Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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The first batch of Metro Manila residents who availed of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BP2) departed for Leyte province on Wednesday afternoon.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday (May 20) and based on the initial master list provided to the media, at least 116 persons enrolled in the program through an online application, but some came with their family, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Aimee Neri.

“Based sa master list na binigay nila sa DSWD, may around 116 individuals ang ise send-off, but I was told that some of the individuals brought with them members of the family nila or relatives, so ina-assess ngayon (based on the master list given to DSWD, around 116 individuals will be sent off but I was told that some of them brought with them members of the family or relatives, and they are being assessed now)” Neri said.

Despite the possible increase in numbers, Neri gave an assurance that everyone will be accommodated.

Neri explained that after receiving applications online, they immediately conducted social preparation and assessment on the applicants.

“Nag enroll sila sa balikprobinysa.ph. Meron kasing enrollment online so sinasala yan ng NHA (National Housing Authority). So kino-contact yun kung anong basic needs nila, ina-assess tapos as to the eligibility and then pinapasa sa kada ahensya ng member agencies ng inter-agency ng Balik Probinsya (they enrolled online via balikprobinsya.ph so they were assessed by the NHA. After which, they will be contacted to ask for their basic needs. These will be escalated to the other member agencies),” she said.

Those who were sent off today will be given cash worth PHP5,000 by the DSWD as a transportation allowance.

Upon arrival in Leyte, they will also receive family food packs.

The DSWD will also assess each family for possible livelihood assistance, which is equivalent to PHP15,000 as a capital seed grant within 15 days.

If a person opts to find work, the agency also prepared an employment facilitation program.

“Ang aming goal dito is ma-sustain yung survival nila (the goal is to sustain their survival in the) province to prevent them from going back to Metro Manila to seek for employment or livelihood.”

In addition to the assistance, families found to have minor children will also be assessed and may be included in the DSWD 4P’s program where they will receive a monthly grant.

Executive Order No. 114, which institutionalized the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” (BPP) program, was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte after the Senate adopted Senator Bong Go’s Resolution No. 380 urging the executive department to formulate and implement the BPP.

The EO aims to ensure “balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources and opportunities through policies and programs that boost countryside development and inclusive growth; provide adequate social services, and promote full employment, industrialization and improved quality of life in rural areas.”

Invest in the province

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Trade Promotions Group Abdulgani Macatoman encouraged businesses to invest in the provinces and they will be given fiscal incentives.

“Ini-enganyo natin yung mga malalaking kumpanya na nagtatayo ng planta, nagtatayo ng negosyo kahit man lang mag relocate. Ang DTI ay magbibigay po ng mga fiscal incentives like yung three to four years, kahit na up to six years na tax holiday dun sa mga mamumuhunan sa probinsya. Di natin yan ibinibigay kung ang mga investors na yan ay dito magtatayuan sa Metro Manila (We encourage big companies to put up their plants or relocate. DTI will give them fiscal incentives like three to four years, even up to six years of tax holiday for those who will invest in the provinces, which they will not get if they invest in Metro Manila,” he said.

Those who will avail of the BP2 may also benefit from the DTI livelihood seeding program, aside from the agency’s mentoring program for those who need further training for a business that they want to start up.

“Actually naka-profile na sila kung ano yung gusto nilang umpisahan na ikakabuhay nila sa probinsya up to the barangay level, kasi meron kaming tinatawag na ‘Negosyo sa Barangay’ kung saan pwede kaming mag-mentor kung gusto nilang mag-training, kung ano yung mga skill na pwede nilang pagkakakitaan, ang DTI po ay tutulong sa kanila sa mentoring (they already did profiling on what they want to do in the province up to the barangay level because we also have the ‘Negosyo sa Barangay’ where we can mentor them if they want to be trained),” Macatoman said.

In case that the livelihood starter kit is not enough, loans may also be given by the DTI through their Small Business Corporation, while those who have cooperatives may also apply to the DTI’s shared service facility where they may be given machineries and equipment.

“Pwede namin silang pautangin, meron po kaming small business corporation kung saan yung pautang hindi nila kailangan magbigay ng collateral, walang interes, ang service surge lamang nito ay 0.5 percent which is 6 percent per annum. Napakaliit po yun, parang halos wala talaga silang interest na pwede nilang magamit sa start-up capital nila. Kung anuman ang gusto nilang maging Negosyo (we can also offer them loans, we have the small business corporation which is given even without collateral, no interest. The service surge is only 0.5 percent which is 6 percent per annum. This is very small and may be used for start-up),” he said.

To avail, one only needs to register to the DTI.

The Balik Probinsya Program’s key areas include the empowerment of local industries, food security and agricultural productivity, social welfare, health and employment, and development of infrastructure. (PNA)

Photo Source: PNA/Marita Moaje

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