GK is starting the year right.
Meloto said Panlilio's brand of leadership and the close partnership of the private sector and government led him to believe that "we are seeing the future of the Philippines and it is going to happen here."
"The leadership here enjoys public trust. We are nonpartisan but we always like to work with national and local leaders who believe in the vision of Gawad Kalinga which is simple: To bring the Philippines out of the Third World; to make it a First World nation," Meloto said.
GK has already partnered with more than 300 local government units and seeks to increase its partners this year. So far, it has helped establish 1,500 villages in the country and has facilitated land donations for an additional 150,000 families.
Meloto praised Mayor Marino Morales for helping GK put up the Tabun village in June 2007 with the support of Couples for Christ, the Santos Ventura Hocorma Foundation and the Cabinet spouses.
Panlilio described the problem of homelessness in Pampanga as "urgent" due to migration and lack of housing units in the Pinatubo resettlements. Because of this, he said he would exert efforts to convince the provincial board to pass the 2008 budget.
"If that does not push through, the mayors and I will lead the GK campaign in the private sector so that the housing needs of our poorest constituents are addressed," he said.