The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) program is an anti-
poverty initiative of the administration of President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo. The project will assist the government in
strengthening the capability of local government units (LGUs) to
design, implement, and manage development activities. Such activities may include basic infrastructure like new or rehabilitated roads and bridges, barangay schools and clinics, and water supply and sanitation facilities.
Communities will prioritize their development needs, design
activities, seek technical expertise and make informed choices on how
resources are used for sustainable poverty reduction.
More than 5,300 poor barangays in 193 municipalities in 40 of the
poorest provinces in the Philippines are expected to benefit from
this project. These will be mostly in rural areas, where most poor
The KALAHI project will promote good governance, transparency,
participation with local level decision-making, and increased
accountability, as villagers gain hands-on experience in managing
projects. Promoting growth and enabling people, especially the poor, to
participate fully in development are the twin pillars of the national strategy for the Philippines.
This project will support the second pillar by giving influence over
decisions and resources to local communities. Poverty reduction
efforts are more likely to be effective and sustained when
communities are responsible for activities that affect them.
The core project principles are as follows:
Localized decision-making. Decisions on community sub-projects will
be made by barangay residents and their representatives.
Transparency. Every aspect of project decision-making will be known
to local communities and each peso spent will be accounted for on
public information boards and independently monitored by non-
government organizations (NGOs) and media groups.
Social inclusiveness. The entire community, not just a few families,
will have the opportunity to be involved in planning and decision-
Competition. Participating barangays will submit project proposals to
an inter-barangay forum for selection based on criteria like number
of poor beneficiaries and technical soundness of the proposal.
Demand-driven poverty reduction. Options for community-driven
projects are based on an open menu, but projects with negative
environmental or social impacts will not be funded.
The DSWD will be the implementing agency for the project.