MAASIM, Sarangani (December 21, 2008) - The municipality of Maasim isthe pilot area for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Laban saKahirapan Program in this province.
Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the piloting of Maasim isjust an introduction to more projects to be replicated in other areasin Sarangani.
Teodoro had inspected Maasim days before President Arroyo arrivedDecember 17 for the ceremonial start of the P250,000 rehab project ofa two-classroom building in Maasim Elementary School.
Packaged under the Laban sa Kahirapan Program is the cash-for-work torehabilitate the school building and the self employment assistance tohelp finance a beneficiary's livelihood project in the amount ofP5,000.
Teodoro said these projects are very important in areas like Maasimwhere conflict had occurred, so livelihood in the area must continue.
"Kasabay ng pag-protection sa inyo, ituloy natin ang normal nakabuhayan at magprogreso tayo," he told a crowd of teachers,government security personnel and civilians.
Governor Migs Dominguez is hopeful the program would inspirecommunities in Maasim to collaborate with the government in promotingpeace and progress.
While there are children who could not go to school and while there are families that have not yet enjoyed assistance from the government,Dominguez said leaders in government are to give them inspiration andhope.
He likewise stressed the investments in education the program couldprovide for his constituents.
"We have to start investing in people," he said, revising the sayingthat Mindanao is not the land of promise. "Hindi po ang lupa angpromise. Ang promise po ay nasa ating lahat ng tao." (Beverly C.Paoyon/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)