KORONADAL CITY (PIA) – More villages in Upi, Maguindanao, are set to benefit from several projects that could help alleviate poverty, and foster peace in the area.
Upi local government officials said these projects include access to potable water, day-care centers, and livelihood projects.
Noraida Chio, team leader of the A Single Drop of Safe Water (ASDSW) Cotabato office, announced recently that Upi town has been selected as a pilot site for a water sanitation and hygiene project to be funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with the Maguindanao provincial and municipal governments.
Under the project, the clustered villages of Rempes, Ranao Pilayan, Bayabas, Kibleg, and Mirab, as well as Barangay Tinungkaan, will have access to clean sources of water – primarily to prevent outbreaks of water-borne diseases.
Besides Upi, the municipalities of Parang, and Sultan sa Barongis have also been included as pilot areas.
Chio explained that these villages were selected based on several criteria, including existence of governance, peace and order situation, accessibility, and presence of water-borne diseases based on previous assessment of local water sources.
Chio emphasized that the program believes that provision of clean and potable water in underprivileged communities could help boost efforts to achieve long-lasting peace.
Meanwhile, five other villages in Upi town will also have their own day-care centers, courtesy of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Social welfare officer III Marilou Diestro disclosed that the day-care centers will be built in the villages of Blensong, Kibleg, Sefegefen, Bugabungan, and Borongotan within 45 days.
Diestro said each day-care center that will be constructed in partnership with the Philippine Army’s Engineering Brigade based in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, costs P617,000.
Last May 16, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Barangay Kibleg to signal the start of the construction of the facilities, which are seen to be of great help, especially in honing the minds of pre-school children in the identified areas.
Delivery of construction materials have already began for the other day-care centers.
Last May 17, a village assembly was held in Barangay Sefegefen to announce that a grant amounting to P1.5 million have been awarded to the municipality.
As this developed, municipal engineer Gerardo Cariño said the fund under the Municipal Block Grant through the ARMM Social Fund Project was given to the village as a result of the positive result in the monitoring of previous projects granted to them, and for the cooperation the village had shown in the implementation of their projects.
Cariño said the funding was part of a government loan from the World Bank in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The fund and the projects, the municipal official said, will be managed by the Centro Sefegefen Farmers Association.
Survey on what specific projects this fund will be spent on is still being finalized, he added.
The village-wide assembly was also attended by Diestro, municipal local government operations officer Cicellia Pelobillo, municipal facilitator Cheruben Real, 4Ps municipal link Maureen Obina, and village officials led by Dominador Moendem.