DSWD to strengthen role of communities in environmental protection
CEBU CITY – As part of its plan to develop communities into knowledge hubs in environmental responsibility, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), recently conducted an environmental protection and management workshop.
The workshop is a learning forum on the Thematic Environmental Management System (TEMS), the mechanism set up by Kalahi-CIDSS in partnership with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P) in order to ensure that environmental and social safeguards are maintained in the implementation of the program, down to the grassroots level.
The learning forum is meant to provide the participants a venue for knowledge sharing on different strategies in environmental management and disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) implemented at different levels, namely: the national government, the local government units (LGUs), and the communities.
Participants comprised of Kalahi-CIDSS, MCC and MCA-P officials and staff, as well as representatives from LGUs and barangay residents of municipalities implementing Kalahi-CIDSS.
According to Tomi Cabueños, the Deputy National Program Manager of Kalahi-CIDSS, the development of TEMS is one way for DSWD and Kalahi-CIDSS to ensure the resilience of communities for sustainable growth.
Kalahi-CIDSS Deputy National Program Manager Tomi Cabuenos and DSWD FO7 Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat turn over the TEMS field guide to LGUs, as represented by Mayor Joselito Miquiabas of Bacolod, Lanao del Norte
Employing the community-driven development (CDD) strategy, Kalahi-CIDSS is focused on empowering and building up the capacities of citizens and local government units so they will be able to lift their own communities out of poverty.
One aspect of TEMS is related to DRRM. Describing the increasing likelihood of strong disasters hitting the country as “the new normal”, DSWD Assistant Secretary Camilo Gudmalin encouraged the participants to look into improving the resilience of the citizens.
Highlighting the new environmental patterns the country has been experiencing, he said, “We need to campaign and educate people to adjust to the ‘new normal’. We are living in a different world now, so we have to endeavour building up their resistance against disasters.” He also emphasized the importance of developing sustainable ways that will support community development.
This was echoed by MCC Resident Country Director John Polk, who expressed his hope that the TEMS, through Kalahi-CIDSS, will be used as one of the tools in supporting sustainable development at the grassroots level.
Kalahi-CIDSS is gearing up for its national scale-up later this year. The expansion, called KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP (National Community-Driven Development Program) targets to cover 847 poor municipalities nationwide, including those affected by Typhoon Yolanda.
Aside from the integration of TEMS in the program design, KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP will also pay special attention to certain areas, particularly DRRM, gender, and Indigenous Peoples. ###