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Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa program now open for applications




Metro Manila residents who wish to avail of the Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa program may apply now at the website balikprobinsya.ph.

National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr., also Balik Probinsiya Council executive director disclosed at the Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday, that 5,000 people have already enrolled in the program since it opened its application last Friday.

He said the online form for application in program includes a list of industries which could accommodate the program’s beneficiaries.

“Applicants will be asked about their personal details, technical skills and intended provincial destination,” he added.

Escalada explained the program is meant to allow beneficiaries living in Metro Manila to go back to the province where they came from and offer them opportunities of growth and development.

He said the program is also an important initiative in preparation for the ‘new normal’ after the country overcomes the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHA chief said eight local governments units including Leyte, Camarines Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Pangasinan, Quirino, and Marinduque.have signified cooperation to the program.

“We will discuss and coordinate with the receiving LGUs for the smooth return of the beneficiaries and ensure that all the health protocols are in place to ensure the safety of the area that they will return to,” Escalada said.

Escalada said the Council have immediate action and long term strategies in place.

“The first strategy applies to persons who wish to return to the provinces until the end of the year and will involve eight government departments to facilitate the transition including the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI),” Escalada said.

The government agencies will come up with innovation and new programs to help the returnees settle.

“The long-term strategy involves policies and legislation, such as government decentralization, opening new economic zones, and increasing tax incentives for corporations that will operate in the provinces,” Escalada said.

"Right now we are also looking into the potential of agricultural production and other opportunities not only for the sake of program beneficiaries but also for those who will be with them upon returning to the province," he said.

Escalada said the program is voluntary in nature, “hindi ito pwersahan, yung gustong bumalik sa probinsiya, we will facilitate their return to urban or rural center of their choice.”

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Executive Order 114 institutionalizing the Balik Probinsiya program to decongest Metro Manila and promote economic development in the countryside. (PIA-NCR)