Sinong boss mo?-A A +A
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
By Nerissa Villanueva
WHEN I was a young girl, my father ran for public office. He was elected as one of our barangay's kagawads despite of the glitches he had to face on the Election Day. When he was elected, my life changed.
Instead of making up with the years he has spent working abroad, there he was, spending his time doing public service. I can still remember the nights when random people would knock on our door to ask for help. I can still remember how people would call me my name, while I keep on guessing who they are. I can still remember how my parents taught us to behave appropriately at all times.
All of these caused me to ask the purpose of such. However, when I became a part of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), I slowly understood why.
At first, I was the Social Marketing Officer of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Project. Kalahi-CIDSS Project is one of the main poverty alleviation programs of the Government, together with the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Sustainable Livelihood Program. Kalahi-CIDSS aims to improve local governance and empower local communities while alleviating poverty.
Kalahi-CIDSS uses the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach which promotes community participation by allowing localized decision-making, transparency, and inclusion. Within the Project implementation, the communities are responsible in identifying and prioritizing the sub-projects that they will implement. The community volunteers undergo various trainings to be equipped in managing their finances and sub-projects because they are the ones who would directly implement their sub-projects. The Regional Project Management Office of the Kalahi-CIDSS provides necessary assistance to the communities to guide them towards the successful implementation of their sub-projects.
On the other hand, the Sustainable Livelihood Program also of the DSWD implements the Community-Driven Enterprise Development which again gives opportunities to communities to implement and work for the enterprise that they themselves have identified that would be the best for them. But before this, the communities undergo series of trainings to ensure that they are well-equipped in establishing and managing their own enterprise. The Regional Project Management Office also provides technical assistance to the communities to ensure that they are on the right track.
These programs of the DSWD has one thing in common, both give opportunities to our local communities to direct their journey to development. The communities are empowered by giving them the chance to decide for themselves, to be trained and educated and to be included in the process.
The communities are trusted to work for their own development.
This is very different with the system that our country follows with regards to the use of Pork Barrel where our legislators have the direct control over the money.
With the current issue of Janet Lim- Napoles’ pork barrel scam, I could not help but to think of how many Filipinos would have benefitted from the money that they have acquired only if it has been used by and entrusted to the communities.
In the Kalahi-CIDSS Project, the communities are able to build their Day Care Centers with the budget as low as P800, 000.00 or a community irrigation system below P500, 000.00. In the SLP, the beneficiaries are able to maintain their micro-enterprises with the capital assistance amounting to P5, 000.00- P7, 000.00. Both amounts are small compared to the Pork Barrel of our legislators.
Imagine how many families under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will be receiving a maximum amount of P1, 400.00 a month, how many indigent senior citizens will be able to receive their monthly stipend of P500.00 from the Social Pension Program and how many children will be able to eat nutritious meals worth P13 pesos a day for 120 days under the Supplementary Feeding Program.
The Pork Barrel issue that our country is facing right now makes me realize that people choose their own boss. For my father, he chose our barangay people to become his boss. And now I understand that everything I had to experience before served as the foundation for me to learn that public officials should serve the people and that as a public official you are owned by the people and not vice versa. What matters most are the people.
And for the Kalahi-CIDSS Project and the SLP, the communities and the beneficiaries are their bosses. The communities who they serve are treated as the main factor for their success because these communities are able to recognize their needs and they work hard to achieve these needs.
As a part of the department which promotes social protection and welfare, the people is the bloodstream of our existence. Our boss are the people.
Ikaw? Sinong boss mo?
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 04, 2013.