ARMM gov’t releases P175.7 M for day-care centers, housingBy Edwin Fernandez
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said Tuesday it has turned over a total of P175.7 million to Habitat for Humanity for the construction of day-care centers and houses for families displaced by armed conflict in the region’s five provinces.
ARMM Vice Gov. Hadja Bainon Karon, who is also secretary of the region’s Department of Social Welfare and Development, said the amount was divided into 22 checks and came from the ARMM’s stimulus fund account.
Pombaen Kader, the region’s assistant welfare secretary, said under a contract entered into with Habitat for Humanity, 1,100 day-care centers will be constructed in all five ARMM provinces, with Maguindanao accounting for 620; Basilan 60; Lanao Sur 150; Sulu 70; Tawi-Tawi 175; and Marawi City 25.
Each day-care center, she said, will cost between P617,000 and P670,000.
Meanwhile, the construction of 1,000 small houses under a separate housing program—the Modified Shelter Assistance to families displaced by armed conflict in the ARMM provinces—has been deferred.
Kader said the postponement was upon the advice of the military’s various engineering brigades which will be undertaking the project.
There was no clear reason given but other ARMM sources said the unstable peace and order condition in some areas was a hindrance to the entry of soldiers who will actually construct the houses.
Under the program, Maguindanao will get the biggest number of MSA beneficiaries with 699 units to be constructed at P100,000 per unit. Sulu comes next with 200 units and Basilan completing the list with 101 units share.