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PIA Press Release

ACT for Peace rebuilds Sarangani IDPs

Kiamba, Sarangani (11 June) -- The Action for Conflict Transformation (ACT) for Peace Programme continues its project implementation in Sarangani and in Mindanao particularly for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in partnerships with the local government units.

Local leaders, with ACT for Peace national program director Jesus Dureza, signed a memorandum of understanding for the three-pronged approach in implementing its projects at the turn-over and launching ceremony of early recovery and rehabilitation project for South-Central Mindanao Wednesday (June 9).

"There's a lot of work beyond the giving of funds," Dureza said. "The real work is out there in the field in order to help our communities."

"Despite the many things and important events happening in the world, they (evacuees) are still there crying for attention and assistance," Dureza said.

At the project site visit in Gasi, Kiamba, Dureza reiterated the importance of cooperation among communities as an opportunity for the government in providing them assistance.

Gasi is one of the 30 community beneficiaries of the ACT fir Peace' StRIDe Mindanao (Strengthening Response to Internal Displacement in Mindanao) Project mostly inhabited by the Tboli tribe.

In October 4, 2008, Gasi was attacked by lawless elements and burned the barangay hall, day-care center and other social infrastructures, leaving hundreds of families in fear. The local government immediately responded to the needs of the community as government forces conducted clearing operations.

At present, Gasi is recovering from this incident compounded by socio-economic marginalization.

Under the StRIDe Mindanao's Integrated Rehabilitation Project, Gasi received a total project cost of P2.9 million with P300,000 counterpart from the local government.

Projects such as Level-2 type water system, barangay health station with medical provisions, village pharmacy, farm equipments, livelihood for women, supplemental feeding, multi-purpose building classroom, 20 core shelters, trauma counseling and psycho-social services, capacity building, conflict resolution and management trainings and stress debriefing are in place and continuing.

"We will rebuild our communities," Governor Migs Dominguez said.

"With the United Nations Development Program being around always offering a helping hand, we have spoken our commitment louder than words through credible and transparent governance," Dominguez said.

"My commitment remains and increasing over time not only in Sarangani but in the whole of Mindanao," Dominguez said. Dominguez chairs the Regional Development Council of Region XII.

Gasi is one of the 13 peace and development communities affected by the 2008 armed conflict assisted by the program.

In South-Central Mindanao, seven other barangays in North Cotabato (Dunguan, Tapodoc, Damatulan, Lomopog, Maybula, Kanibong, New Bunawan) and Lumasal in Maasim, Sarangani are also given assistance by the program with 14.3 million donors' fund from the European Commission through the program. (PIO Sarangani/PIA SarGen) [top]

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