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Sulu mayors sign agreement for anti-poverty program

By Teng Datu,
Cotabato City Bureau Chief

Cotabato City — Officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Minda-nao (Armm) and local chief executives of three pilot municipalities in Sulu have signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the implementation of the ‘Apat Dapat’ program, an anti-poverty initiative that will focus on 600 of the region’s poorest families.

Armm Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia, Regional Vice Governor Haroun Alrashid Lucman Jr., Armm’s Interior and Local Government Secretary Noor Hafizullah Abdullah, and Executive Director Engr. Baintan Amapatuan of the region’s planning and development office led the signing of the agreement on Monday.

The mayors who signed the agreement were Mad-zhar Loong of the municipality of Parang, Hatta Ber-to of Pandami and Nivca-nezar Tulawie of Talipao. Provided in the agreement is the implementation of the Apat Dapat program.

Átty. Alamia said the regional government earmarked P240 million for the implementation of the program in 2015-2016. There will be 15 pilot municipalities – three municipalities in every province of the Armm – with 40 of the poorest families as beneficiaries in every municipality.

Aside from the three towns in Sulu, the other pilot municipalities under Apat Dapat program are Matanog, Barira and Datu Anggal Midtimbang in Maguindanao; Balindong, Lumba-Bayabao, and Taraka in Lanao del Sur; Tuburan, Tipu-tipo, and Sumisip in Basilan; and Tandubas, Simunul, and Sibutu in Tawi-tawi.

The program is under the Armm’s Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development Program for Sustainable Growth and Equity to help strengthen local governance and empower communities in the region.

It will supplement the ongoing poverty alleviation initiatives both of the regional and national governments. It will follow the ‘four for the poor formula,’ which zeroes in on the four most basic needs of a family, namely food, water, light, and shelter.

Major interventions include ensuring families are housed in secure homes with water and sanitation system and a basic lighting facility while providing them with the means to expand their livelihood and achieve food sufficiency along the way.

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