CARMEN, Bohol – United States ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg yesterday has appealed to village people of Villarcayo of this town to take care of the development projects being implemented for their own good and those of their children. It’s not only the duty of the government “but you owe it to yourselves and the future to maintain and safeguard the use of these facilities,” Goldberg said in his short speech before the barrio folks, schoolchildren, public school teachers and visitors during his visit here yesterday.
The ambassador visited here yesterday to inaugurate and meet the beneficiaries of a one-classroom school building sub project funded by the U. S. Government’s $434 million Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in the Philippines.
It was learned that the barangay people are the ones who chose the school building sub-project as priority considering that they lack classrooms “to accommodate the growing number of enrollees in this barangay.
He said that the “participation and sacrifice of community volunteers in preparing, developing and implementing and monitoring the sub-projects based on identified needs should be commended.”
Citing Bayanihan of the barrio folks, the ambassador said he saw the cooperation and resiliency of the townsfolk in the completion of the building. He said in his three-page speech exclusively obtained by this writer, “I have seen Bohol to rise by the earthquake in 2013. It has changed the lives of Boholanos but what I have witnessed so far is a kind of change that is transformation and demonstrates the resilient nature of the people of this province.”
The school building completion was possible under the Kapit-Bisig laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, a project of the DSWD. The MCC supported the Kalahi-CIDSS through a $120 million grant supervised by Millenium Challenge Account-Philippines.
MCC has provided a total of Php125,801,639 for Bohol’s 12 towns with completion of 232 basic infrastructure sub-projects. These include the farm-to-market roads, water systems, schools that benefited more than 5,000 households in 22 barangays in this town, the ambassador said.
Goldberg led the ceremonial unveiling of the school building marker along with Sec. Corazon Soliman of the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Mayor Ricardo A. Toribio, Gov. Edgardo Chatto, and other officials.
“Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development project that aims to strengthen and empower communities by involving them in the entire project completion process. It allows them to prioritize their community’s needs and take responsibility for the management of funds, procurement of resources and completion of a sub-project.
The ambassador hastened to say: “Kalahi-CIDSS principles resonate well with the US Government’s standards of inclusiveness, participation, transparency and accountability.”
A day before, Goldberg witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that picked Tagbilaran City under the Cities Development Initiative (CDI). City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and country mission director Gloria Steele of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed the MOU.