INOCULATED. Mayor Ernesto Evangelista delivers a speech before an audience at the Municipal Recreation and Cultural Center where it is now being utilized as the COVID-19 Vaccination Site. In his speech, Evangelista urges Tomasinos to get inoculated to obtain the herd immunity for the entire municipality. Photo by Santo Tomas MIO

SANTO TOMAS, Davao del Norte (October 7, 2021)—The municipal government of Santo Tomas under the administration of Mayor Ernesto Evangelista is a recipient of a P20 million grant from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the agency’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services or Kalahi-CIDSS program. 

“Tungod sa atong pagpaningkamot na makahatag pa kita og serbisyo sa 19 barangays, dako atong kalipay na na-approve ang atong request na mahatagan kita og P20 million grant gikan sa DSWD. Kini na kwarta dako na kini na tabang sa atong mga barangay para mahatag nato ang mga proyekto na haum sa ilang panginahanglan labi na padayon kita nagsagubang aning pandemya,” Mayor Ernesto Evangelista said on Thursday.

Evangelista said the P20 million grant would be used to help improve the response initiatives against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the town’s 19 barangays.

He added that since KALAHI-CIDSS is a “community-driven” program, the decision as to what proposed initiatives will be funded will be decided by the community headed to ensure that the project or program would address the needed concerns of the said barangay. 

“Ang community mismo ang magdecide kung unsa na proyekto or programa ang ilang gustong punduhan kay kini na grant is a community-based program man. Mas maayo na ang community volunteers mismo ang mag-identify kung unsa ang dapat na project or program ang i-implement,”Evangelista said. 

Evangelista underscored the importance of close collaboration between the Santo Tomas LGU, the 19 Punong Barangays and the DSWD for the successful orientation of the KALAHI-CIDSS NCDDP program.

But he emphasized that whatever proposed initiatives the barangays would identify must help improve the COVID-19 response in their communities based on the KALAHI-CIDSS NCDDP program guidelines depending on their pressing needs as part of its community-driven development approach.

Meanwhile, Municipal Administrator Atty. Elisa Evangelista-Lapiña said that the municipal government is ready to provide technical assistance to the concerned barangay to ensure that the P20 million grant would be implemented smoothly. 

Lapiña added that the community-based projects under Kalahi-CIDSS should be a project that is sustainable and can effectively improve the delivery of basic health services, especially now that the country is still under a public health emergency because of the COVID-19. 

“Gusto nato ka kining KALAHI-CIDSS projects sa atong mga kabarangayan mahimong usa ka program na naa jud participation ang community isip usa ka poverty alleviation program sa gobyerno. Tumong niini na makabenepisyo ang tibuok komunidad sa kung unsa na proyekto ang mapunduhan,” she said.