With its upcoming compact closure with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) this May 2016, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P), together with the DSWD 4-B, recently conducted the KALAHI CIDSS MCC regional learning forum on 25 January at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ortigas, Quezon City.

The said activity gathered community volunteers, local chief executives, municipal area coordinators, and national government agency representatives across the region as well as partners from MCA-P and MCC.

The forum served as an avenue of exchanging the stories of successes, accomplishments, challenges, and best practices in implementing the community driven development approach through KALAHI CIDSS MCC in MIMAROPA.

“We’re so glad we achieved this triumph as MCA-P has benn working hand-in-hand with our government here in the Philippines and also with some local government units (LGUs) to improve the responsiveness of local government to community needs and encourage these communities to be engaged in developmental activities,” said Marivic Añonuevo, MCA-P Managing Director and CEO.

One of the highlights of the event is the testimony of several community volunteers and local chief executives about the changes brought by the implementation of KALAHI CIDSS MCC to their communities and municipalities.

Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, in her keynote speech, encourage everyone most especially the volunteers to shre their stories of change to others. To date, 372 sub-projects are installed across MIMAROPA with the help of 22,469 trained community volunteers from 467 communities empowered by KALAHI CIDSS.

The program ensures the active participation of the community in the process of identification, planning, implementation, and operation and maintenance of their sub-projects. Most of the projects identified by the communities are roads, schools, and health centers.

These sub-projects served as a reminder to the communities of the hardship and cooperative effort to achieve a transformative grassroots leadership.

A community driven development project, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services National Community-Driven Development Project (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP) is implemented by DSWD that provided communities and their local government units trainings to choose, design and implement sub-projects that address their most pressing needs.

MCA-P is the entity responsible for the management and implementation of the $434 million compact from the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Its vision of uplifting the lives of the Filipinos through sustainable economic growth established its main projects on improving infrastructure, community development and revenue reform.

In the last four years of MCA-P’s project implementation, the organization was able to produce significant results through the strict guidance of accountability and transparency among all its projects.

By: Sharmaine Catapang, DSWD 4-B