Japan funds rehabilitation of classroom in Tanauan, Leyte

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At the groundbreaking ceremonies: (From left) Mario Sombilon, Department of Education Regional Office representative; Richard Bolt, Country Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Philippines Country Office; James Nugent, Director General, ADB Southeast Asia Department; Mayor Pelagio Tecson of Tanauan; Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman; Barangay Captain Efren Merilo of Bislig ; Archie Lawrence Kapunan, Sangguniang Bayan member and Mario Roa, Principal, Bislig Elementary School

At the groundbreaking ceremonies: (From left) Mario Sombilon, Department of Education Regional Office representative; Richard Bolt, Country Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Philippines Country Office; James Nugent, Director General, ADB Southeast Asia Department; Mayor Pelagio Tecson of Tanauan; Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman; Barangay Captain Efren Merilo of Bislig ; Archie Lawrence Kapunan, Sangguniang Bayan member and Mario Roa, Principal, Bislig Elementary School

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte: The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) had a groundbreaking ceremony in Barangay Bislig in Tanauan, Leyte last April 8, to mark the start of the construction of a two-classroom building in Bislig Elementary School.

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The construction of the school building will be implemented through Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the three core poverty-alleviation programs of the DSWD.

The funding for the construction of the two classrooms, as well as the repair of 10 other in the campus, will be funded through a grant from the Asian Development Bank’s Japan Fund Poverty Reduction (JFPR), as part of its initiative to mitigate the adverse social and economic impact of Super Typhoon Yolanda in selected municipalities in Eastern Visayas.

The budget allocated for the construction of the school building and the repairs for the 10 classrooms is at P7.08 million.

Among the attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony will be Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Southeast Asia Department Director General James Nugent, Country Director of the ADB Philippine Country Office Richard Bolt, and Tanauan Mayor Pelagio “Pel” Tecson.

According to ADB, the grant, which is worth $20,000,000, targets the coverage of 1.2 million people living in 74 pre-selected municipalities in Eastern Visayas. The region was chosen because it was hit hardest by Yolanda.

Of the $20,000,000, $2,000,000 will be utilized by Kalahi-CIDSS for the speedy recovery of 220 small-scale municipal and community infrastructures in 13 Eastern Visayas municipalities using the community-driven development (CDD) strategy, a development approach that focuses on empowering and building up the capacities of citizens and local government units so they will be able to lift their own communities out of poverty.

The Kalahi-CIDSS JFPR implementation may include the repair or reconstruction of small-scale infrastructure such as rural access roads, health centers, water systems, irrigation systems, and footbridges.

Kalahi-CIDSS will be scaling up into the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP) this year.

NCDDP pays special attention to disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM). Part of its coverage specifically involves municipalities that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Of its targeted 847 municipalities, 554 are Yolanda-affected.

Another DSWD project, the Sustainable Livelihood Program, will be utilizing $8,000,000 of the grant to provide access to emergency employment and livelihood support. This seeks to cover 1 million individuals in 912 barangays in 20 municipalities with an average of 35.5 percent poverty incidence in Eastern Visayas.

The SLP JFPR implementation includes skills building on skills needed for the rehabilitation of common infrastructure, as well as support for income-generating activities so they can re-establish their livelihoods.

Other than DSWD, the other JFPR implementing agencies will be the National Electrification Administration, the Department of Health, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the National Economic Development Authority.

Implementing Partners of the JFPR grant are Plan International, Land Equity International, and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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