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GMA shies away from TCT distribution to resettlers

- Ding Cervantes () - April 29, 2004 - 12:00am
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — In an apparent move to avoid charges of politicking, President Arroyo kept her distance from the distribution last Monday of 3,716 transfer certificates of title (TCTs) to families displaced by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991.

"There is no politics here that’s why not a single politician has been invited," Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) assistant secretary Deinrado Dimalibot told 1,184 family heads who attended the ceremony at the gymnasium of the Bulaon resettlement here.

It took Dimalibot four hours, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., to personally distribute the TCTs in simple ceremonies made festive by dance numbers from the beneficiaries’ children.

But while stressing that the affair was not colored by politics, Dimalibot reminded the beneficiaries that it was the President who wanted the land given free to the beneficiaries.

Without mentioning any name, he added, "You know whom to vote for in the coming elections."

The President bared her promise to provide house-and-lot packages to some 50,000 families rendered homeless by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption at the Expo Filipino in Clark last year.

One of the beneficiaries, 69-year-old Oscar Nicdao Reyes, president of the Senior Citizens’ Association of Pampanga, expressed gratitude to the President for the free housing package.

He said he had been awaiting ownership of the house and lot his family has been occupying for six years. His original home in Barangay Sta. Ines in Bacolor town was totally buried by volcanic flows.

Reyes disclosed that last month, 19 presidents of municipal senior citizens’ associations in Pampanga met in a restaurant here for a "secret sample balloting" on who they would vote for president.

He said all of them were for Mrs. Arroyo. "We would have written her name regardless of whether she gave us the resettlement housing for free or not," he told The STAR.

Flor Arrozal, deputy executive director of the Pinatubo Project Management Office (PPMO) under the HUDCC, said that 617 families also received their TCTs at the Sta. Lucia resettlement in Magalang town last Monday while 128 families at the EPZA resettlement got their TCTs on Tuesday.

Another 1,750 families in Madapdap and 37 more families in Mawaque received their TCTs last Wednesday and yesterday, respectively.

All the resettlements are located in Pampanga, the President’s home-province.

Over 50,000 families displaced by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption have been resettled in 15 lowland resettlement sites developed by the government in Central Luzon.

ASSOCIATION OF PAMPANGA BARANGAY STA CENTRAL LUZON DEINRADO DIMALIBOT DIMALIBOT EXPO FILIPINO FAMILIES FLOR ARROZAL MT. PINATUBO PAMPANGA
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