Koronadal City—With the recent approval of President Aquino to scale up the community-driven development as a national strategy for poverty-reduction, Department of Social Welfare and Development has named 17 towns in Region XII to benefit multi-million community projects, an agency official said Friday.

Emerita Q. Dizon, regional project coordinator, said that preparatory activities are now underway for the implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS National Community Driven-Development Program (NCDDP) to the 17 towns, covering three provinces in the region.

Among the identified towns are Glan, Kiamba, Maasim, and Maitum, Sarangani province; Alamada, Aleosan, Banisilan, Carmen, and Pikit in North Cotabato; and Bagumbayan, Isulan, Kalamansig, Lambayong, Lebak, Lutayan, Palimbang, and Senator Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat.

“Coordination with these local government units is now on going primarily to prepare needed documents as part of the requirement before availing the Program,” Dizon said.

Meanwhile, DSWD Regional Director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha said that these towns will be given at least P12 million to a maximum of P20 million grant from the agency to fund various community projects, depending on the population, poverty incidence and  income classification LGU.

“This Program means more and more pressing needs in various communities will be addressed with a much bigger grant now from the agency,” Taha said

Kalahi-CIDSS-NCDDP, a national expansion of the community-driven development (CDD) strategy of Kalahi-CIDSS and as support to post-disaster response and development to typhoon Yolanda-affected areas, is a P43.9 billion Program funded through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Emergency Assistance Loan, World Bank (WB) Loan and Government of the Philippines (GOP).

The Program aims to empower communities to achieve improved access to services and to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting, and implementation, targets to benefit 5.4 million households, 847 municipalities and 58 provinces in the Philippines. (Hilbert T. Estacion, DSWD-12)