01 MARCH 2015.

bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) Malta's Prince arrives Sunday for a weeklong Philippine visit
bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) DSWD earmarks 4.85 million pesos for residents affected by armed conflict in Maguindanao, says Palace

Malta's Prince arrives Sunday for a weeklong Philippine visit
The Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta Fra’ Matthew Festing, arrives today, Sunday, for a weeklong official visit in the Philippines, the Palace announced on Saturday.

Fra' Festing, whose official visit marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Malta, will stay in the country until March 7, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

He is scheduled to meet with President Aquino to discuss bilateral relations before proceeding to Eastern Samar to see the ongoing shelter projects there funded by Malta.

The region was ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, killing thousands and destroying people's livelihood.

Malta's visiting prince will also hand over the symbolic key for his country's donation of core shelters--540 finished houses, 64 ongoing, and 96 to be constructed. The shelter project is expected to be finished by the end of May 2015.

Aside from meeting President Aquino in Malacanang, Fra' Festing's official delegation will also meet with Vice President Jejomar Binay, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin.

On March 5, Thursday, Fra’ Festing and his official delegation will visit Basey, Samar and see the 350 core shelters donated by Malta.

Malteser International, Malta's humanitarian, has been actively working in the Philippines providing assistance in areas like healthcare, hygiene and sanitation.

The organization is also involved in feeding programs, the provision of food supplements and medical supplies and disaster relief and rehabilitation. PND (as)


DSWD earmarks 4.85 million pesos for residents affected by armed conflict in Maguindanao, says Palace
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has allotted 4.85 million pesos for the residence affected by the ongoing armed conflict in Maguindanao, Palace said on Sunday.

"Naglaan na ang DSWD ng tulong na nagkakahalaga ng P4,850,000 para sa pagkain at iba pang serbisyo," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., on Sunday.

"May 2,090 pamilya o 10,450 katao mula sa pitong barangay sa bayan ng Datu Salibo, lalawigan ng Maguindanao ang kasalukuyang nasa anim na evacuation centers at binibigyan ng kalinga sa kanilang mga pangangailangan. Ito ay bunsod ng armed conflict sa pagitan ng Sandatahang Lakas at BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters)," Coloma added.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has an operation against the BIFF who believed to had aided two high value targets.

On January 25, police operatives conducted a manhunt on suspected terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The operation resulted to the killing of Marwan, while Usman eluded arrest. Forty-four police commandos were killed by suspected members of the BIFF and Moro Islamic Liberation Front during the operation.

Coloma also noted that there are additional provisions from the disaster response operations monitoring and information center of the DSWD and its field office in Region 12, should there be a need so. PND (ag)