‘Balik Probinsiya’ to resume early this year

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DAVAO CITY – Suspended in June this year, the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program is set to resume early this year , the National Housing Authority announced Wednesday, December 30,

In an interview, Marcelino Escalada, executive director of the program and general manager of the National Housing Authority, said it was put on hold to prioritize the return of stranded persons in the National Capital Region following the travel restrictions related to the coronavirus disease pandemic.

“I talked to Senator Christopher Lawrence Go and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea just this morning (Wednesday), and we decided to resume the rollout because a lot of our fellow Filipinos in Metro Manila wanted to go home to their provinces,” he said.

Escalada said the local government units that have expressed readiness to welcome their returning residents include the province of Leyte, Tacloban City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Camarines Sur, Lanao del Norte, and Isabela.

Some 120,000 Manila residents have expressed the desire to return home to their respective provinces, Escalada said.

“We will just schedule it so that they can avail the free transportation, other programs and projects, and entitlements they needed,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the BP2 program — a brainchild of Sen. Go — to decongest Metro Manila and other urban centers and promote growth in the regions.

Under the program, recipients would receive government aid such as transportation, cash, and livelihood assistance.

The program, contained in Executive Order No. 114 signed by President Duterte in May this year, aims “to ensure balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources and opportunities through policies and programs that boost countryside development and inclusive growth, provide adequate social services, and promote full employment, industrialization and improved quality of life in rural areas.

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