GMA to launch Christmas program for poor

President Arroyo will launch tomorrow a Christmas program for the poor that involves giving out free rice and other goods as well as scholarships.

Mrs. Arroyo presided over the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)-Cabinet meeting yesterday at the Palace where details of the Pamaskong Handog (Christmas Gift) program were announced. The program will cover the top 10 depressed areas in the country.

“This (program) is a total package, not just subsidies, training, education livelihood and medical and dental programs,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo told reporters after the meeting.

She said the giving out of goods would end around the first week of January but the other programs would stay for an undisclosed period of time.

The program, which Mrs. Arroyo will launch in Cebu and Masbate, targets some 384,000 families in the top 10 depressed provinces and more than 200,000 families in Metro Manila, she said.

The beneficiary-provinces are Zamboanga del Norte, Masbate, Maguindanao, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Mountain Province, Lanao del Norte, Camarines Norte, Sarangani and Zamboanga Sibugay, officials said.

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