DSWD turns over community projects to 8 Negros Oriental barangays

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental (PIA) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region7 has turned over community-based projects worth over P5 million to eight barangays in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

This project is part of its Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) – Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program, which seeks to help conflict-affected areas improve local governance, reduce poverty, and empower communities by strengthening their capacities.

DSWD provided P5,095,600 million from the KALAHI-CIDSS, while P295,600 was from the Guihulngan City government.

The projects of the barangays funded under the Cycle 1 implementation of PAMANA include roads for Barangays Binobohan, Humayhumay, Imelda, Planas, Sandayao, and Trinidad and the installation of streetlights and inter-cultural amenities for Barangays Hinakpan and Tacpao.

The ceremonial ribbon cutting, unveiling of project markers, and blessing for the city-wide turnover of the sub-projects were held in Barangay Binobohan, while the program and overall turnover of sub-projects were held at the Guihulngan City Complex.

DSWD assistant secretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns, Arnel Garcia, said they came to see for themselves the difference that KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA sub-projects can do in Guihulngan City, which is the only local government unit in Central Visayas under the said modality.

Community development

Binobohan barangay treasurer Meraquel Librea expressed her gratitude over the program, saying that it is unique since there is gender equality involved and it also allows women to work as laborers.

“Dako kaayo mi og pasalamat sa KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA program nga gitabangan ang among barangay kay ang tabang usa na sa makapausob sa sistema sa amoang komunidad,” said Librea.

(We are very grateful to the KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA program that helped our barangay because it is one of the things that can change the system in our community.)

Jeraldin Pisalbon, chairperson of the Barangay Development Council-Technical Working Group (BDC-TWG) in Barangay Humayhumay, said the KALAHI-CIDSS made a good impact in their community since the program is not just focusing on labor or projects but also on the development of the community.

Pisalbon stressed that through the KALAHI-CIDSS, their self-confidence has improved as a result of the series of trainings and seminars they attended prior to the implementation of the sub-projects.

“Nagpasalamat pod ko og dako sa KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA kay na-improve ang among mga nagkalain-laing attitude sa community. And then ang sub-project nga naa sa amoang barangay, nakatabang gyud og dako sa among barangay kay nahimong easy among access,” she said, adding that vendors can now sell fresh catch of fish using vehicles within their community.

(I am also very thankful to KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA because it improved our various attitudes in the community. And then the sub-project in our barangay, which is road, really helped a lot because our access became easy.)

Tacpao barangay captain Melinda Abraham also thanked the DSWD for bringing KALAHI-CIDSS into their barangay.

“Daghan kaayo among nakat-onan sa mga pamaagi pag implementar niining proyekto,” said Abraham.

(We have learned a lot about how to implement projects.)

She also expressed her hope that their barangay could soon follow the process of KALAHI-CIDSS, which she described as fast and easy.

Peace and development

PAMANA is the national government’s peace and development program mainly implemented in conflict-affected or conflict vulnerable areas.

The assistant secretary shared that they are looking for a formula in terms of peace and development, and he stressed that community volunteers and city officials may be the key to it.

Garcia noted that Guihulngan City is categorized as Level III, or Center of Excellence in terms of delivery of social services and development, which is why he suggested to the city government to document their best practices in peace programs as this may be considered as a benchmark.

In his message of support, Guihulngan Mayor Filomeno Reyes acknowledged that the city has a lot of poor people who need services.

Reyes urged the residents, particularly the barangay leaders, to continue their cooperation with the government for a brighter future.

DSWD assistant secretary for specialized programs under Operations Group, Florentino Loyola Jr., said that through the KALAHI-CIDSS program, they have witnessed firsthand the power of participatory development, where communities are not just recipients but also active drivers of change.

“Let us continue harnessing the spirit of community development to address the challenges that lie ahead and to unlock the full potential of our beloved city. So let us remember that the true measure of our success lies not in the number of projects completed but in the lives we have touched and the communities that we have afflicted,” he said. (JCT/PIA7 Negros Oriental)

DSWD Assistant Secretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns Arnel Garcia (2nd from left) and Assistant Secretary for Specialized Programs under Operations Group Florentino Loyola Jr. (3rd from right) during the ceremonial ribbon-cutting and unveiling of sub-project markers for the city-wide turnover of the KALAHI-CIDSS community sub-projects in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. (PIA Negros Oriental/Photos courtesy of DSWD7)
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