Gov't to turn over 265 shelters to N. Cotabato IDPs

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Cotabato City, Jan. 10– Hundreds of displaced families in North Cotabato will soon move in to their new homes as the government through the PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) program is set to turnover 265 shelters on Thursday as part of its IDP (internally displaced persons) Shelter Assistance Project.

PAMANA is the P-Noy administration’s program and framework for peace and development in conflict-affected areas, as well as communities covered by existing peace agreements. It seeks to reduce poverty, improve governance and empower communities through projects that address people’s socio-economic needs and promote peace at the same time.

The shelter units will be formally turned over to beneficiaries displaced by armed skirmishes between government forces and lawless elements led by former Moro Islamic Liberation Front Commanders Ustadz Ameril Umra Kato and Bravo following the failed signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain in August 2008.

The turnover ceremonies will be held in Barangay Libungan Torreta in Pigcawayan in the morning and Barangay Dunguan in Aleosan in the afternoon.

Attending the ceremonies will be Congressman Jesus Sacdalan, Pigcawayan Mayor Roberto S. Blasé, Aleosan Mayor Loreto V. Cabaya, Pigcawayan Municipal Administrator Ibrahim Rahman, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Virgilita D. Guilaran and Director Eric dela Torre of the OPAPP PAMANA Coordinating Unit-Mindanao among others.

Hasan Kalipa, an IDP leader and shelter assistance beneficiary, will deliver a short testimony during the Pigcawayan ceremony.

More shelters in Maguindanao

In December 2011, the government through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process recently turned-over to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government P 62 million to begin construction of 2,340 core shelters for IDPs in Maguindanao Province.

Expected to be finished within four months, the core shelters will be constructed in the municipalities of Talayan, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Datu Piang, Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Salibo.

In 2011, 180 core shelters were completed and turned over to IDP families in Poblacion and Brgy. Linamonan in Talayan, Maguindanao .