Statement by Ms. Chiyo Kanda
Philippines Acting Country Director, World Bank
Secretary Dinky Soliman,
Country Director of the Asian Development Bank, Richard Bolt,
Friends from the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honor and pleasure for me to join today’s press conference with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, together with our development partner, the Asian Development Bank.
The World Bank strongly believes that the expansion of the KALAHI-CIDSS into the National Community-Driven Development Program (KC-NCDDP) will empower more local communities and local governments across the country to participate in local planning, budgeting and implementation of community-level projects that help reduce poverty. That is why last February, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors expressed strong support to this program and approved a US$479 million loan to scale up the KALAHI-CIDSS to a nation-wide coverage. We expect that the World Bank financing will cover 477 of 847 municipalities targeted by NCDDP, and will benefit more than eight million Filipinos in poor rural communities, including Yolanda-affected areas, who will have better access to social and economic infrastructure and services
There is also another good reason why we are supporting this program: It will prioritize communities affected by the disaster which devastated central Philippines in November of 2013. The use of community-driven development approaches in post-disaster situations has shown to be effective around the world in accelerating community-led reconstruction and efficiently putting money for priority needs of communities.
The community driven approach used in KALAHI has helped bring development in the communities’ own hands; it has empowered poor communities to organize themselves, identify common issues and priorities, prepare project proposals and manage their implementation. I have visited many CDD projects in Philippines and other countries in the world, and have witnessed that a CDD approach really works. When people know that they have control and decision making power over the project, they really take initiatives and responsibilities, look after funds and account for them in a transparent manner, and own the projects by taking care of them even years after project completion. This is sometimes not the case when projects were brought in by outsiders without consulting or involving the community members.
Take for example, the experience of a small town of Balangiga. This town, located in Eastern Samar, is one of the beneficiary towns of Kalahi-CIDSS. The town used to suffer from floods during the rainy season. Communities along the seashore were vulnerable, so when the town had the opportunity to get block grants from KALAHI, community members decided to use the money to build a network of canals and a concrete seawall to protect them from floods and the surges of the sea-water during high tides, driven by strong winds. This community project saved the people from the yearly flooding, but, as in any other places, Yolanda proved to be too strong. Although the seawall lessened the strength of the storm surge, the strong winds simply demolished most of the houses. But the presence of community leaders and volunteers for KALAHI has facilitated their relief and recovery efforts.
The experience in Balangiga is just one good example. Hence, we are optimistic that NCCDP will be as successful as KALAHI. The World Bank has been engaged in Kalahi-CIDSS since 2002, helping design, implement and monitor the project; the Kalahi has financed close to 6,000 community projects amounting US$265 million, and benefited over 1.6 million households in the poorest municipalities. A recent evaluation indicates that Kalahi-CIDSS beneficiaries’ spending for food and other necessities has increased by 12 percent. The cost of projects completed by beneficiary communities was usually lower than similar public sector works. Results from Kalahi reaffirm that effective people’s participation promotes community ownership and good governance, which in turn leads to better implementation, operations and maintenance of projects.
Last week, we announced the new World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for the Philippines. Through this strategy, we will continue to support the Philippines in achieving inclusive growth to ensure economic growth works for all Filipinos, especially the poor. The NCCDP is an integral part of this strategy as we all strive together to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity among many more Filipinos.