The Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach has been a strategy employed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in addressing poverty.

As it continues to empower communities, the agency’s poverty alleviation program Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) has become a model of good local governance.

The strategy has been applied by the local government of Corella, Bohol in empowering community volunteers, allowing them to participate in planning, budgeting, and implementation of projects identified as their priority needs.

The Local Government Unit (LGU) replicated the processes of the program to benefit its constituents. The CDD initiative of Corella was borne from the KALAHI-CIDSS processes that gives the community the opportunity to decide and identify projects that will be funded.

Corella Municipal Mayor D. Hilario D. Tocmo, champion of the Community-Driven Development approach of DSWD-KALAHI-CIDSS.

For Corella, these projects are a by-product of the CDD’s main objective which is people empowerment. Municipal Mayor D. Hilario D. Tocmo says “Without any bias, KALAHI-CIDSS helped us in so many ways. Because it is purely an empowerment program, people are now able to participate in different activities and they are not allowed to see their hard work being put to waste. Instead, they own up the projects because of the resources and contribution they have imparted during project implementation.”

The Municipal Development Council Resolution No. 2019-03 suggests that investment programs for socio-economic development be allocated, a 20% annual budget from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) that forms part of their Municipal Annual Priority Development Plan.

This resolution has identified projects that are instrumental for the development of the town, including construction of centers, roads, water system rehabilitation, street lighting maintenance, and conduct of activities that will train volunteers in the rollout of projects.

Most of the projects in Corella are farm-to-market roads which are of help in their agriculture and will aid them in the development especially in the delivery of agricultural products.

Local Chief Executive of Corella believes that the way to get out of poverty is to make sure that his people become self-reliant. He added, “We have seen the aspiration of many towards development and we have responded to this by adopting a program that focuses on people empowerment.”

KALAHI-CIDSS has been present in Corella since 2014 and has completed four cycles of project implementation resulting in the establishment of a daycare center, a health station, a school building and farm-to-market roads. These sub-projects have benefitted the constituents.

Furthermore, the need to monitor the continuous usability of these projects also encouraged Corella to pass a resolution that adopts the Sustainability Evaluation Tool (SET) of the DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS for the monitoring and inspection of completed sub-projects.

Being the smallest municipality in Bohol, Corella has ensured that the projects will sustain the delivery of services by anticipating preventive maintenance with the help of various operations and maintenance groups. Through this strategy, the LGU has tested its capacity to employ the processes and learnings from the program and apply a localized context of a people-driven development approach.

Through the CDD, communities are now proactive with the kind of projects they need and they want in the coming years knowing that a sufficient Php 500,000 annually will be given to them to create a project that is suited to their needs.

Despite the pandemic, Corella significantly dropped its poverty incidence rate in 2020. ###

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