FRESH START. Some of the 107 individuals who are set to return to Negros Oriental, Bohol, Cebu, and Iloilo through the government's Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa program, undergo orientation and dispatch proceedings at the BP2 Depot in Agham Road, Quezon City on Wednesday (June 1, 2022). They will depart Manila on June 2, 2022.  (PNA photo by Lade Kabagani) 

MANILA – More beneficiaries will now have an opportunity to reunite with their families in Central and Western Visayas through the government’s “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa” (BP2) program.

A total of 107 individuals, consisting of 26 families, are set to return to their respective home provinces of Negros Oriental, Bohol, Cebu, and Iloilo.

Anaceta Tanio, 46, expressed excitement to meet her parents again after years of working hard in Metro Manila.

Nai-imagine ko na ang buhay sa probinsya dahil sa tulong ng gobyerno. Tuwang-tuwa talaga na, sa wakas, makikita ko na ang nanay ko kasi matagal din kami hindi nagkita gawa ng kakapusan sa buhay (I can already imagine my life in the province because of the help of the government. I am so happy that I’ll be able to finally see my mother because we haven’t seen each other for a long time due to financial constraints),” Tanio said in an interview on Wednesday.

The family beneficiaries underwent dispatch proceedings at the BP2 Depot in Agham Road Quezon City and depart Manila on Thursday.

Meanwhile, 41-year-old single mom, Angelie Montibano, a Caloocan resident, urged the incoming administration to support the continuity of the Balik Probinsya program so that more informal settler families would have a fresh start in their home provinces.

Montibano also lauded Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, the brain of the BP2 program, for pushing a program that would give hope to “probinsyanos” who took risks settling in Metro Manila for a promised good life.

Sana suportahan nila itong programa ni Senator Bong Go. Maganda talaga ito, the best nga. Sigurado mas madami pang pwedeng matulungan ang programang ito pag naipagpatuloy (I hope they would support the program of Senator Bong Go. It’s a very good program – it’s the best. Surely, it would be able to help many other people if it continues),” she said.

Montibano will return to Negros Oriental with her only daughter.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 114 on May 6, 2020 to institutionalize the BP2 program, with the primary goal of decongesting Metro Manila.

A total of 13 families were also sent home to Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, and Iligan City on Tuesday.

Aside from hassle-free transactions for travel requirements, beneficiaries also received immediate assistance, including transportation allowance, food, and emergency cash aid.

The BP2 will facilitate the beneficiaries' safe return to their home provinces with the inclusion of long-term assistance provided through a whole-of-government strategy.

The program aims to balance development in the countryside and improve the quality of life in rural communities. (PNA)