9 months ago


KALAHISerye 2016|| 39 But having to meet more than usual, the barangay officials seized the opportunity to mobilize the community to work together in community projects. Guesey narrated one of their strategies in satisfying a high participation rate “we were delighted then to use our own vehicle to fetch residents from far sitios so they can join the barangay assemblies.” By seeking community participation to the maximum, the BLGU programmed the barangay assemblies with other meetings of the Parents Teachers Association, barangay council and COMELEC. The barangay officials realized that this this strategy was time-saving and resourcessaving. “Another strategy is we tried to give rewards to those sitios who are performing well. We allotted the 20% Barangay Development Fund to the sitio with the highest participation rate,” Guesey continued. According to Community Empowerment Facilitator Grace Dumangeg, “after understanding the purpose of the program, the barangay officials started mobilizing their people to join the roster of community volunteers.” She said that those who became community volunteers are expressing their gratitude that they were able to attend trainings sponsored by Kalahi- CIDSS and LGU. They realized that the time and effort they poured during the trainings and implementation is paying off because they can now discern barangay development efforts in wider perspective. Meanwhile, the linkage skills of the BLGU was tested while conducting activities stipulated in the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC). Guesey said that gathering people for an activity means spending resources for meals and snacks. But then, through partnership with other agencies, feeding a whole community did not become a problem at all. One time, they were able to ask a farm product distributor to sponsor their lunch and snacks. Though sometimes when the sponsorship is not enough, “the barangay officials defray some of the expenses from their own pockets” Dumangeg said. BRINGING CDD TO A LOCAL YET HIGHER LEVEL Showing support to community-led development is not enough for BLGU Catlubong. Thus, they took it upon themselves to adopt the Kalahi way of allotting budget – through the barangay assembly’s decision. Within one year of Kalahi-CIDSS implementation “now, the budget plan of our Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) was decided by the barangay assembly. The people are now the main decisionmakers,” Guesey proudly remarked. In the past, budgeting the barangay IRA had always been in the hands of the BLGU. Further, Guesey was requested to help motivate Barangay Sebang, a nearby barangay on the verge of waiving the implementation of the second cycle. “He gladly said yes so we went to Barangay Sebang during one of the meetings in the barangay. There, he talked about communitydriven development emphasizing its benefits to the people.” Dumangeg narrated. He told them that grants to develop the community is not an everyday thing due to limited resources so they should grab the opportunity. Aside from his inspirational talk, he gave five thousand pesos to the community volunteers for

their transportation allowance since one of their problems is the transportation cost in processing documents needed in the project. TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY BEING PRACTICED As a requirement under the local government code, barangay expenses are reported regularly. But this was strengthened because of the five barangay assemblies and other activities being facilitated by Kalahi-CIDSS. Thanks to the barangay assemblies – which is now a household term, the BLGU has realized the importance of transparency and accountability. “Since [barangay] assemblies became more frequent when we implemented Kalahi-CIDSS, I’d say we practice transparency without even noticing as we report our expenses every meeting, and we regularly announce important activities for them to participate or to be informed.” Guesey said. Fulfilling their accountability to ensure that their people’s needs are met, BLGU Catlubong has been linking registered organizations in their barangay to agencies who can help fund their projects or capacity-building activities. The many and fast development in the barangay can be credited to the officials who poured their time and effort to achieve it. By networking with national line agencies, local government unit and private institutions, the barangay was granted projects which is now being enjoyed by their people. KALAHISerye 2016|| 40

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