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Bong Go urges gov’t to continue ‘Balik Probinsya’ program to help decongest highly urbanized cities, strengthen regional development

PASAY CITY -- Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has called on qualified Filipinos to avail of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program to help uplift their lives while contributing to the decongestion of highly urbanized cities and boosting countryside development.

Proponent of the BP2 program, Go assured that the program will give more Filipinos a fresh start, citing accounts of some of the beneficiaries from Caramoan, Camarines Sur whose lives have reportedly made a turn for the better after receiving grants under the program.

Among them are Leonidita Ortiz-Sabio who was able to start selling in her province and building her own house using the grants from BP2; Jing Jing Elen, who now has a successful sari-sari store and a small poultry business with 50 chicken heads after wisely using the livelihood grant from the program; and Ivy Mariol-Arcera, who used the benefits from BP2 to buy a motorboat for her and her husband’s fishing livelihood in the province.

“Isa talaga sa mga layunin ng ‘Balik Probinsya’ program ang pagsigurong handa at kaaya-aya ang mga probinsya para sa mga bagong negosyong ipapatayo ng mga mamumuhunan,” said Go.

“Malaking dahilan po kung bakit napakaraming mga taga-probinsya ang lumuluwas ng Metro Manila ay para makahanap sila ng maayos at disenteng trabaho o mapagkakakitaan. Ngunit marami sa kanila, nadala na o natagam sa Bisaya dahil paghihirap lang din po ang nadatnan nila sa Metro Manila imbes na mabuting buhay. Kung masisiguro rin po natin na tuluy-tuloy ang paglikha ng mapagkakakitaan para sa mga kababayan sa mga probinsya, hindi na nila kailangan pumunta pa ng Metro Manila,” he added.

In May 2020, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 114 which institutionalizes the program as a “pillar of balanced regional development”. According to the EO, the BP2 Program will 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 provides adequate social services to the people, promotes employment, and focuses on key areas, such as empowerment of local industries, food security, and infrastructure development in rural areas.

The EO came after Go authored Senate Resolution No. 380 which was adopted by the Senate, urging the Executive Department to formulate and implement the BP2 program.

“Ngayon, merong Executive Order 114 na nag-institutionalize nito. Meron ding inter-agency council na mangangasiwa at magpapatupad nito. Whole-of-government na ang approach ngayon,” Go remarked.

The senator had earlier welcomed the support from the private sector as various groups expressed intent to participate and contribute to the government’s push for accelerated regional development. The senator encouraged more businesses to follow suit and invest in areas outside the country’s urban centers.

“Kailangan natin magtulungan at magbayanihan para sa ikatatagumpay po ng BP2. Magmalasakit po tayo sa ating kapwa, isipin natin ang kanilang kapakanan at pagkakakitaan. ‘Wag nating iwan ang ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang mga gustong sumigla ang kanilang buhay sa probinsya,” he appealed.

The BP2 program has so far facilitated the return of hundreds of individuals and families to their home provinces provided with sustainable livelihood grants and other incentives. The program has also assisted more than 2,500 families who decided to go back to their respective provinces on their own.

Go expressed confidence that the BP2 beneficiaries would see their lives improve through the support provided by the key agencies, such as the National Housing Authority, Department of Transportation, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Go has also urged the incoming administration to continue the government’s push for accelerated regional development, saying, “Hinihikayat po natin ang bagong administrasyon na ipagpatuloy ang pagpapatupad ng BP2 program na layuning mabigyan ng bagong pag-asa ang ating mga kababayan na kung piliin nilang bumalik sa probinsya at manirahan doon.”

“Hindi lang po maipagpatuloy, kundi mas mapaganda pa sa susunod na termino. Pareho naman po tayo ng adhikain — ang masigurong maramdaman ng bawat Pilipino ang komportableng buhay kahit saan mang sulok ng bansa,” he stressed. (OSBG)

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Kate Shiene Austria

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Information Officer III under the Office of the Deputy Director-General-Digital Development Communications Unit of Philippine Information Agency. 

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