Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gov. Espino urges Anti-poverty Group to empower people

Lingayen---Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. has urged the KALAHI group to help empower the people to become resourceful members of the community to raise themselves from poverty.

During the KALAHI Karaban held February 4 at Brgy. Bayaoas in Urbiztondo, the governor stressed the importance of self-reliance in combating poverty within the community as he added that the people must not only rely on the assistance of the government but should also work hard to become self-sufficient.

Launched in 2001, the Kalahi-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS) project is an anti-poverty vehicle program of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In Pangasinan, two barangays already benefitted from the Kalahi-CIDSS project which include Brgy. Bocboc East in Aguilar and brgy Bayaoas in Urbiztondo.

In support to the program, the province thru the Provincial Planning Development Office (PPDO) headed by Benita Pizzaro, created the Pangasinan Poverty Reduction Action Team (PPRAT) to oversee the poverty reduction efforts in the province.

Thus, the holding of Kalahi caravan was conceptualized to immediately respond to the basic needs of the identified barangays in coordination with the Regional KALAHI Convergence Group, Inc. (RKCGI), a special body created by the Office of the President headed by Dr. Enrie Mendoza.

The participating agencies include the Department of Health, Social Welfare Development Office, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Science and Technology and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Education, Agrarian Reform, Labor and Employment, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Commission on Human Rights and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

From the provincial level, the PPRAT team includes the provincial health office engineering office, office of the provincial agriculturist, provincial employment services office, population office, provincial social and welfare development, and provincial information office.

The Kalahi Karaban was highlighted with the signing of declaration of commitment among concerned agencies.

Among the commitments made are the provisions of high school and college scholarship grant, mobile education to out-of-school youth, free school learning assistance to drop-out students so they could pursue college education.

In livelihood aspect, the DOLE said it will provide fund assistance to the organized groups who would want to embark on mushroom production and handicraft making. The funding assistance will be given as grant if the livelihood project will be sustained.

The DTI will provide marketing assistance to the organized groups to ensure the sustainability of the project as well as provision of community organizing and capability building programs for the residents.

The province through its provincial health office will install communal toilets and deep wells on the site that would be identified by the barangay officials of Bayaoas. In addition, two units of water purifier will also be extended to their school.

Likewise, the OPAG has turned over assorted vegetable seeds to the barangay council for its backyard gardening project. The PESO will conduct a jobs fair in March where accredited agencies that would not require job placement fees will be invited to help the more than 300 unemployed barangay residents.

Aside from the construction of one unit two-classroom building, the provincial engineering office conducted a feasibility study on the possible installation of water system in the barangay.

The Pangasinan Federation of Non-Government Organizations (PFNGOs) headed by Carmelita Duque has committed a free cataract operations to children.

Social services conducted during the Kalahi caravan include medical and dental mission, registration of jobseekers, free calls local and abroad, supplemental feeding to schoolchildren, and free legal assistance.

In response, the barangay council of Bayaoas headed by Ireneo Aquino thanked the provincial government as well as the various agencies for making their community a recipient of the different programs which, according to him, would be a big help to his constituents.

As part of its commitment, the municipal government of Urbiztondo led by Mayor Ernesto Balolong has formed a Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT) to oversee the implementation of projects and programs in their barangay.

(Merly R. Tibalao/PIO)

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