2 war-torn barangays in NorthCot to benefit from OPAPP housing project

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/27 January) – Two war-torn villages in Kabacan town in North Cotabato are the newest additions to the beneficiaries of the core shelter program of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) under its project Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA), a local official said.

Buenaventura Pacania, of the Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO) in Kabacan, identified barangays Pedtad and Nangaan as two of the many beneficiaries of PAMANA, a shelter project for the internally-displaced persons (IDPs).

Pacania said Pedtad and Nangaan were among the areas in North Cotabato affected by the August 2008 war led by Commander Ameril Umbra Kato, a former leader of the 105th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Reports reaching the MPDO and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) said that at least 100 houses were razed to the ground when the fighting became intense in 2008.

Even in February last year, the villages became sites of the armed fighting between the MILF and the mainstream Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) where thousands of families evacuated to safer areas for fear they might be caught in the crossfire.

While many of the evacuees during the 2008 war had already returned to their villages, many of them have yet to recover from the losses they incurred because of the skirmishes, Pacania said.

“Hundreds of Moro families have lost their homes, their farm animals, and other properties during the war,” said Pacania.

To discuss how the war victims could avail of the project, the MPDO would conduct next week assemblies at the barangays.

The PAMANA aims at ensuring target beneficiaries benefit from the improved delivery of basic social services of the government.

It also aims at reducing poverty and vulnerability of the communities through its core shelter program and cash assistance projects. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)