Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will offer various assistance programs to “Balik Probinsya, Balik Pag-asa” program beneficiaries.

In an interview on Wednesday, DA 8 (Eastern Visayas) Executive Director Angel Enriquez said they would assess who among the “returnees” are interested to pursue livestock raising, crop production, fishing, and other agro-fishery-related enterprises.

“As part of our social mobilization strategy, we will give them proper training and technical support to ensure that they can be producti(ve) and self-sustaining. But as part of the initial process, we will ask them what they want or intend to do so that we can appropriately act on their socio-economic needs and priorities,” Enriquez said.

On May 21, the first batch of the “Balik Probinsya” beneficiaries from the National Capital Region arrived in Leyte.

About 112 persons returned to the towns of Kananga, Matag-ob, Alangalang, Tanauan, Hilongos, Bato, Burauen, Dagami, Julita, Tabobtabon, Palo, Tolosa, Isabel, Palompon, Tabango, Villaba, Abuyog, Javier, MacArthur, Calubian, San Isidro, Albuera, Merida, Tunga, Dulag, Mayorga, Carigara, Jaro, Babatngon, Barugo, Capoocan, Matalom, and Baybay City.

The beneficiaries received from the DA vegetable gardening starter kits containing assorted vegetable seeds, seedling bags and tray, and garden soil, among others.

Enriquez said 20 of them have initially signified interest to go into farming.

The DA, through its local office, will provide interventions after the returnees undergo proper health protocols and complete the quarantine period.

“We will continue to support and capacitate them in the best way we can. This will be successful through the help of the local government units and the provincial government,” he said.

Executive Order 114 institutionalized the “Balik Probinsya” program, which 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.

It also targets to provide adequate social services, promote full employment, industrialization, and improved quality of life in rural areas, through different interventions from the national government. (PNA)

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