Duterte approves ‘Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa’ program to help decongest Metro Manila amid crisis


President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Wednesday Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s proposal of “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” program which aims to decongest Metro Manila and to boost development in provinces.

The program is one of the ways the government sees to decongest the National Capital Region, particularly during the 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
This will bring people back to their home provinces to allow them to sustain their livelihoods outside the metropolis.

“To reverse migration to the NCR and other congested metropolises, as well as to attain rural prosperity through equitable distribution of wealth, resources and opportunities, a balanced regional development program to foster socially cohesive, resilient and sustainable rural communities needs to be institutionalized,” a part of the Executive Order stated.

Duterte declared the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program” (BP2) as a national government program just 2 weeks after Go proposed it.

Under his order, the BP2 Program will focus on developing infrastructure, social welfare and health services, agriculture, and local industries in the different regions of the country.

It is divided into short-term, medium-term, and long-term projects with short-term activities ready to be implemented during the community quarantine period.

The President also ordered the creation of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Council, which will be chaired by the Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and co-headed by the Socioeconomic Planning secretary and Director General and the National Economic and Development Authority.

The council will provide overall direction in the implementation of the program and ensure that other government agencies involved will follow.

To speed up efforts to bring back individuals during the enhanced community quarantine imposed due to the COVID-19, Duterte directed concerned agencies to provide transportation and relocation of those who are voluntarily availing themselves of the program.

The relocation program will begin after the national government lifts community quarantine policies in various areas.

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