FRESH START. A BP2 staff member pushes a cart with luggage to be loaded on a bus that would take families who availed of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program to their respective provinces and start life anew at BP2 Depot, Quezon Avenue corner Agham Road, Quezon City on May 28, 2021. The beneficiaries took a Covid-19 swab test which turned out negative before their departure to their provinces. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – The government’s Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2) program will ensure that provinces "are ready and become better places" for the new businesses and other economic ventures pushed by investors, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Wednesday.

Go, the proponent of the BP2, called on qualified Filipinos to avail of the initiative so that they can also contribute to the government’s goal of “decongestion of highly urbanized cities and boosting countryside development.”

Isa talaga sa mga layunin ng ‘Balik Probinsya’ program ang pagsigurong handa at kaaya-aya ang mga probinsya para sa mga bagong negosyong ipapatayo ng mga mamumuhunan (One of the goals of the Balik Probinsya program is to ensure that the provinces will be ready and become applicable to new businesses that will be set up by the investors),” Go said in a statement.

Go said it will not only assure a fresh start for the beneficiaries but will also improve the economic ventures of various provinces.

Instead of flocking to Metro Manila, Go said “probinsyanos” can now contribute to the government’s target “to equalize” opportunities nationwide.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 114 in May 2022, to institutionalize the BP2 program as a “pillar of balanced regional development.”

Go said the main target of the BP2 program is to bring “balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources, and opportunities through policies and programs that boost countryside development and inclusive growth.”

The program also provides adequate social services to the people, promotes employment, and focuses on key areas, such as empowerment of local industries, food security, and infrastructure development in rural areas.

The EO came after Go authored Senate Resolution No. 380, which was adopted by the chamber, urging the executive department “to formulate and implement” the BP2 program.

Go cited the program is bounded through a whole-of-nation approach by the executive branch, different national government agencies, as well as provincial and local government units.

Earlier, various private groups have intended to participate and contribute to the government’s push for accelerated regional development, through the Balik Probinsya program.

With this, Go encouraged more businesses “to follow suit and invest in areas outside the country’s urban centers.”

Kailangan natin magtulungan at magbayanihan para sa ikatatagumpay po ng BP2. Magmalasakit po tayo sa ating kapwa, isipin natin ang kanilang kapakanan at pagkakakitaan. ‘Wag nating iwan ang ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang mga gustong sumigla ang kanilang buhay sa probinsya (We need to work together and unite for the success of the BP2 program. Let’s have care to our fellow Filipinos and think of their welfare an livelihood. Let’s not leave our countrymen, especially those who want a fresh start in their provinces),” Go said, as he also appealed to the incoming administration to consider the continuation of the program.

Hindi lang po maipagpatuloy, kundi mas mapaganda pa sa susunod na termino. Pareho naman po tayo ng adhikain — ang masigurong maramdaman ng bawat Pilipino ang komportableng buhay kahit saan mang sulok ng bansa (Not only to continue, but to improve by the next terms. We all want to make sure that each Filipino will have comfortable lives wherever in the country),” Go added.

The BP2 program has so far facilitated the return of 836 beneficiaries to home provinces from May 2020 to June this year and assisted more than 2,500 families who have expressed willingness to go back to their respective hometowns on their own. (PNA)