Cong. Jonathan Keith T. Flores of the 2nd District of Bukidnon expressed his fervent support of the Community-Driven Development (CDD) Bill championed by the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS).

In a short meeting with the officials of DSWD Field Office X, Director Ramel F. Jamen underscored that the need to have a law on the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS is critical for the continuity of the program. He underscored that the absence of a law hampers the Philippine government from providing financial counterpart on foreign-funded projects like KALAHI-CIDSS.

“Unlike 4Ps nga naa na’y balaod, ang KALAHI wala. Kanunay maghabol ang DSWD [sa DBM] para masingit ang budget sa KALAHI,” said Director Jamen.

For 2024, the Philippine government must allocate 7.8 billion local counterpart for the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS. It was reported the government paid 800 million in 2022 as a penalty fee for not utilizing the grant from the World Bank on time due to the delayed local counterpart which covers manpower and admin costs.

Flores, meanwhile, suggested to enhance the Bill by compelling the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to provide an automatic appropriation for local counterpart once the Philippine government secures commitment from foreign development partners.

“If 60 percent ang foreign funding, automatic ang Philippine government mag provide og 40 percent as counterpart. Kay di man ta lugi, we get 100% benefits,” he said.

With the presence of top regional officials, Flores signed the letter of commitment to file the CDD Bill showing his full support on DSWD’s campaign. To date, the consolidated Substitute Bill will move on to the second hearing following the approval of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation.

Proven as an effective social technology, KALAHI-CIDSS uses CDD to deliver community-based projects while empowering community members to participate in governance processes.

In Region X, 48 municipalities under the National Community-Driven Development Program implement KALAHI-CIDSS with 1,381 subprojects expected to be completed in May 2024.