DECENT HOUSES. The houses turned over on Thursday (March 17, 2022) by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government to 185 indigent families in Parang, Maguindanao. The PHP74-million housing project was funded under the CY 2019 BARMM’s Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development for Growth and Empowerment program. (Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Information Office - BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – At least 185 indigent families in Maguindanao now have houses they can call their own.

This came after the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Ministry of Public Works’ (MPW) - Maguindanao 1st District Engineering Office and the BARMM-KAPYANAN (Kapayapaan sa Pamayanan) Program officially turned over Thursday 185 housing units amounting to PHP74 million to recipient-families at Barangay Biruar in Parang town, Maguindanao.

BARMM Assistant Senior Minister Abdullah Cusain, who is also the program manager of KAPYANAN, said the project was conceived with the help of the former ARMM government to improve lives.
 
"For us in the BARMM, we acknowledged the previous ARMM officials in their great efforts to start this kind of decent project which could promote betterment for our constituents," Cusain said.
 
He said the housing project was funded under the CY 2019 BARMM’s Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development for Growth and Empowerment (BRIDGE) program that aimed to provide shelter for families who were either displaced due to conflict, among the poorest, or former combatants in the area.

“If I’m not mistaken, before the year 2021, we agreed to have the MPW construct at least 3,600 housing units across the region because we consider that homelessness remains a major problem all over BARMM areas, and we need to address that through the KAPYANAN program,” Cusain recounted.
 
KAPYANAN is among the special programs of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim aimed at providing basic needs including core shelters with light, water, and sanitation, and sustainable livelihood for the poorest of the poor in the region.

“We are very thankful to the BARMM government for providing us this housing unit,” Sabila Asi, one of the beneficiaries, said in the vernacular.

“We are happy because we feel now that there is a government that promotes our well-being,” she added.

Another beneficiary, Hadji Ahmad Abpet, also expressed his gratitude to the regional government for their decent houses.
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 “I am happy that I have reached this point in my life where I get to see the fruit of our decades-long struggle,” he said.

Abpet is a 78-year-old veteran rebel fighter whose family were among those displaced from Lutayan, Maguindanao, since 1972. (PNA)