Monday, March 01, 2010

Gawad Kalinga to build community in Sulu; pro-poor housing inaugurated

Sulu Governor Sakur Tan briefs representatives of the Gawad Kalinga Community Foundation - Jerick Limoanco and Rey Balatayo - during a housing project site inspection Sunday, February 28, 2010 in Maimbung town. The Gawad Kalinga says it will build at least 120 housing units in the town in partnership with the Sulu provincial government. Muslim children play on a bridge in Maimbung town and behind them is a housing project which was also inaugurated Sunday by Governor Tan. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 28, 2010) – Over 100 houses which will benefit mostly poor families are to be erected in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said on Sunday.

Officials said the project is part of the Gawad Kalinga program and the Sulu provincial government. Two representatives of the Gawad Kalinga met with Governor Sakur Tan on Sunday and inspected the site where at least 120 houses would be constructed soon.

Tan briefed Jerick Limoanco and Rey Balatayo about the proposed housing site in the town of Maimbung. They were welcome by residents in the area.

“We are going to build houses. We are going to build a Gawad Kalinga community and this will benefit many people here in Sulu,” Balatayo said.

Gawad Kalinga is a Philippine-based poverty reduction and nation-building movement launched by Couples for Christ, a Catholic lay community, to care for worse-off Filipinos and survivors of natural disasters.

Last year, the Gawad Kalinga Global Summit was held in Boston, Massachusetts, where the foundation also launched its Vision 2024 platform - a 21-year timeline aimed to eradicate homelessness, hunger, and poverty for the millions of impoverished Filipino families all over the Philippines", bringing the country into First World status by 2024.

Tan said aside from the housing project, provincial infrastructure projects are also going on in many areas in Sulu.

After the site inspection, Tan also inaugurated a multi-million pro-poor housing project in Maimbung and was attended by village leaders. Dozens of new houses, many of them sitting on stilts, have been constructed in coastal towns.

“We have been doubling our time to finish more projects. The provincial (housing projects) costs millions of pesos and many poor families are now benefiting from these infrastructure and other pro-poor projects,” he said.

Tan also inspected several road and off-shore fisheries and lobster-fattening projects in Sulu. He said many fishermen have organized themselves into cooperatives and are benefiting from the government technical support, including loans and trainings. (Mindanao Examiner)

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