DSWD launches P43-B anti-poverty program

By Rainier Allan Ronda, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 19 2014 04:15 AM | Updated as of Jun 19 2014 12:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) yesterday launched a P43.9-billion poverty eradication program that aims to give development funds to poor municipalities, with barangay councils having the discretion to choose projects.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said the National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP) is a nationwide expansion of the DSWD’s Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), which the World Bank funded with $100 million in 2003 and which lasted until 2010.

This time, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide the NCDDP with financial support of $479 million and $372.1 million, respectively.

The Aquino administration, for its part, will give a P9.3-billion counterpart funding to the program, which will start this year and last until 2019.

World Bank acting country director Chiyo Kanda and ADB country director Richard Boltat joined Soliman in launching the NCDDP at the Annabel’s restaurant along Morato Avenue in Quezon City.

Using the community-driven approach, the NCDDP, like its predecessor Kalahi-CIDSS, will empower fourth to sixth class municipalities to organize themselves, analyze their situations, prepare project proposals to address their problems, and compete for block grants to finance their own projects.

The development projects may include local infrastructure such as water systems, school buildings, day care centers, health stations, and roads and bridges.

“By giving citizens the opportunity to come together and decide among themselves how to address their poverty situation and providing them with the technical and financial support to do so, we are ensuring that their needs are addressed effectively,” Soliman said.

She also said that the Kalahi-CIDSS has shown that community initiated, developed and implemented projects are better in terms of quality and are sustained by the communities years after completion.

Kalahi-CIDSS financed close to 6,000 local projects worth $265 million, benefiting over 1.6 million households in the poorest municipalities and provinces in the Philippines since 2003.

From the original 11 provinces (Quezon, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Norte, Davao del Norte, Saranggani, Agusan del Norte, Iloilo, Ifugao, Masbate, Siquijor, and Eastern Samar) covered by Kalahi-CIDSS, the NCDDP will cover 58 provinces.