DSWD honors community heroes in Central Mindanao KORONADAL CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) honored over the weekend at least 70 individuals as this year’s BayanI Ka! Awards, known as the agency’s local version of Nobel prize for volunteers in the development sector. The Barangay Sub-project Management Committee of Kaltuad in Glan Sarangani Province was also recognized for their Best Improved Local Governance Category while the Keytodac Water System Association from Lebak, Sultan Kudarat was proclaimed as winner for Best Sustained Community Group. At the same time, the others who received the recognition for the group category include Blanga Water System Association of Barangay Nalilidan, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat for Best Community Volunteer for Indigenous People’s Welfare Category, the Dawing-Kandang Claimants Organization from Barangay Bai Saripinang, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat for Promotion of Just Peace Category and Masisipag na Kababaihan ng Purok Rang-ay Association of Barangay Palumbe, Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat for Gender and Development Category. The awards, held at Paraiso Verde Resort and Hotel in this city, aimed to recognize the exemplary efforts of community volunteers along with their local government unit (LGU) partners in anti-poverty drive in their respective communities. Cezario Joel C. Espejo, DSWD regional director, said the event was part of the initiative of one of the agency’s flagship programs, the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-A Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). “This is our concrete expression of conveying our gratitude to our local partners, especially to our community volunteers whom we considered as the lifeblood of the program,” Dir. Espejo said. The awards, according to Dir. Espejo, not only the completion of volunteers identified sub-projects, but in actively supporting citizen participation in local governance and poverty alleviation initiatives. Dir. Espejo said all the winners received P10, 000.00 each and a trophy. “As awardees, these community volunteers are addition to our pool of community-driven development advocates in their respective communities as we advocate Kalahi-CIDSS to be a regular program of DSWD,” Espejo said. In the same event, the agency also recognized the winners of Kalahi-CIDSS Video Contest for LGUs in which the Municipality of Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat took home the grand prize amounting to P50, 000.00. On the other hand, the Municipality of Bagumbayan and Lebak, Sultan Kudarat got the second and third place, respectively, receiving P35, 000.00 and 20, 000.00 each. Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the programs of the government implemented by the DSWD where targeted poor municipalities and selected urban areas identify their own needs, collectively implement and manage their solutions. (Hilbert Estacion / DSWD)