SWAB TEST. Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-Asa program beneficiary couple, Michael Angelo Tel and Angeline Calibat undergo swab testing during the dispatch procedures at the BP2 Depot in Quezon City on Wednesday (April 6, 2022). Another four families consisting of nine individuals are scheduled to leave for Catanduanes and Sorsogon on Thursday. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler) 

MANILA – Some 711 individuals already started fresh life in their respective home provinces through the government’s “Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-Asa” (BP2) program.

The latest beneficiaries of the program include five families consisting of 18 individuals.

They are set to go home to the provinces of Catanduanes and Sorsogon on Thursday night.

These families have undergone two-day dispatch proceedings at the BP2 Depot in Quezon City since Wednesday.

Michael Angelo Tel, one of the beneficiaries, hopes the Balik Probinsya program will continue in the coming years as it really helps people like them to start anew.

Napakaganda po talaga ng programa nitong Balik Probinsya. Malaking tulong po ito. Sana po magtagal ang programang ito para sa mga kagaya namin na nawalan ng trabaho dito sa Maynila (This Balik Probinsya is a very nice program. It’s a huge help. I hope this program will be pushed further for the people like us who lost their jobs here in Metro Manila),” he said.

Tel is thankful that his family did not spend a single centavo for their transportation and travel requirements because of the BP2 program.

Sagot na po nila lahat ng pamasahe at pagkain, pati matutuluyan. Wala na pong problema habang naghihintay ka lang ng pag-uwi mo sa probinsya. Maayos po talaga ang pakikitungo nila sa mga benepisyaryo (They shouldered everything like transportation fare, food and even lodging. There’s no problem anymore while you wait to go home in the province. They really treat beneficiaries very well),” he added.

Maria Chinky Dioquino, another beneficiary, said the Balik Probinsya program is a huge relief for those renting in Metro Manila, like them.

Wala po talaga kaming nilabas na pera so napakalaking bagay po sa amin ‘yun. Nagpapasalamat po talaga kami, unang-una sa Diyos at sa mga bumubuo ng programang ito. Sana po hindi matigil ito para marami din pong katulad namin ang makabalik rin ng kani-kanilang probinsiya (We didn’t really spend money so it’s a huge help for us. We really thank, first and foremost God as well as to all those involved in the program. I hope it won’t stop for the people like that so that they can also go home to their respective provinces),” she said.

Meanwhile, Alfredo Taride Abarra Jr. said they will make the most out of the BP2 assistance to make sure it will be worthwhile and fulfilling for both facilitators and beneficiaries.

Kung mabibigyan po kami ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng maliit na negosyo, pagyayamin at palalaguin po namin iyan. Tatanawin po namin na utang na loob po yan sa gobyerno ang lahat ng tulong nila (If given a chance that we can have a small business, we will enrich and we will grow that. We will be forever indebted to the government assistance),” Abarra said.

Executive Order No. 114, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, has institutionalized the Balik Probinsya program, with a primary goal to address congestion in Metro Manila's urban areas, by helping informal settlers to return to their home provinces.

It also aims to introduce a rationalized system of fiscal incentives for export-oriented and domestic-oriented enterprises, as well as support for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Qualified individuals who wish to apply for the program can register through the website www.balikprobinsiya.ph or contact numbers: 0919-065-7896 and 0919-069-2530. (PNA)