Beneficiaries of the “Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa” Program (BP2) on Friday called on candidates in the 2022 elections to build on the success of the program.
Janice Danlog, 29, said candidates in next year’s polls should express their commitment and push to continue the legacy and accomplishments of the program despite the change of leadership.
“Even with the change of administration, I hope that the program would be continued because it has helped a lot of Filipinos currently struggling in Manila and badly want to go home to the provinces,” Danlog said in an interview in Filipino.
May Anne Sevillano, a former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the Middle East, said the program has been leading the charge in attending to the concerns of Filipinos in Metro Manila who are facing difficulties in the midst of the pandemic.
“Balik Probinsya has helped a lot of Filipinos. Aside from us, it has helped Filipinos return to the province and are now in a better living condition,” said Sevillano in Filipino, who was reunited with her family back home in Bantayan Island in Cebu on Friday.
Sevillano lamented the crowded spaces in Metro Manila – a stark contrast to the calming landscapes, wide areas, and fresh air in the provinces.
“It’s really crowded in Manila. In the province, people are free to roam around and travel wherever they want because the places aren’t crowded,” Sevillano added in Filipino.
The two were among the 39 beneficiaries of the latest BP2 dispatch.
Of the beneficiaries, six families were flown back home to Cebu while four were sent home to Bohol province.
Institutionalized under Executive Order 114, series of 2020, the BP2 program is an initiative of the national government created to address the congestion in Metro Manila’s urban areas.
Government agencies guide the beneficiaries throughout this transition by providing additional support and incentives on transportation, livelihood, family needs, subsistence, education, housing, and others.
Balik Probinsya is Senator Christopher Bong Go’s pet project that he introduced in the middle of the country’s battle against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The EO said the program geared to depopulating the urban areas, is supposed to “boost countryside development and inclusive growth, provide adequate social services, and promote full employment, industrialization” in rural areas.