BALIK PROBINSYA. A couple and their two kids, beneficiaries of the government's Balik Probinsya (BP2) program, in this undated photo, are on their way to the BP2 Depot in Quezon City. They are among the families who have already returned to their respective provinces. (PNA file photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler) 

MANILA – Relentless to its mandate, the government’s “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa” (BP2) program will again facilitate the return of another batch of families to Catanduanes for a fresh start.

These family beneficiaries will undergo two-day dispatch proceedings at the BP2 Depot in Quezon City starting Wednesday. They will depart Manila on Thursday.

The government’s BP2 program will provide whole-of-nation assistance through its implementing member agencies.

The National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will conduct verification and evaluation of the latest batch of beneficiaries.

The Department of Health (DOH) will facilitate the safe and healthy travel of the beneficiaries upon returning to their home provinces by conducting Covid-19 swab testing and other medical assistance needed.

DOH will also provide free medicines and vitamins to the beneficiaries.

It will also facilitate the inoculation of unvaccinated beneficiaries that are willing to avail of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.

Upon return of the beneficiaries, the DOH will then provide technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) such as capacity-building on health and enhancement of health facilities.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are offering livelihood starter kits to qualified beneficiaries, which can help them sustain a living while having their transition in the province.

Beneficiaries may choose to get poultry animals and farm equipment from the Fam Diversification Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA). These also include the provision of vegetable seedlings or poultry farm animals like duck, chicken, and fish fingerlings.

The Department of Interior and the Local Government (DILG) is closely coordinating with the LGUs to make sure the beneficiaries are successfully accepted in their province of destinations.

The DILG monitors the receiving LGUs and provides an absorptive capacity assessment.

Qualified family beneficiaries may be awarded a housing unit by the NHA -- units provided are subject to availability in the region.

However, the provision of the housing unit is not free but it can be acquired at a very low cost.

The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will supervise the transfer of all returning students to educational institutions in the receiving regions and provinces.

The Technical Education and Skill Development (TESDA) will provide relevant livelihood training and scholarship interventions to the qualified beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries may undergo entrepreneurship training, employment opportunities, technical vocational education, and training programs through the TESDA.

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is pushing Mindanao-wide integrated peace and development initiatives and mobilizing assistance for its development partners.

Aside from facilitating evaluation and assessment, the DSWD also provides beneficiaries with transportation and relocation assistance, transitory family support packages, livelihood settlement grants, and transitory shelter assistance.

On top of this, all children-beneficiaries will receive a mobile tablet they can use in schools.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order No. 114, institutionalizing the Balik Probinsya program, which aims to address Metro Manila's congested urban areas by helping informal settlers in Metro Manila to return to their home provinces.

Through the BP2 program, which can be accessed via www.balikprobinsiya.ph or through contact numbers: 0919-065-7896 and 0919-069-2530, qualified beneficiaries may get sustainable livelihoods as they return to their hometown for good.

The government introduces a rationalized system of fiscal incentives for export-oriented and domestic-oriented enterprises, as well as support for micro, small and medium enterprises. (PNA)