Koronadal City—Groups of indigenous peoples in the far flung villages of Region 12 are set to benefit from the new partnership between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Education (DepEd).

A total of 135 classrooms are now eyed to be constructed as part of the support to the establishment of new public schools for the indigenous peoples in Mindanao.

Gemma N. Rivera, DSWD-12 assistant regional director said that agencies are now working together through technical sessions, meetings and other pre-construction activities to fast tract the project implementation.

Rivera added that the project will be under the auspices of one of the agencies flagship poverty-reduction programs, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-A Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), especially during the construction phase.

Dr. Arturo B. Bayocot, DepEd regional director said that these are classrooms to be constructed in schools that are yet to be established in the IP communities, where villagers take liberty in choosing the name, design, type and other aspects in the classroom construction.

“This is a unique project because it has to get the wisdom of the elders and community as a whole. We value the touch of the tribe in classroom construction,” Bayocot said.

Bayocot recognized the contribution of DSWD, through Kalahi-CIDSS, in the construction of classrooms in the region that paved the way for the better quality of service delivery to school children and communities as whole.

Since 2003, Kalahi-CIDSS has completed 179 school building projects in Region-12, amounting to Php263. 92 million funded by the World Bank, Australia’s Department Foreign Affairs and Trade and other local and international agencies. (Hilbert T. Estacion, regional social marketing officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)