Sugpon, Amontoc institutionalize CDD approach in local planning and development

The Barangay Council of Amontoc in San Gabriel, La Union together with the staff of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS (top photo) poses for the camera and the Municipal Council of Sugpon, Ilocos Sur together with community volunteers (below photo) during the Pamumunong Makamasa exchange activity. (FILE PHOTOS)

The Municipality of Sugpon, Ilocos Sur and Barangay Amontoc in San Gabriel, La Union have institutionalized the community-driven development (CDD) approach in local planning and development when it enacted CDD ordinances recently.

The move by the two local government units came after Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) has intensified its call for the institutionalization of the CDD approach.

CDD aims to involve communities to have control in the implementation of projects, budgeting, and decision-making in the local government units.

Sugpon has enacted into an ordinance the yearly conduct of the Municipal Talakayan, a tool designed by the Kalahi-CIDSS to measure the overall development in the municipalities, to provide a venue for systematic face-to-face feedback from stakeholders, and to set plans to address identified development gaps.

Mayor Daniel C. Laño, Jr. of Sugpon who co-authored the ordinance when he was still the Vice-Mayor, said that the Municipal Council had pushed for the passing of the ordinance because it is a perfect venue to report local development activities for critiquing by the public.

Amontoc, on the other hand, has approved an ordinance creating the “Amontoc People Empowerment Council”, a local body to monitor perfect attendance of households’ representatives into a participatory situational analysis of key factors causing poverty in the community and wide range of possible solutions to address such problems.

Said barangay ordinance also mandates the council to endorse all identified projects during the participatory situational analysis to the Barangay Development Council for inclusion in the Barangay Development Plan and the Annual Investment Plan of Amontoc.

The Barangay Council of Amontoc said that they are challenged to get all households involved in the development process and they vowed that they will do their best to convince everyone to participate.

Meanwhile, Brgy. San Ramon and Brgy. Abaccan in Sigay, Ilocos Sur and Brgy. Alilem Daya in Alilem, Ilocos Sur have also passed resolutions adopting some of the principles of Kalahi-CIDSS such as participatory, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability in local development activities.

The Kalahi-CIDSS, one of the core programs of the DSWD FO 1, has been using CDD approach in its objective to empower poor communities and has been advocating for its institutionalization since its inception in Region 1 in 2014. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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The difficult road that leads to cooperation and perseverance

The inauguration of the concrete access road sub-project recently in the small indigenous village of Binatadan at Puguil, Santol, La Union turned into a celebration of perseverance and cooperation among the locals.

The said sub-project was implemented by the community with the assistance of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1).

(Left Photo) BSPMC Chairperson Larry Alejo and DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS through Regional Program Coordinator Virginia P. Sesay, also the OIC-Chief of Promotive Services Division of DSWD Field Office 1, turn over the responsibility of the operation and maintenance of the finished sub-project (Right Photo) to Puguil Indigenous Upland Farmers Association, Inc. through its representative, Romando Dangle.

For many years, the people of Binatadan had to walk roughly 4 hours through muddy and slippery pathways to go to the town proper.

Nagrigat ti biag idi. Marigatan kami nga isalog dagiti apitmi idiay market. Saanmi nga maitaray a dagus diay hospital nu adda agsakit (Life is difficult before. We had so many difficulties bringing our harvests to the market. When someone is sick, we can’t bring the person immediately to the hospital,” Larry Alejo, the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson, said.

Even when road network to the far-flung villages of Santol was opened and slowly developed in the early years of this decade, Binatadan was still few kilometers away from the paved road in the nearby sitio of Puguil in Deccan.

Marigatan kami latta ta adayu met latta diay pagnaen aglalo dagiti estudyante nga mapan agbasa (We were still faced with difficulties especially the students because we still had to walk a few kilometers,” Selda Faustino, one of the community volunteers, added.

Though Binatadan can be reached through a single motorcycle during summer, crossing the road was risky since it was steep and still slippery.

In the spirit of “bayanihan

It was during the third cycle of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS implementation in Santol in 2018 when the proposal for the sub-project was prioritized and funded under the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP).

Hungry for a better-paved road leading to their village, the community worked in the spirit of “bayanihan” and volunteerism.

BSPMC Chairperson Alejo revealed that everyone in the village participated in the concreting of the road with some even sacrificing their field works in order to finish the sub-project before the rainy season.

Nagtrabaho ti amin, pati babbae. Bassit kami laeng ditoy lugar mi isu nga agkuti kami amin. Kasapulan a malpasmi sakbay ti panagtutudo (Everyone has worked including women. This is a small village so everyone had to act. We had to finish the sub-project before the rainy season),” the BSPMC Chairperson explained.

But things did not go well as planned as they were plagued with hindrances. The hauling of heavy materials became difficult because vehicles carrying these had to pass through ravines and narrow roads which afterward delayed the sub-project.

The sub-project had to be delayed even further when the community could not collect enough water to be used in mixing cement, sand, and gravels.

But with the support of the barangay and municipal officials of Puguil and Santol, respectively, they helped solve the problems and works had to resume immediately but it had to be extended until the rainy days.

Kasla saan kami nga maaw-awanan ti problema ngamin idi manen panagtutudo ket bigla nga adda immay a bagyo. Naanod dagidiay naurnong a darat ken bisil. Nabasa ken timmangken dagidiay semento (It seemed like we never ran out of problems because when the rainy days came, a storm had passed by that washed out the sands and gravel that we had collected. The bags of cement got wet and hardened),” the BSPMC Chairperson exclaimed.

According to him, though with dampened spirits, there was never a time they thought of giving up. The series of events made them even more determined to finish the sub-project until it was completed earlier this year.

When the inauguration took place under a small waiting shed near a solar dryer while raining heavily, it was no surprise that everyone was on high spirits with wide smiles on their faces. Stories of how they triumphantly overcame the challenges and their sacrifices filled the air.

In a cracked and shaky voice while holding back his tears, Arnel Peralta, one of the community volunteers shared, “Pagyamanak unay ta napapintas ti kalsada nga agturong ditoy ket saan kamin a marigatan nga bumaba diay ili, nangnangruna dagitoy ubbing nga mapan agiskwela (I am very thankful because the road in our place was concreted. We will no longer be having difficulties going to the town proper, especially our children who are going to the school).” (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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Community volunteers and municipal officials switch roles during the Pamumunong Makamasa in Sugpon, Ilocos Sur

Role-playing as Mayor, Community Volunteer Nida Sucapen listens carefully to the report from LDRRMO Raymond Latong

Community volunteers and municipal officials in Sugpon, Ilocos Sur switched roles during the Pamumunong Makamasa: Community Volunteers – LGU Exchange Activity that was spearheaded by the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services – National Community-Driven Development Program (Kalahi CIDSS – NCDDP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1).

The event is in line with the celebration of the 4th year anniversary of NCDDP, which was first introduced in Leyte in 2014. It also highlights the importance of the community-driven approach and the role of community volunteers in local planning and development.

During the one-day event that was covered by media, Nida T. Sucapen, a housewife, played the role of Sugpon Mayor Fernando C. Quiton, Sr. where she listened to performance reports from several local department heads such as the Municipal Planning and Development Officer, Chief of the Local Police, and the Local Disaster Response and Reduction Management Officer.

Sucapen was also briefed by Mayor Quiton who was at her side during the whole duration of the event on the daily functions of a Local Chief Executive.

Role-playing as Vice Mayor Daniel C. Laño, Jr. was Aurelio Dayag, Sr., a farmer, who presided a mock legislative session with Josie Apolog, Sisa Day-a, Noemi Latong, Perlita Sisante, Helen Cudao, Donna Dayag, Rolly James Aguinaldo, and Jean Lee Abellera who acted as regular Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members.

Marivic Sunggay and Marlito Baguioen played ex-officio SB members as the Federated President of the Liga ng mga Barangay and Federated Sangguniang Kabataan President, respectively, while Ola Joy Binaclang played the role of the Secretary to the Sangguniang Bayan.

During the mock legislative session, the municipal officials and employees sat beside the community volunteers to assist and coach them on how to conduct a legislative deliberation.

Afterward, Mayor Quiton played as foreman while Vice Mayor Laño and all SB members acted as laborers at the ongoing stone masonry sub-project of Kalahi-CIDSS in Poblacion.

A focus group discussion and an open forum were held toward the end of the event where everyone shared learnings and insights of the role-switching.

The exchange activity ended with everyone signing a manifesto of support for the institutionalization of the community-driven development (CDD) approach.

CDD seeks to empower poor communities to identify and implement projects based on the principles of participatory, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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The hope in the eyes of Lola Cely

Araceli Tadeo Sabalo shows her infectious smile while she is being interviewed in Pantay Tamurong, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur.

Despite her old age, a happy disposition is evident on the face of 73-year-old, Araceli Tadeo Sabalo, of Pantay Tamurong, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur. She has an infectious smile and exudes positive aura. When she talks, she laughs a lot – a laughter that can lighten up the mood of everyone around her.

But behind those smiles and laughter is a touching story.

In 2013, Lola Cely’s husband died. She went to the office of the Local Social Welfare and Development to make a plea that the slot of her husband as social pensioner should be transferred to her. Her appeal was denied. At that time, she was  67 years old.

Nancy Querubin-Llanes, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer, explained that Lola Araceli was not qualified yet to be accepted in the social pension program. The priority age at that time for social pensioner was 70-years old, Lola Araceli was 3 years younger.

During that time, Lola Cely did not know how to make ends meet. Her only hope to survive was the social pension her husband used to receive.

Lola Cely and her husband never had a child because they got married when she was already 40 years old. But her husband had three children from his first wife. She helped raise them when they got married. She considered them her own children. Unfortunately, two of her step-children died in accidents before their father’s death.

Although devastated, Lola Cely had to be strong in order to survive. She relied mostly on the help of her relatives and neighbors. With a twist of fate, she became a social pensioner when the priority age was set to 60 years old.

The financial assistance from the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 Lola Cely has been receiving proves to be a big help for her. She uses the money to buy medicine and food.

Today, Lola Cely has one realization. “Adda kanito idi nga kumitaak ti ngato tapos damagek ti Apo nu apay nga dinak pay laeng alaen tapno saanakon agrigrigat. Ngem siguro saan na pay kayat (Before, there were times before that I looked up on the skies and asked the Lord to end my suffering. But probably He doesn’t like it yet)”.

Lola Cely thinks she still has a purpose in life because she is still strong. So when she is not helping her neighbors and other relatives in their household chores, she actively participates in the activities of the organization of senior citizens in their barangay. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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How love defines Lola Ipang’s future as a centenarian

Lola Ipang (third from left) holds her Certificate of Recognition for being one of the centenarians in Ilocos Sur and the only one from Caoayan, Ilocos Sur. Seated beside her are (from left to right) her grandson Armando Cesario, Armando’s wife, and his biological mother.

One of the biggest fears for some people is to grow old with uncertainties and without someone to take care of them. But for the oldest person and only centenarian in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur, she comfortably aged to 103 years with so much security, love, and care from her grandchildren whom she helped rear to become what they are now.

Felipa Jeremias Quicio Alconcel, who is a picture of an accomplished elderly, was surrounded by her loved ones, some of them were on vacation from the United States of America (USA), when she sat down for an interview in their house in Brgy. Pantay Tamurong. She is thankful because none of her relatives have neglected her in her old age. She even joked by telling that “God has not remembered her yet.”  She meant that she is happy to face her Creator anytime.

“Why would I neglect her if from my childhood I already considered her my mother?” exclaimed Armando Cesario Alconcel Adoc, her grandson, who resigned from his promising career in the air transportation industry just to be with her in the last few years of her life.


Born on 1 May 1916, Lola Ipang, as she is fondly called, has no child of her own, but she considers all her grandchildren she helped raise as her own.

“I also had my suitors during my prime years and they used to send me love letters,” laughed Lola Ipang when asked if she never had any admirer. “But how would I entertain them when I needed to look after my grandchildren?”

She remained single because she was pre-occupied with taking good care of her siblings’ children and even their grandchildren. Since she was the only sibling who worked at home as a dressmaker, her siblings would entrust her their children so they can do their works outside their home.

Armando Cesario was the eldest of her grandchildren and the first one she raised as her own child while his mother was working as a public school teacher.

“I grew up feeling she was my real mother because I only see my mother in the evening after her work in the school,” said Armando Cesario. “I sleep beside her. She feeds and bathes me. She prepares all my things.”

When Armando Cesario went to Manila to pursue his education, his Lola Ipang went to live with him in the city.

With a very soft voice, Lola Ipang whispered that it was probably her destiny to remain single so that she could help her siblings raise their children and grandchildren whom she now considers her joy and treasure.

Armando Cesario revealed that her Lola Ipang can still move and work in her own with less assistance despite her conditions. She can barely see and hear now, but she doesn’t want a day without doing anything.

If Lola Ipang gets bored lying on her bed, she rises and goes around the house to sit in the sala, go to the dining table and eat her meals, and go to the bathroom and bathe.

Armando Cesario and his wife only need to prepare her foods in the table so that she could eat her meals or fill up the bucket with water so that she could take a bath.


Except her poor sight and hearing, Lola Ipang is not suffering from any illness like hypertension despite her big appetite for “bagnet”, a locally-produced deep-fried crispy pork belly dish. She could not eat without it, but Armando Cesario could not protest because she gets easily upset and throws tantrums if not served with her favorite dish.

“Surprisingly, she prefers to eat the fatty part of the meat. She is the exact opposite of her late sister who also turned centenarian before she died,” said Armando Cesario.

In order to maintain Lola Ipang’s love for “bagnet”, Armando Cesario is using part of her PhP100,000.00 monetary incentives to buy for it while the bigger portion has already been invested into a burial plan for her grandmother.

Lola Ipang also received one time PhP10,000.00 cash incentive from the Municipality of Caoayan when she turned 100 years old and an annual PhP15,000.00 from the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur as long as she lives.


With a cracked voice and almost tears on her eyes, Lola Ipang could no longer contain herself while she was repeating her words of gratitude for all her grandchildren who are helping her financially especially Armando Cesario.

“Mama Ipang sacrificed her happiness of not marrying in order to raise me for who I am now so it is my turn to take good care of her because no one is left except me,” said Armando Cesario. “She showered us with love when we were young, so she must also be showered with love now that she is old.”

Armando Cesario was working in Manila when his biological mother, who was then taking care of her Lola Ipang, was petitioned to live abroad. No one was left to look after her since all her grandchildren were already based and working abroad. Armando Cesario was left with no option but to go back to the province in 1996 – a decision he will never regret in his entire life!

For more than 20 years, Lola Ipang has been under the love and care of Armando Cesario. The amount of love she has shown to her grandson is the same amount of love her grandson is showing her now. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS honors community volunteers for championing CDD approach

Twenty-five (25) community volunteers of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi – CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) were honored recently for championing the community-driven development (CDD) approach to local planning during the first Municipal Community Volunteers’ Congress held in San Gabriel, La Union.

The CDD Champions of San Gabriel, La Union pose with DSWD Field Office 1 Regional Director, Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, and other Kalahi –CIDSS staff.

The awardees who are volunteering for DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS since its inception in the Region in 2014 have been instrumental in the implementation of community-driven development strategy in San Gabriel.

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS aims to empower poor communities in the country by applying the community-driven development approach as technology in allowing people to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting, and implementation of programs and services.

Tagged as CDD champions, said community volunteers were awarded plaques of recognition handed to them personally by the Regional Director of DSWD FO 1, Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo.

In his speech during the awarding rite, Director Castillo highlighted the importance of community involvement and cooperation in achieving better results in community project implementations.

Mas may bunga po ang proyekto kung ang mga tao mismo ang siyang gumagawa nito. Kung anuman ang resulta nito ay bunga po iyon ng pagkakaisa ninyo (A project bears better results if the people implement it by themselves. Whatever the result is the fruit of your cooperation),” the Regional Director said.

Director Castillo also added that everyone is already empowered, so what one must do is to tap and use it for community works and volunteerism.

All 15 barangays of San Gabriel were also given plaques of appreciation for their support to DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS during the activity.

San Gabriel has a total of 315 community volunteers in 18 sub-projects since the first cycle. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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Community volunteers end the quest for clean and safe water in Quirino, Ilocos Sur

An aerial view (left photo) of Quirino, Ilocos Sur shows that one of the major rivers in Northern Luzon, the Abra River, flows through the area while Municipal and barangay officials and employees (middle photo) lead the ribbon-cutting of the water system (right photo) in Bucnit, Namitpit, Quirino, Ilocos Sur.

Community volunteers have ended the quest for clean and safe water in Bucnit, Namitpit, Quirino, Ilocos Sur with the construction of a water system through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi – CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1).

Bucnit lies in the Cordillera mountain ranges where trees are abundant. The Abra River, one of the major rivers in the Northern Philippines, and other tributaries flow through the area.

But as for the I-Bucnit, clean and safe water for household consumption was a big concern during summer when springs dry up. Since the first cycle of Kalahi – CIDSS, the community had been identifying this problem as the topmost priority to be addressed and had been diligently lobbying for funding from the program.

It was only during the third cycle of the program when Bucnit Water System was finally prioritized in the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum – Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA). A total of PhP 1,831,863.15 was awarded to fund the sub-project. It is the fifth water system sub-project in Quirino since the first cycle that was prioritized under Kalahi-CIDSS.

Saanminto a malipatan daytoy a programa ta dakkel ti naitulong na kadakami (We will never forget this program because it helped us a lot),” said Punong-Barangay Gil Suminggao in his speech during the inauguration. “Adda water source ngem agkurang ti pondo ti barangay ken munisipyo. Agyaman kami ta adda ti Kalahi-CIDSS nga nangpondo daytoy (We have a water source, but the local government has no enough fund. We thank Kalahi-CIDSS for funding this).”

In response to the challenge of Punong-Barangay Suminggao that he posed during the inauguration, Roger Valdez, President of the Bucnit Water System Association (BUWSA), revealed that the association has already designed and approved measures on how to maintain said sub-project so that it will still be functioning fifty (50) years from now.

The BUWSA which is composed of the same community volunteers who constructed the sub-project was created to safeguard the operations and maintenance of the Level II Water System.

Valdez disclosed that the 3.5 by 3.5 meters water tank is closed from 8 o’clock in the evening to 5 o’clock in the morning of the following day in order to give time for the water tank to be fully filled for consumption on an entire day. It is also a way of teaching residents to conserve water.

To cover the costs of operation and maintenance, an amount of PhP 30.00 is collected for a lifetime membership and on top of that is another PhP 200.00 for an annual membership. Other fees include PhP 50.00 for every absence during assemblies and PhP 100.00 – 500.00 fines for illegal connections depending on the frequency of the offense.  (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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DSWD Kalahi–CIDSS beefs up efforts to lobby for CDD institutionalization

Kagawad Sofia Tad-o (top photo) of Danac, Sugpon, Ilocos Sur writes down identified activities by her barangay to strengthen local participatory governance in her place while officials of Banga, Sugpon, Ilocos Sur (lower photo) receive technical assistance from DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS staff during the first session of Makilahok  in Region 1.

Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) beefed up efforts to lobby for the institutionalization of the community-driven development (CDD) approach with the conduct of Makilahok (Local Participatory Governance) Roll-out Training to five (5) municipalities in Region 1.

Kalahi-CIDSS uses CDD as an approach to improve participatory local governance to attain its objective of empowering poor communities to identify and implement projects based on the principles of participatory, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability.

The Makilahok aims to strengthen the capacity of Local Government Units to intensify community participation in local development in support to local participatory governance.

During the activity, participants identified various tools, platforms, and mechanisms that can be integrated in the development planning process to come up with a Barangay Development Plan that highlights the integration of CDD-based approach.

The Barangay Development Plan contains priority programs and projects of every barangay usually for five-year period or medium term as basis for programming and budgeting of funds mandated under Section 305 of Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

Municipal and barangay elected officials as well as heads of local offices and members of the Municipal Inter-Agency Council (MIAC) from Alilem and Sugpon in Ilocos Sur; Pugo and Bagulin in La Union; and Burgos, Pangasinan have attended the event in five (5) separate sessions in different venues throughout the region. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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