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Poverty alleviation is ARMM's top priority this year – Hataman

Cotabato City (Jan. 11, 2017) – Regional governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) underscored that poverty alleviation is his administration’s top priority this year.

This objective was discussed today, Jan. 11, at the Tapatan sa ARMM, a regular media forum, held at the Bajau Hall, Office of the Regional Governor compound in this city.

During the event, Gov. Hataman covered various issues affecting the ARMM as well as policies of President Rodrigo Duterte specifically the war against illegal drugs and criminality and its effects in the region.

He noted that around 95% of the ARMM’s 116 municipal mayors and two city mayors have confirmed their attendance to an invitation for a meeting with the President in Malacañang scheduled today, Jan. 11.

The governor has expressed full support to the President’s initiative to eliminate illegal drugs and criminality in the country. “Tama naman talaga na matapos na ang problema sa droga,” he said.

As to poverty alleviation -- the regional government’s prime focus for the year -- Gov. Hataman said there is a P4-billion allocation for various programs and projects aimed at eliminating hunger and malnutrition in the region.

He also answered the long-standing question on the cause of delay in the release of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) payouts that sometimes take as long as five months.

“Ang control ng DSWD (Department of Social Welfare of Development) -ARMM at regional government ay monitoring lamang,” the governor said, “kahit mag huhumiyaw ang DSWD-ARMM at ang regional government na bayaran na, kung walang paper for the contractor to pay it, walang mangyayari,” he added.

DSWD-ARMM has already scheduled a meeting with the DSWD central office to discuss about the technical problems the program is facing and to clear out issues on inconsistencies.

The regional governor also answered questions on terror threats and drug-related violence. The 6th Infantry Division and the Philippine National Police, he said, have intensified security measures and will definitely be on top of the situation, along with the regional government’s support, to ensure peace and order stability in the region.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in the ARMM at the provincial levels are also on high alert after the recent jailbreak in North Cotabato involving high-profile inmates, the regional governor said.

The local government units of areas where the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) operates, said Gov. Hataman, have created teams led by the Cooperative Development Authority and the Department of Agriculture to implement productivity activities aimed at helping local communities, including families of ASG members.

As to the economy, the regional government is expecting this year around the same level as 2016’s investment inflow. Gov. Hataman said his administration is looking at inviting more job-generating investments this year to provide more opportunities to his constituents. (Bureau of Public Information)
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