The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID) will team up for the implementation of the Local Empowerment and Development towards Good Governance (LEaDGov), a Project focused on providing capacity building trainings to local government units (LGUs) for improved governance and development planning.

LEaDGov is expected to run for 20 months. Participating LGUs will be trained on the implementation of community-driven development projects linking local development plans to improve access of poor communities to basic public services and institutionalize their participation in planning and budgeting processes and activities in their respective areas.

LEaDGov has an expected total cost of PhP13,975,000.00. Of this amount, PhP 10,750,000 comes from the AECID grant, while the remaining PhP3,225,000.00 will be funded by the Philippine government.

LEaDGov will be implemented in Minalabac, Camarines Sur and San Pascual, Masbate in the Bicol region; in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte and Tagbina, Surigao del Sur in Caraga region; and in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte and Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay in the Zamboanga Peninsula. It was launched in Zamboanga on July 12, and will be launched in Butuan City on July 23, and in Naga City on August 5.

The six municipalities were chosen not only because of their high poverty incidence and vulnerability to natural disasters, but also for their participation to the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB). The BUB ensures that the preparation of budget proposal of agencies takes into consideration the needs of poor cities/municipalities identified in the local poverty action plans. LEaDGov is intended to complement the Capability Building and Implementation Support Component under BUB.

The DSWD and AECID previously worked together in the implementation of Poder y Prosperidad de la Comunidad (Empowerment and Development of the Community), or more popularly known as PODER. The project was patterned after the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach used by DSWD’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the three core anti-poverty programs of the Department.

The implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS and PODER showed that LGUs are willing to partner with the DSWD and other agencies through CDD. Through these projects, the local government units and the ordinary citizens have learned how to work together in order to move toward development.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman recognized the importance of working together with different sectors, which include development partners. She said, “CDD has shown us how crucial it is for all stakeholders, be it the national government, the communities, and our development partners, to work together to push for the country’s development.”

PODER, which was implemented in 10 provinces in the Caraga, Bicol, and Central Luzon regions, sought to empower local communities, improve local governance, and reduce poverty, the same objectives of Kalahi-CIDSS. Using CDD, it provided barangay-level infrastructures and common service facilities to improve the local poverty situation in the said regions. PODER implemented 7 cycles, the last two of which focused on the construction of basic facilities and supplies for health and education to help residents fulfill the requirements of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid), another anti-poverty program of the DSWD.  The seven cycles of PODER produced 524 community projects in the three regions, benefiting 31,149 households.