Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Officials listen to villagers' gripes

ALABEL, Sarangani (March 5, 2008) – Local government officials have sought community cooperation and support for stable peace and order condition in the hinterlands following recent surrender of rebels to the government.

Governor Migs Dominguez, who led municipal officials to Purok Ihan in barangay Datal Anggas Tuesday (Mar. 4), gave the opportunity for villagers to air their sentiments and get government attention to improve their living.

"Kailangan naming ang inyong suporta at kooperasyon," the governor told residents in Datal Anggas, some 47 kilometers north of the poblacion.

Dominguez asked them to list down the basic services needed by the barangay for the local government to look into.

The municipal government has built a water system sourced from a spring that benefits 80 households in the village belonging to the Blaan tribe.

A nursery for 10,000 rubber trees was constructed late last year to be planted in Datal Anggas and its adjacent barangays.

In August, a score of bandits and 16 members of the New People's Army (NPA) laid down their arms to government and started farming for corn.

"Salamat sa tulong ng gobyerno sa amin," Roger Tartisan said.

Tartisan, 20, and his former co-combatant, Layde Malinaw, 31, now produce corn and bring their crops to the market through a habal-habal (passenger motorcycle).

Lt. Col. Manuel Sequitin, 66th Infantry Battalion commander, has placed a Division Recon Company in Ihan to ensure the security of the villagers.

A livelihood training on basket weaving for former rebels and women has been conducted by Globe Telecom and ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation's BridgeCom sa Bayan in partnership with the provincial government of Sarangani and the Alcantara Foundation.

Purok Chairman Victor Moda said the completion of a six-kilometer Ihan-Kalbangan road through the food-for-work program would enable children to go to a primary school two kilometers away from the purok center. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE/RGP)

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