The provincial government here launched on Monday the Balik Pinas, Balik Pampanga Citizen’s App to assist all Kapampangans returning from abroad.
The mobile phone application will serve as a tool in updating the provincial government beforehand on the number of returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) that will arrive in Metro Manila and eventually in this province, thus expediting the process of repatriation, and determining the kind of assistance needed by the returnees upon their arrival.
“Alam naman natin na malaki ang naging sakripisyo ng ating ROFs, nagtrabaho’t nalayo sa mga mahal sa buhay. Marami na silang hirap na pinagdaanan at ito ang pinakasimpleng bagay na pwede nating gawin para kahit paano ay maibsan ang kanilang paghihirap (We all know the big sacrifices of our ROFs who worked far from their loved ones. They have experienced a lot of hardships and this is the simplest thing that we can do to somehow ease their sufferings),” Governor Dennis Pineda said.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer Angelina Blanco, one of the chief implementers of the program, said the Balik Pinas, Balik Pampanga will help the provincial government give Kapampangans abroad safe return to their homes and families.
“Ang layunin ng programang ito ay una, para siguruhing makakauwi nang ligtas ang ating mga Cabalen na ROFs sa kani-kanilang mga pamilya. Pangalawa, para tulungan ang ating national government na ma-decongest ang mga terminal natin sa Metro Manila (The purpose of this program is first, to make sure our Cabalen ROFs can return safely to their families. Second, to help our national government decongest the terminals in Metro Manila),” she said.
Blanco also said that full coordination with the concerned national government agencies and provincial chiefs of offices was done to iron out the details and plans for the program.
JP Miranda, founder and chief executive officer of the Information Technology Business Solutions Corporation (ITBS Corp.), said the app has a Know Your Citizen (KYC) module which aims to determine if the ROFs are Kapampangans and residing in Pampanga to assist them at the airport, in going to swab testing facilities up to the submission of the requirements to the Department of Health before they undergo quarantine and finally, in going home to their respective families.
To register, Kapampangans abroad may go to the www.balikpampanga.ph website and download the app. Sign up and wait for the One-Time-Password (OTP) that will be sent through e-mail. Then, they may log in with their username and OTP, complete the documents needed, and wait for the QR code and reference number that will also be sent through e-mail, which means that the application is approved.
Blanco, however, said only ROFs who registered at least 10 days before their scheduled flight will be accommodated. (PNA)