A decent home and sustainable livelihood program await families who will return home to Lanao del Norte from crowded urban centers in the metropolis under the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program.
The BP2 Council in partnership with the municipal government of Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte officially launched on Tuesday the Bagong Pag asa Organic Village, one of the pilot BP2 resettlement villages in the country.
The Municipality of Kauswagan in Lanao Del Norte is a 5th class coastal municipality in Northern Mindanao or Region X. It has a population of 26,278 (as of 2015) with a land area of 60.37 square kilometers.
“The Kauswagan Balik Probinsiya Bagong Pag-asa Village will be the first of the Balik Probinsiya pilot villages in key locations in the country. It will feature 50 units of quadruplex housing to accommodate about 200 Balik Probinsiya Bagong Pag-asa returnees and their families who will be involved in the production of organic chicken and vegetables,” BP2 Council chairperson Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a video message.
He added that the “Kauswagan Balik Probinsiya exemplifies the holistic development approach and a model of strong cooperation between the national government, local government, and the private sector.”
During the launching, the National Housing Authority turned over Php25 million housing assistance to the municipality of Kauswagan for the Bagong Pag asa Organic Village which will be built in a 6.395-hectare of land donated by the GN Power Corporation Kauswagan. Each housing unit will have an average floor area of 30 sq.m. and an average lot area of 80 sq.m.
Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go who graced the launching said the program will bring hope to the beneficiaries aside from providing them housing, jobs, and livelihood. It will also hasten the development in the provinces.
“Daghang salamat sa mga taga Lanao, sa Kauswagan sa inyong pagdawat sa Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa nga programa nato,” he further said.
[Thank you to the people of Lanao, in Kauswagan for accepting the Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa program.]
The BP2 is a long-term program of the government to decongest Metro Manila of migrants especially informal settlers who were drawn there in their search for economic opportunities.
“Proponent lang ko ani pero programa gyud kini ni President Duterte aron motabang sa mga probinsiyano,” the Senator added.
[I am just a proponent of this but this is President Duterte’s program to help the people in the province.]
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the village is a microcosm of what they would like the Philippines to be, a well-organized people with one common objective and a target of reducing poverty and improving productivity.
“We will build here a community of about 200 families originally coming from urban centers living as informal settlers. They will come here, they will be provided with housing units, with one common livelihood activity,” he said.
According to him, the project management office of the Bahay Pag-asa Organic Village has already forged a marketing agreement with a private company to buy the organic chicken and vegetables that will be produced in the village.
Meanwhile, Kauswagan mayor Rommel Arnado expressed gratitude to the national government for choosing Kauswagan as one of the pilot areas of the BP2 program.
He also thanked the national line agencies that will provide support and assistance to the implementation of the program in his municipality.
In the past, Kauswagan has been the center of local conflict between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces. With Mayor Arnado’s leadership under the Sustainable Integrated Kauswagan Development and Peace Agenda (SIKAD PA), former MILF commanders and warriors were successfully redirected to organic agriculture and farming.
Under the SIKAD PA framework, poverty incidence improved from more than 79.9% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2019. Kauswagan was given the Peace Prize Award in 2016 by the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in Bogota, Colombia for its From Arms to Farms Program. “From a traumatic past to a very promising future, we welcome the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program as a higher level of commitment for many of us here. We are thankful that Kauswagan