Koronadal City- The Australian government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has granted a total of P33.05 million to finance the construction of school building projects for Region-12, a DSWD official said Monday.

Bai Zorahayda T. Taha, DSWD-12 regional director said that the implementation of the various projects is of great help to various beneficiary villages where school buildings are considered to be the most pressing needs.

“The grant amount covers 28 school building projects, with either two or three classrooms each and a total four day care centers based on the proposed projects approved,” Taha said.

“This is part of the government efforts in response to the perenial problems of classroom shortage and will serve as a supply side of the agency to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in various villages, especially in the remote areas of the region,” Taha further explained.

Among the municipalities that will benefit the projects, according to Taha, are 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.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Gacuya, the municipal monitor for the projects said that some of these villages have already started the construction while others are still in the pre-construction period.

Prior to this, according to Gacuya, the agency has already completed six school buildings and two day care centers with the total project cost of P9.61 million, financed also by the Australian government.

Among the villages who are now benefiting the said completed projects are Alibayaon, Amabel, Bantac, Imamaling, Kausawagan and Owas in Magpet North Cotabato, Lamsalome in T’boli, South Cotabato and Kolambog in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

The grant was part of the partnership between agency and the Australian government through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP) of the agency.

Kalahi-CIDSS-NCDDP is a national expansion of the community-driven development (CDD) strategy which aims to empower communities to achieve improved access to services and to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting, and implementation.

The Program is also one of the supports for post-disaster response and development to typhoon Yolanda-affected areas in the country. (Hilbert T. Estacion, Regional Social Marketing Officer, DSWD-12)