DAVAO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Davao Region (DSWD-11) has so far facilitated the return of 214 families to the Davao Region under the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa program (BP2).

"The total number of families that signed up for the assistance to be sent home here in Davao Region are at 219. Of that figure, 214 families have already returned," DSWD-11 BP2 focal person Lee Macris Berdos said during an online press briefer Monday.

Berdos noted that more families want to return to the provinces this year than expected, way more than the target of around 150 families for the entire year.

"The families we have assisted have already exceeded our target. The same thing also happened last year. We served 73 families while our target in 2021 was only at 60 families," she said.

The BP2 program was enacted through Executive Order 114 to provide measures that can support the decongestion of urban communities through the equitable distribution of wealth and resources, and the provision of social services in the rural areas.

It aims to give the beneficiaries who decided to settle in their original hometown or other resettlement areas, a wide array of opportunities, along with employment, industrialization, and improved quality of services, to start a new life.

Eligible beneficiaries of the program include those who are affected by government projects and legal demolition activities; families living on the street or in danger zones; victims of human-induced or natural disasters, including health hazards such as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic; individuals who lost employment or income opportunities; and informal settlers.

Moreover, families belonging to the marginalized, disadvantaged, or vulnerable sectors who may wish to start afresh may also avail of the program. Other qualifications may include some crises deemed acceptable and valid based on the assessment of the social workers during the period of application.

Since 2020, more than 1,800  families were provided with BP2 packages amounting to more than PHP104 million nationwide.  

Meanwhile, more than PHP114 million funds have been utilized for community grants to fund community subprojects.

Berdos said the DSWD encourages those who want to avail of the program to inquire through the DSWD offices and or online services. (PNA)