, transparency, and accountability.

Seventeen awards will be given on January 23, with the awardees coming from different parts of the country.

Among the awardees is Rey Jaboneta, a PWD from Barangay New Panay in Maragusan, Compostela Valley, who led his community in their Kalahi-CIDSS implementation, allowing them to construct classrooms and a livelihood center. This provided a new opportunity for his fellow residents to generate more income through the center and during the construction phase and establish a school facility for the children in the community.

Another winner is Catherine Asi of Barangay Delabayan in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, the “bayanI ka!” Awardee for Gender.

Her leadership in KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP helped settle the conflict between Muslims and Christians in her region, leading them to work together to complete their Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project.

Santos Balilid, a B’laan from Barangay Sinapulan in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, won the “bayanI ka!” Award for IP Welfare. When he was nominated as the leader of the Kalahi-CIDSS’ volunteers in their village, he used this opportunity to promote the welfare of his fellow B’laans to ensure that they will not be left behind in development.

The Environmental Movement for Earth (EMFE) is a winner in the environmental protection and DRRM category.

The group was founded by Mark Bangco through his volunteer work in Kalahi-CIDSS, where he learned about the importance of environmental protection and its impact on their community in Barangay Simborio in Pamplona, Negros Oriental. The organization is comprised of students at the elementary, high school, and college levels and out-of-school youths who work together not only to participate in Kalahi-CIDSS, but also to conduct initiatives such as information and clean-up drives and tree planting activities to help protect their community from environmental hazards.

The Brgy. Pulo Water System (BAPWASA) in San Antonio, Quezon is an awardee for volunteerism. Through the initiatives of the BAPWASA, which was organized through Kalahi-CIDSS, the community is able to enjoy having clean drinking water.

Silvino Lubos in Northern Samar was chosen as a “bayanI Ka!” Awardee for Peace Promotion. Through the leadership of Mayor Edmund S. Gillamac, they were able to complete their Kalahi-CIDSS sub-projects and advocate for transparency despite peace and security issues.

Other LGU awardees are Surigao del Sur under Gov. Johnny Pimentel and Mayor Eldwin M. Alibutdan of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay for their promotion of CDD, good governance, and transparency.

Spokespersons for community development

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the awardees of the “bayanI Ka!” represent the new breed of Filipinos who are willing to go beyond themselves in order to support their communities.

“These are people who, without being paid for their involvement in KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, give their time, their talent, and even their resources just so they can help their communities rise from poverty,” said Soliman.

She continued, “These awardees prove that there is a hero waiting to be discovered in everyone – all it takes is the genuine desire to help.”

The “bayani Ka!” awards will serve as the closing activity for the Unified Program Review and Evaluation Workshop, which looks into the convergence of the big-ticket programs of the DSWD: KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). ###