MANILA (19 June 2020) -– Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Thursday lauded the ongoing preparations of various local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao for the beneficiaries of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program.
He stressed the importance of proper coordination with LGUs and providing economic opportunities for BP2 beneficiaries to the long-term success of the program.
“In order to successfully implement the BP2 program, it is important for national agencies to conduct proper coordination with LGUs in order to ensure that health protocols are in place and local communities will be capable of providing economic opportunities to their constituents,” Go said.
“Ensuring the availability of economic opportunities in local communities will boost regional development consistent with the long-term goals of the program that is set to be fully implemented after the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis,” he said.
Go, the proponent of the program, was referring to the three resettlement communities being established in Mindanao that are being touted as “templates” for future BP2 communities once the program is fully implemented.
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, recently disclosed that BP2 Council member agencies have concluded a series of consultations with various LGU officials in preparation for those who wish to relocate to the provinces.
He said the government is also establishing resettlement villages in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte; Sergio Osmeña, Zamboanga del Norte; and Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte for BP2 beneficiaries.
Each community will be composed of 200 families from Metro Manila.The villages will also undertake a common production activity: organic broiler chicken and vegetable production in Kauswagan; high-value vegetables and free-range chicken in Sergio Osmeña; and tree farming with cacao and coffee intercrop, and free-range chicken production in Kalawit.
Piñol said the Kauswagan village is expected to open in early September of this year.
“Government synergy will be a key factor in helping Filipinos recover from the crisis. The success of BP2 Program will also depend on the widespread and active participation of key government agencies in boosting economic opportunities in the provinces,” Go said.
The BP2 program was institutionalized by President Rodrigo Duterte through Executive Order No. 114, to bring “balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources, and opportunities through policies and programs that boost countryside development and inclusive growth.
”The program was launched in Quezon City on May 20 with the send-off of the first batch of 112 individuals returning to the province of Leyte.
President Duterte later deferred the implementation of BP2 to prioritize various “Hatid Tulong” initiatives for locally stranded individuals.
Currently, the BP2 Program Council is undertaking necessary ground preparations for subsequent rollouts, such as close coordination with the receiving LGUs to give them more time to prepare for the arrival of BP2 beneficiaries.
As of June 17, the BP2 program has almost 90,000 enrollees.“Layunin po ng programang ito na mabigyan ng bagong pag-asa ang mga Pilipino na may hinaharap silang maayos na kinabukasan pagkatapos ng krisis at tutulungan sila kung sakaling gusto nilang bumalik sa kanilang mga probinsya (This program aims to give new-found hope to Filipinos for a better future after the crisis, and to assist them if they opt to return to their provinces),” Go said.
“As President Duterte said, starting fresh in the provinces would give Filipinos hope for a better future after the Covid-19 crisis. Sa pagbabalik sa probinsya, mabibigyan sila ng bagong pag-asa (In going back to the provinces, they will be given fresh hope),” he said. (ia/PNA)