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Davao City, Philippines

Region 9 agencies vow support for BP2 program

May 21, 2020 - Thursday 6:05 PM by Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image PANDEMIC FARMING. Escolastica Dulguemi, 80, covers her vegetable seedlings in her farm in General Luna, Siargao Island. Residents have resorted to farming after the town's tourism industry nosedived amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ROEL N. CATOTO / MINDANEWS

DAVAO CITY — Various regional line agencies in Region 9 have expressed their commitment to fully support the government’s Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program.

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said In a consultation meeting it facilitated on May 20, eight national line agencies in the region vowed to help Zamboanga del Norte in its undertakings under the program.

Zamboanga del Norte had earlier agreed to establish the first Rural Resettlement Model for informal urban dwellers who want to participate in the program.

MinDA chair Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the BP2 program intends to entice people to go back to their provinces with a promise of a better life.

“The program is an admission of our government that for so long our national development has been biased in favor of the urban centers,” Piñol said in a statement.

“Inequitable shares of government and national resources resulted in uneven growth of the country and people leave the countryside to find jobs in Metro Manila, other big cities, or even abroad. The countryside is underdeveloped with  low productivity,” he added.

Piñol said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 9 is receptive to any of the programs undertaken and is willing to help in their implementation.

He said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) 9 also vowed to prepare livelihood programs and will be in charge of the profiling of the applicants as to what training will suit their skills.

Piñol said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 9 likewise promised to incorporate its existing programs into BP2 like the National Greening Program and National Forest Protection Program to provide livelihood opportunities.

The Department of Education (DepEd) 9 assured the families it will provide children access to education.

Pin?ol said Assistant Secretary Carlos Magnaye of the Department of Tourism (DOT) had suggested creating agri-tourism communities in the human settlements under the BP2 Program.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also committed to provide livelihood and starter kits for BP2 programs like the Pondo sa Paghahanapbuhay at Ginhawa and Negosyo sa Barangay. 

Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Uy said the province accepted the program of President Rodrigo Duterte and vowed to provide houses so families can earn a living.

Currently, Zamboanga del Norte has the highest number of BP2 program applications in Mindanao with 903 applicants, followed by Davao del Sur with 511, Misamis Oriental with 474, and Lanao del Norte with 460.

“I urge my fellow workers in the government that we should focus on self-reliance and sustainability in the implementation of this program or else like other programs, this would fail,” Pin?ol said.

He also added that MinDA, with the help of other agencies and donor partners, will focus on livelihood programs to complement the infrastructure program of Governor Uy.