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Lanao Norte gets initial P15M for 'Balik Probinsya'

November 26, 2020 - Thursday 2:11 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image BALIK PROBINSYA. Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Rommel Arnado (left) receives the first tranche for the Bagong Pag-asa Green Village worth PHP15 million on Tuesday (Nov. 24, 2020). Joining him are guest of honor Senator Christopher Lawrence Go and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista. (Photo courtesy of RTVM)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The national government released on Tuesday the first tranche of the PHP25 million funding for the "Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa" program (BP2) to the Lanao del Norte town of Kauswagan.

Kauswagan Mayor Rommel Arnado, who received the initial PHP15 million funding, said the money would be used to construct the "Bagong Pag-asa Green Village" that would house 200 families in Barangay Tacub.

As a pilot local government unit (LGU) to initiate the BP2, Arnado said they anticipate more development programs pouring into the town to boost the local economy.

He noted that after suffering from armed conflicts over a decade ago, the town's poverty incidence has been going down in the past 10 years.

"When we realized the problem was all about hunger and poverty, we sought opportunities of what the LGU can provide the people," he said.

In a video message, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the new BP2 village "exemplifies the holistic development approach and is the model of strong cooperation between the national government, local government, and the private sector."
Medialdea said the 6.3-hectare residential village would consist of 50 housing units for Lanao del Norte residents returning from Metro Manila.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the returning families consisted of those who had migrated to urban centers, where they became informal settlers.

Under the BP2, Piñol said the families would no longer suffer from congestion, joblessness, pollution, and other problems associated with living in urban centers.

He said they would also manage their livelihood, such as organic farming, which would be situated right within their village.

Piñol said even before the returnees could settle in their new homes, MinDA has already laid the groundwork to open market access for the would-be residents.
"What we're doing here is a microcosm of what we would like the Philippines to be: a well-organized people with one common objective – reduce poverty incidence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, BP2's main proponent who also graced the event, visited neighboring Kapatagan town to open another Malasakit Center at the provincial hospital.

Along with Governor Imelda Dimaporo and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, Go distributed relief goods and cash assistance to market vendors.
According to the senator, BP2 aims to decongest the National Capital Region while giving rise to the equitable distribution of wealth, resources, and opportunities to the countryside.  

It also aims to attain a balanced regional development to foster socially cohesive, resilient, and sustainable rural communities. Nef Luczon and Divina Suson