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Women paid laborers of Barangay Palacpacan, San Fernando, Bukidnon sack aggregates for delivery to the sub-project site. Photo courtesy of DSWD-10

Lumad women empowered via community-driven development

Barangay Palacpacan is an isolated barangay of the Municipality of San Fernando, Bukidnon. The road is difficult to access especially during the rainy season. Most of the residents of the barangay are people of the Matigsalug Tribe.

Like the other tribes in Bukidnon, most of the lumads are given less priority from the government projects that would uplift them for a better life.

This is because they have minimal support and most have no access to basic social services within their communities. With this, the only priority they have is to eat and survive.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is among the various agencies of the government that help address the development of Indigenous Peoples, providing them basic social services. Among the myriad of programs is the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP). The Department is led by Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista Jr., a retired general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“The Filipino practice of mutual cooperation or bayanihan system is already embedded in the innermost of our being as Filipinos. This is more exemplified in the relentless contribution of our community volunteers in almost all facets of services to the poor and needy. Our staff and community volunteers on the ground have been our indispensable partners to the effective implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS program,” the Secretary said.

The DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS is a program under the DSWD that empowers communities. The program uses Community-Driven Development (CDD) as an approach to let the communities identify problems, use available resources, and decide solutions to help the community in order to have access of good basic social services.

The communities are given the opportunities to voice out their needs in the barangay by participating in the local development processes with the help of the non-government organizations, Local Government Units, Area Coordinating Teams (ACT), Sub-Regional Project Management Team, and Regional Project Management Team (RPMT) to ensure that they become actively involved in the local processes.

The program requires women to participate every activity especially during Sub-Project construction of at least 30% of the labor force in order to promote gender equality and importance.

The program is a good venue for learning different skills such as financial management, Environmental and Social Safeguards, Social Development, Construction Management, Basic Legal Documents, and other things that may help the Lumad community to educate themselves and to boost their confidence.

According to the community, the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS is a blessing to Palacpacan and San Fernando especially to the Lumad people. The Lumad community is given the opportunity through the support of the DSWD and local government units that help them grow and be part of nation building. Jeraline is hoping that the program will continue to help not only the Lumad people but also for those community or tribe who has been left behind that needs support to achieve a better and humane society. (dswd x)

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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