DSWDs Kalahi-CIDSS raises new set of environmental warriors
Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of its major poverty alleviation programs, recently conducted a forum in the city earlier this month to raise the environmental awareness of its key officials and staff and its community volunteers.
The workshop focused on the application of Kalahi-CIDSS’ Thematic Environmental Management Systems (TEMS) on environmental challenges in island and coastal communities.
TEMS, which was developed in partnership with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P), is an environmentally-focused project management system that enables Kalahi-CIDSS project implementers, from its staff to its community volunteers, to implement sub-projects that are environmentally responsible, even as these are responsive to communities’ needs.
As a community-driven development (CDD) program, Kalahi-CIDSS puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions regarding their community’s development, including the implementation of sub-projects that address their most pressing needs.
In most instances, the identified sub-projects of communities are small-scale infrastructures such as bridges, foot paths, health stations, school buildings, sea walls, and soil erosion sub-projects. TEMS identifies mechanisms that guides implementers to construct these sub-projects with minimal or no adverse impact on the environment.
Aside from producing new environmental champions, Kalahi-CIDSS also sought to develop the skills of existing local advocates from its community volunteers, as in the case of Mark Bangco and Marissa Nim, who both hail from Negros Oriental.
Both Bangco and Nim were recognized in Kalahi-CIDSS’ first “bayanI Ka!” Awards, which took place last January 23.
The “bayanI Ka!” Awards is intended to recognize the efforts of ordinary citizens and local government units for their involvement in community development through Kalahi-CIDSS.
Both were given “bayanI Ka!” awards for environmental protection and disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM). Nim was awarded for her role in leading the implementation and maintenance of their Kalahi-CIDSS water system in Barangay Kauswagan in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental.
Bangco, meanwhile, formed his organization, the Environmental Movement for Earth, composed of students and out-of-school youth, following his attendance in a TEMS training, to ensure that residents of Pamplona, Negros Oriental are environmentally responsible.
Said Bangco, “Climate changes, Kalahi-CIDSS changes. Paglabas ng training, ibang-ibang ka na e. Nababago na ang buhay mo. Prinsipyo, puso mo mababago. Environment talaga iisipin mo (You become a different person after the training. Your life will change. Your principles and your heart will change. You will really think about the environment)”.
Bangco shared that he is one of the first community volunteers who was trained in TEMS.###