On Monday (June 24), the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Cordillera in partnership with the Kapangan local government piloted the Local Government Unit - Community Volunteers (LGU-CV) Exchange program under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) program.
DSWD-CAR Kalahi-CIDSS Deputy Regional Program Manager Imelda Tuguinay said the program aims to showcase the coordination and harmonious relationship between LGU members and community volunteers(CVs) borne out of the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS NCDDP in the municipality.
“It also aims to banner efforts of the municipality in strengthening local governance as well as continuously empowering their constituents on the functions of the different offices in the Kapangan municipal government,” Tuguinay said.
At least 14 CVs from the different barangays of Kapangan became local government officials and department heads-for-the-day while the LGU officials worked as volunteers-for-the-day conducting tree tending and clean and green activities at the communal forest in Barangay Datakan during the LGU-CV Exchange program.
Mayor Manny Fermin said the program is a way to show and let the community volunteers understand how the local government operates as they experience it for themselves even for a day.
Fermin was replaced by Gentry Tam-awen, 58, a Protestant minister from Taba-ao village as the Mayor-for-the-day. Vice Mayor May Eslay was substituted by retired teacher Eddy Garcia, 74, from Beleng-Belis barangay.
Other volunteers also replaced the heads of offices of the LGU department and three councilors including the Liga ng mga Barangay president.
The program allowed the volunteers worked with no restrictions as officers-for-a-day and even allowed to sign documents together with the heads of offices that they replaced.
Tuguinay said the municipality of Kapangan was chosen as the pilot site for the LGU-CV Exchange program since Kapangan has been very supportive of the Community – Driven Development Approach since they started implementing the KALAHI-CIDSS in 2014.
Similarly, the community volunteers are active participants in the annual Community Volunteers’ Congress and Bayan Ka Awards where they shared their experiences and advocated the program and its processes.
With the success of the exchange program, the DSWD-CAR is planning to replicate this in other municipalities to let more community volunteers learn from the works of the government. Conversely, for the officials to appreciate the works of the volunteers who help implement the programs of the DSWD in the communities.
Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty alleviation programs of the Philippine Government being implemented by DSWD. It uses the community-driven development approach, a globally recognized strategy for achieving service delivery, poverty reduction, and good governance outcomes.
The program also is part of the Community-Driven Development Month or Buwan ng KALAHI celebration this June. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis