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PIA Press Release

PGMA receives warm welcome in Mother Kabuntalan town

Koronadal City (18 February) -- Mother Kabuntalan officials and residents hail President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for being the first ever President of the country to visit this remote area.

President Arroyo received a warm welcome during her visit here to award Certificates of Ownership to 65 beneficiaries of core shelters under DSWD?s Early Recovery and Rehabiliation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

In her brief message, the President noted the significant improvement in the peace and order situation of said town which was one of the areas in Maguindanao affected by the spate of armed conflicts the past years.

"Ang Kabuntalan ay isang napaka-importante at kilalang-kilala na bayan that has emerged, na siya ay lugar ng napakaraming mga giyera nang nakaraan," the President said.

She said, the collapse of the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) due to the non-signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in 2008 resulted in the escalation of the armed conflicts in many areas.

Thousands of families in conflict-affected areas have been displaced, she said.

In response, the President said, the government has allocated half a billion pesos as relief assistance to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in different conflict areas.

Through the Food-for-Work program of the DSWD, the beneficiaries themselves were involved in the construction of the core shelters.

"Itong mga binigay natin na Certificates ngayon, dalawang taon ginawa nila iyon kanilang sariling tahanan. Binigyan sila ng pagkain habang tinatayo iyong kanilang tahanan," President Arroyo said.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera said at the cost of P50,000 per shelter, 65 units out of the 100 core shelters have been completed and awarded to identified occupants.

The remaining 35 units will be completed within this month of February, Cabrera assured. (pbc/PIA) [top]

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