The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has recently inaugurated its 1,250 linear meter canal, the first urban community-driven development (CDD) infrastructure sub-project under Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) in Ligtong III in Rosario, Cavite.

The community project, which cost PhP 2.5 million, included the dredging and desilting of the creek. Following CDD processes, the residents of Barangay Ligtong III themselves chose the sub-project because of flooding. Water could easily rise to 5 feet or higher in the communities when it rains.

The construction of the canal benefited 120 laborers from the community, who engaged in a cash-for-work scheme. Both men and women worked as laborers during construction.


DSWD IV-A Regional Director Leticia Diokno (L) and Barangay Captain Ronald Victor lead the ribbon cutting of the community projects in Ligtong III as DSWD IV-A Assistant Regional Director Floreceli Gunio (left, in white) and barangay residents look on

Aside from the dredging and desilting of the creek and the construction of the canal, 52 individuals underwent skills training on buri bag making. Vocational technical training on dressmaking and arch metal welding was also conducted, with 55 and 15 graduates, respectively. They are now employed in EPZA following their trainings.

Graduates of the arch metal welding training proudly show off their certificates of completion. They are accompanied by DSWD staff, Barangay Captain Ronald Victor, and Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers

The construction of the canal and the conduct of trainings was made possible through the partnership of Kalahi-CIDSS with the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF). The Project, called JSDF-LVUC (Livelihood for Vulnerable Urban Communities), aims to improve the employment and livelihood opportunities of the urban poor.

According to DSWD IV-A Regional Director Leticia Diokno, the agency had initial reservations with implementing CDD in the urban setting. Kalahi-CIDSS primarily targeted rural communities. Under JSDF-LVUC, Kalahi-CIDSS piloted urban CDD in Ligtong III in Cavite and in Barangay 702 and Barangay 704 in Malate, Manila.

Mga tao sa urban [areas] busy. Baka mahirap sila ianyaya [Those who live in urban areas are very busy. It might be difficult for them to join our activities],” said Diokno, referring to the number of assemblies that Kalahi-CIDSS required communities to conduct.

Even so, both the DSWD and the community persisted. As Diokno said, “Hindi natin malalaman kung tama ang ating iniisip kung hindi natin ito ginawa [We won’t know know if our assumptions are correct if we do not try].”

Their efforts paid off, as the projects were officially inaugurated and turned over to the residents of Barangay Ligtong III last July 18. As Barangay Captain Ronald Victor said, “Ang inauguration na ito ay katuparan ng pangarap, na nagawa dahil sa pagtutulungan ng mga tao at sa Kalahi-CIDSS [This inauguration is the fulfillment of our dreams, and it was made possible because the people and Kalahi-CIDSS helped each other].”

JSDF-LVUC is scheduled for rollout in 13 more communities in Cavite, 24 communities in Malabon, 23 communities in Muntinlupa, and 9 communities in Laguna. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing is scheduled on 26 July between DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman and the local chief executives of Malabon and Muntinlupa to seal the pact. The MOA signing for Laguna and Cavite was conducted earlier this month.