Maragusan, Compostela Valley –Laid back and remote, Maragusan town was able to withstand calamities and now regarded by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as home to heroes.
The DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Services) has recognized Maragusan as the best Municipal Local Government Unit (MLGU) in Program Implementation during the 1st Bayani Ka Awards in January.
Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development project of the Philippine Government that aims to empower communities through their enhanced participation in local governance and poverty alleviation projects.
The Bayani Ka Awards recognizes grassroots heroes and nurtures a pool of community champions.
Maragusan is a four-hour ride from Davao City. It is a first class municipality according to National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) and has a poverty incidence rate of 36%.
Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA here took off on September 20, 2012 but the implementation was halted due to the devastation brought by Typhoon Pablo on December 2012.
The joint rehabilitation efforts of the Municipal Local Government Unit (MLGU) and community continue to pour long after the typhoon debris were put away.
Mayor Cesar M. Colina pointed out, “The government needs to provide help that has a long-term effect in the community. The community driven development (CDD) approach of Kalahi-CIDSS will help the victims rise after the calamity, rebuild their lives, and celebrate their newfound resilience.”
Varnell M. Dagansan, former Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinator of Maragusan recounted how the LGU helped finish the sub-projects since they already overlapped because of the typhoon.
“One strategy implemented by Kalahi-CIDSS and MLGU was to merge the two cycles, depending on the agreements made every Barangay Assembly. Downloading of local counterpart contribution (LCC) was made ahead of time, thus pushing Kalahi-CIDSS team to muster extra effort to finish the sub-projects.”
The MLGU assigned heavy equipment for free use such as back hoe, concrete mixers and dump trucks to fast track construction of sub-projects.
Presently, the MLGU helps complete the rest of Kalahi CIDSS-PAMANA 3rd cycle sub-projects.
PAMANA or PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn, is a Kalahi-CIDSS modality that aims to improve access of conflict-affected barangays (CABs) to quality basic social services and responsive, transparent and accountable local governments.
To date, a total of 53 sub-projects were completed through Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA. Some 12,717 households already reaped benefits from the sub-projects.
Mayor Colina has much confidence in the CDD process of Kalahi-CIDSS. He plans of replicating it with local funds to serve non-prioritized barangays.
He appreciates the pro-people process. “The purpose crosses technical borders -from educating the volunteers, maximizing the funds, improving participation in the community, transparency, sense of ownership of sub-projects, to employment generation in the communities.”
“Since the program heavily promotes transparency in the community, I required the ACT (Area Coordinating Team) to submit weekly reports of accomplishment including that of other government agencies present in the locality, and I discuss these reports in the local FM Station every Monday.”
He wants the people to know where their taxes go, earning him the trust and confidence of the community.
Mayor Colina believes that once an established and well-developed place is attained, everyone that lives in it also improves.
“The well-being of individuals is higher, the quality of living is healthier as well as the economic boost that it gives to the people. The employment opportunity is greater too. These benefits would lead to a better and secure future for all. And we’re not just talking about numbers, but also happier homes, stronger families and more children finishing school. This is my vision for my community.” DSWD/Julie Ace Brandon F. Ramos/ccd