SOCIAL Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman affirmed during her visit the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP) is going to be implemented this 2014.

Secretary Soliman announced the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already signed the contract for NCDDP with Asian Development Bank (ADB) and will surely bond with the World Bank once the approved agreement from the World Bank’s board is received.

NCDDP, said Soliman, is not DSWD's program alone. It is a Community-Driven Development with the other government agencies in convergence but explained the only agency to have personnel on the ground in constant bases is the DSWD. Since the Department is not an extension service, Soliman emphasized the value of working directly and staying in the communities where the heart of CDD is.

The Secretary also acknowledged the Cordillera’s culturally sensitive CDD processes. For this, she continued to challenge the Area Coordinating Teams to live with the principle of walking, talking and laughing with the people to know what of the culture will empower them and what of the culture will disempower them.

"I'm aware of the cultural differences that each province has and therefore, being there to acknowledge and celebrate the differences is important. We are facilitators of a Community-Driven Development and we help them see the capacity in themselves to empower them and their communities," the Secretary said.

On the other hand, Regional Director Leonardo further encouraged the CDD staff to continue being motivated and committed especially that the NCDDP will cover more municipalities in the Region.

“With the upcoming NCDDP, we are facing not just challenges because of the expansion, but we are being provided with greater opportunities not for the Department but for the communities that we serve,” Director Reynoso said.

“With NCDDP, I’m sure the Cordillera team will rise up to the challenges of 2014 and will be the top performer again,” Sec. Soliman added. (Mayrose Urbano-Cariño)