FOLKS in 52 municipalities in the Cordillera Administrative Region are set to be empowered in participatory planning, implementation and management of development projects as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) approved community –driven development projects in their respective localities kick off.

Janet Armas, DSWD–CAR head, said 52 towns in the Cordillera, including 25 of the 27 municipalities in the province of Abra, are among the beneficiaries of DSWD’s National Community – Driven Development Program for this year.

Of the 52 municipalities, 21 are new beneficiaries of the NCDDP.

"Social preparations for the CDD projects are already set this July involving around P2 million to 20M funding or a per capita (per local folk) investment of P350 to first to third class municipality and P450 to 4th to 6th class municipality," Armas said.

NCDDP is formerly known as KALAHI-CIDSS (Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Delivery of Social Services) and is one of the three core poverty alleviation programs of DSWD alongside the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

The program aims to empower community through participatory planning, implementation and management of local development activities; improved local governance by strengthening formal and informal institutions to become more inclusive, accountable and effective; and reduce poverty in the countryside by promoting equitable access to basic services and inclusive growth.

Under NCDDP, community development sub – projects proposed are those falling into the categories of basic social services, basic access infrastructure, community production, economic support and common services facilities; environmental protection and conservation projects and skills training and capacity building.

As of May this year, there were already 19 municipalities in Cordillera that benefitted from DSWD’s CDD projects since 2011. The municipality of Besao in Mountain Province which has been recognized as best implementer of CDD projects is now on its third cycle as a beneficiary. (Carlito Dar)