Early Christmas gifts bring joy to thousands of kids in Cotabato

Amas, Kidapawan City (Nov 28, 2016) – Christmas has been extra exciting for many children in Cotabato with the special attention given to them by the provincial government.  

This early, thousands of colorfully wrapped gifts containing toys and other children’s stuff arrive in selected villages of the 17 towns and lone city and distributed by the respective department of the provincial capitol to children 12 years old and below.

Dubbed as the “Pamaskong Handog para sa mga Bata”, acting Cotabato Vice Governor Cristobal Cadungon said the program became a much anticipated event every Yuletide season bringing joy to thousands of children since its conception in 2010.

“Motivated by compassion, the provincial government has exerted effort to let the children feel they are special and for them to understand the true meaning of Christmas which is giving and loving one another”, said Cadungon.

He also highlighted that this program form big part of the concurrent outreach being done by the provincial government in many barangays. Cadungon also believed that the gift giving, a best practice and institutionalized by Gov. Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza is a life-changing activity for children.

Just like the previous years, each department or office of the Provincial Capitol is in charge of the Pamaskong Handog in every selected village. The employees with the presence of some provincial and village officials conduct the activity which includes party, parlor games, dancing and merry making for kids.

“We wanted to see each child smile and feel the spirit of Christmas”, Provincial Administrator Aurora Garcia who have been in different villages, said. She also mentioned that the provincial government recognizes the importance of children in the community and that it is important to make them realize the value of giving, sharing and understanding.

Brgy Chairman Melencio G. Dulangan of Don Panaca, Magpet said he was so happy to see children of his village and nearby areas benefiting from the said program.

“It is highly inspiring to see the Provincial Government of Cotabato do this activity all for the sake of our children”, said Dulangan.

On the other hand, Brgy Chairman Eusebio Madriaga of Labu-o, Pres. Roxas said it was so heartwarming to see happy, smiling children as they received the gifts. “It felt like Christmas is already here and everyone is thankful”, he said.

For his part, Jay Saniel, Municipal Administrator of Makilala, expressed his gratitude to the provincial government and to the programs under the “Serbisyong Totoo”. “We felt so blessed and we’re very thankful as beneficiary because this is a kind of program which truly shows the sincerity and compassion of our provincial officials”, said Saniel.

At least six villages have already successfully conducted the “Pamaskong Handog para sa mga Bata”. These include Brgy. Mateo, Kidapawan City with 400 children-beneficiaries (Nov 28); Brgy. Buena Vida, Makilala with 400 (Nov. 28); Brgy Don Panaca, Magpet with 500 (Nov 29); Brgy Labu-o, Pres. Roxas (Nov 29); Brgy. Kabalantian, Arakan with 550 (Dec 1); and Brgy Malatab, Antipas with 700 (Dec 1).

The other 12 selected villages are about to be visited by the respective office in charge in the following days.

For more than six years, the activity has been truly appreciated by Local Government Units and local officials who gave their utmost cooperation for the success of the program. (Jimmy Sta. Cruz with reports from Roville Ann Sotto/Photo by RAS-PGO Media Center)


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