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Anti-poverty program launched for 600 of ARMM’s poorest families

COTABATO CITY – Starting this January, the regional Department for Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-ARMM) will begin the implementation of its Apat Dapat program as part of its efforts to combat poverty in the region. The program’s pilot run is set to last until December 2016, and will cater to the 40 poorest families in 15 select ARMM municipalities.

The program will supplement the ongoing poverty alleviation initiatives both of the regional and national government. It will follow the ‘four for the poor formula,’ which zeroes in on the four most basic needs of a family, namely food, water, light, and shelter.

The four basic needs were determined by a study regarding poverty incidence in the region, conducted by the Regional Planning and Development Office. Major interventions include ensuring families are housed in secure homes with its own water and sanitation system and a basic lighting facility, while providing them with the means to expand their livelihood and achieve food sufficiency along the way.

“Combating poverty has two phases, the long-term and the short-term. While the Apat Dapat program is initially a short-term program, gradually we’re expecting that we’ll earn the necessary experience and milestones for the continuity and expansion of the program into a long-term solution to poverty,” DSWD-ARMM Secretary Rahima Alba said.

To ensure that the program will meet its goals, the DSWD will oversee the conduct of case management of every household. It also hopes to coordinate with the Department of Health’s rural health units and its nutritionists in monitoring the health. There will be 15 pilot municipalities – three municipalities in every province of the ARMM – with forty family beneficiaries in every municipality.

The pilot municipalities are Matanog, Barira and Datu Anggal Midtimbang in Maguindanao; Balindong, Lumba-Bayabao, and Taraka in Lanao del Sur; Tuburan, Tipu-tipo, and Sumisip in Basilan; Talipao, Parang, and Pandami in Sulu; and Tandubas, Simunul, and Sibutu in Tawi-tawi.  (Bureau of Public Information/Mindanao Examiner)

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