KALAMANSIG, Sultan Kudarat—For decades, Manobo farmers in far-flung mountainous village of Datu Wasay were left with no choice but to lay their harvested grains in tattered sacks and tarps to improve its quality with the absence of solar drier in the place.

More often than not, this practice had resulted in poor quality of their farm products like coffee, palay and corn and sold it to market at very low prices.

For Edwin T. Dulunan, 44-year-old farmer and for the rest of Manobo villagers, life is different now with their newly-constructed solar drier.

The DSWD has granted the fund for the implementation of four-unit solar drier in various sitios of the village amounting to P2.05 million, benefiting 257 household farmers through the government’s community-driven development program, Kalahi-CIDSS.

The village is identified as one of the best areas suited for coffee plantation in town. With this project, according to Dulunan, more and more Manobo farmers are encouraged to till their lands for coffee production, which serves as main source of livelihood for them.

Located some 45 kilometers away from town proper, Datu Wasay is one of the farthest and hardest-to-reach villages of Kalamansig, home to more than 2, 600 people, and majority belong to Manobo tribe.

Prior to the construction of solar drier, Datu Wasay villagers also availed other DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS projects including P1.03 million worth of potable water system and rescue vehicle with amenities amounting to P1.28 million.

Day care children of Sitio Metugsay need not to walk and hike two kilometers before reaching the nearest school with the construction of day care center with amenities amounting to P550 thousand.

Jamal M. Ali, town’s Area Coordinator said that the various DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS projects in Datu Wasay have significantly contributed in uplifting the socio-economic condition of villagers coupled with empowerment processes and activities done in the community.

Since 2014, according to Ali, Kalamansig town has implemented a total of P61.58 million of various DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS projects.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty-alleviation programs of the government that is being implemented by the DSWD. It uses the community-driven development (CDD) approach, which enables communities in targeted poor and disaster-affected municipalities to identify their own needs, and collectively implement and manage solutions to these needs. (Hilbert T. Estacion, regional social marketing officer, DSWD 12)