MANILA – The rollout of the national government’s ambitious “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pagasa” (BP2) program is scheduled to commence in 13 provinces nationwide in the next few weeks, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said on Tuesday.
During the Laging Handa network briefing, PCOO Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping III said the BP2 program will be implemented in Misamis Occidental, Agusan, Camarines Sur, and Leyte, among others.
“Ang ganda ng alignment ng bridge ng local government at ng national government ngayon (The alignment of the bridge between the local government and the national government is good now),” Cualoping said. “Napakaganda ng programa (The program is very good), very ambitious. And the policy is very ideal for the setting of the Philippines.”
BP2 program, institutionalized through Executive Order 114 inked by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 6, grants socioeconomic and livelihood packages to Filipinos who wish to return to their respective provinces.
Beneficiaries of the program will get support on transportation, livelihood, housing, subsistence, and education, among others.
The long-term relocation program is a government initiative that aims to promote equal opportunities between urban and rural areas, as well as to decongest Metro Manila which is currently the hardest-hit region by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Cualoping said the implementing rules and regulations of the BP2 program would be released by Wednesday.
He said the government is targeting helping people who are living in Metro Manila for the past five to seven years and want to go back to their respective provinces.
“Balik Probinsya is such a good public policy,” Cualoping said.
Cualoping ensured that the government would observe “guaranteed and safe” minimum health standards as it implements the BP2 program.
“Ina-assure natin ang publiko na lahat ng gagawin natin, lahat ng gagawin ng gobyerno, lahat ng gagawin ng pamahalaang Duterte, guaranteed and safe and minimum health standards para hindi kumalat ‘yung Covid-19 (We assure the public that everything the Duterte government is doing is compliant with guaranteed and safe minimum health standards to stop the spread of Covid-19),” he said.
He gave the assurance after at least two BP2 beneficiaries have tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Leyte from Metro Manila. The two were part of the first batch of 112 beneficiaries who benefitted from the BP2 program.
Cualoping said those who want to avail of the program can visit http://www.balikprobinsya.ph to register online.
He said the PCOO would also manage the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” Facebook page beginning Tuesday night to answer queries from the public.
“Kung gusto niyo rin namang magtanong, meron tayong Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Facebook page na ima-manage na ng PCOO simula ngayong gabi (If you have questions, we have the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Facebook page that will be managed by the PCOO starting tonight). We will be more responsive,” Cualoping said. (PNA)