DAVAO CITY—A community gymnasium was turned over to an interior barangay in Pigcawayan town of North Cotabato as part of efforts to build public buildings to be tagged safe spaces for children and for community gatherings.
Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo inaugurated the gymnasium-cum-activity center at Barangay Lower Baguer, in Pigcawayan Cluster to the Special Geographic Area (SGA) “to provide safe space for children and foster public dialogue among the locals”.
“Through the center, it will be easier for the locals to hold community events, gatherings, and other recreational activities, and give children safe space to play and learn,” he said.
The center was funded under the Bangsamoro Integrated Rehabilitation and Development (BIRD) program, a five-year all-inclusive development initiative of the Office of the Chief Minister.
The MILG also distributed relief to residents of Cotabato City and barangays in the SGA, and gave six photocopiers to SGA barangays of Buricain, Lower Baguer, Lower Pangankalan, Datu Mantil, Matilac and Libungan Toreta.
The SGA comprises 63 barangays spread over six North Cotabato towns which opted to be under the jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, rather than Region 12.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) also opened last month the renovated action center in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte to be the Kanlungan action center for women and children in Maguindanao.
The BARMM said the children and women beneficiaries were vulnerable or have been victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and other forms of abuse.
The two-story facility is called “Kanlungan”, a Filipino term for shelter or refuge, to house up to 16 persons. It has a kitchen, recreation room, counseling room, bedrooms, comfort rooms, and a playground.
The ribbon-cutting was led by MSSD Minister Raissa Jajurie, Maguindanao Provincial Social Welfare Officer Hadja Emma Ali, and Member of Parliament Narciso Yu Ekey, who initiated the renovation of the action center.