KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, May 3 – Thousands of residents covered by the government’s signature anti-poverty program converged on Tuesday in T’boli town in South Cotabato to celebrate Indigenous Peoples day.

Zorahayda T. Taha, regional director of Department of Social Welfare and Development, said about eight thousand T’boli households under Modified Conditional Cash Transfer from the town’s 25 villages attended the activity at the gymnasium.

“We thank the local government of T’boli for supporting our program as well for recognizing the rights of these people,” Dir. Taha said.

The MCCT is an expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which provides a complete package of assistance to street families, including responsive shelter program, access to social services and economic opportunities for the improvement of their living conditions.

Under the MCCT program, an indigent family may receive up to P4,000 in monthly rental support payments for up to six months to a year.

Town mayor Dibu Tuan sa he was stunned of the event’s outcome as their gymnasium was jam-packed with beneficiaries of MCCT.

“It was great and first time that our gymnasium was filled with people who were entertained by our visitors from Manila,” Tuan said.In the same event, the local government gave 50,000 pesos worth of goods to the participants.

Nationwide, around 14 to 17 million are indigenous peoples.

For United Nations, this sector is the first to face direct impacts of climate change due to their dependence and close relationship with the environment and its resources. (End)