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PIA Press Release

Malinaonons avail of gov't help through KALAHI

by VG Villanueva

San Roque, Malinao, Aklan (18 October) -- Residents of this barangay including those of neighboring Usman and Tigpalas in Malinao, Aklan got the chance to avail of various government services and programs right at their doorsteps when the Kalahi Community Day and Hinun-anon Sa Barangay was held there October 17.

The activity was held in commemoration of the National Week for Overcoming Poverty with focus on the theme "Crossing Over the Threshold: Focusing on Priorities Against Poverty up to 2010."

As with other KALAHI activities already held in several Aklan municipalities earlier, national government agencies represented by regional and provincial directors converged in the area to present their respective programs and services and to hear concerns and needs of barangay folks that they could assist or aid.

KALAHI Focal Person Zenaida Mabugat, who gave the overview of the activity, said the KALAHI Community Day is one opportunity for the people in barangays to talk, ask and present their problems to different government agencies.

"In holding the activity, we also think of the efforts of the people to fight poverty. The government too, is trying its best to help alleviate poverty," said Mabugat.

Mabugat also said that Barangay San Roque, together with neighboring barangays Tigpalas and Usman is the target area under the KALAHI in conflict mode, a commitment made by the RPA-ABB-RPMP - specifically identified by the latter for the activity resulting from the ongoing peace talk with the government.

For his part, Aklan Governor Florencio T. Miraflores thanked the RPA-ABB-RPMP for helping maintain peace and order in the province through its on-going peace agreement with the government "which is one reason why the tourism industry in Aklan as well as the business activities thrived for the past five years because we are peaceful in Aklan."

An important and much-in demand component of the Community Day was the Medical Mission, manned by the medical team from the AFP as well as government doctors and medical staff from the provincial and municipal health offices in Aklan which was mobbed by barangay residents for free medical consultation and to avail of free medicines.

Residents of San Roque, Usman and Tigpalas also availed from KALAHI-member offices of the following: Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) from DAR; land titles from the DENR: chairs and reading materials from DepEd; medical equipment from DOH; reading materials for barangay library from DILG; family packs from DSWD; medicines used for medical mission from PCSO; health cards from Philhealth, and vegetable seeds from DA.

RDs of DTI and DOST, Dominic Abad and Zinnia Teruel respectively, got the most queries from barangay folks engaged in home-based industries like abaca bags and slipper-making. Queries from farmers were also made about the possibility of fashioning a mini rice terraces in the area for use of landless farmers.

Malinao is the second KALAHI area in conflict in Aklan, the other one being the town of Ibajay in the western side of Aklan.

KALAHI stands for Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan, a poverty alleviation program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (PIA) [top]

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