Soccsksargen to get more classrooms from Aussie gov’t

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The Australian government has approved a grant of P33.05 million for the construction of additional classroom buildings and day care centers in parts of Region 12.

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Bai Zorahayda Taha, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 12 director, said Tuesday the grant is part of the support earlier committed by the Australian government for the ongoing expansion of the Kalahi-CIDSS-NCDDP initiative in the area.

Kalahi-CIDSS-NCDDP stands for Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program.

The program, which is implemented by DSWD, is a “community-driven development strategy that aims to empower communities to achieve improved access to services and participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting, and implementation.”

Taha said the grant will specifically fund the construction of 28 two to three-classroom buildings and four day care centers in eight municipalities in the region.

These are the municipalities of Maasim, Kiamba, Maitum and Malapatan in Sarangani Province; Arakan and President Roxas in North Cotabato; Senator Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat; and, T’boli in South Cotabato.

“These projects are based on the approved proposals earlier submitted by the recipient schools and communities,” she said in a statement.

Taha said the recipients are mainly villages where school buildings are considered to be their most pressing need.

The official said the initiative is part of the national government efforts to respond to the problem on classroom shortage in poor and marginalized villages in the region.

Also known as Soccsksargen, the region comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong and Cotabato.

Earlier this year, DSWD-12 completed the construction of six classroom building projects worth P9.61 million that were also funded by the Australian government.

The beneficiaries were Barangays Alibayaon, Amabel, Bantac, Imamaling, Kausawagan and Owas in Magpet, North Cotabato; Lamsalome in T’boli, South Cotabato; and, Kolambog in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

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