A family consisting of six individuals will return home to Apayao through the national government’s “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program” (BP2) on Oct. 12.
Aquino Daguio, 57, a former UV Express driver, said he was among the first workers hit by the pandemic after public transportation grounded to a halt.
“Mahirap dahil wala kaming hanap-buhay. Yung konting naipon namin naubos agad. Kahit yung mga cellphones naibenta na para pang-tustos sa pamilya (It was difficult because we lost our livelihood. Our savings were used up. We even sold our mobile phones to get by),” Daguio said in an interview Monday.
After heightened restrictions were imposed in Metro Manila due to a spike of Covid-19 cases in recent months, Aquino said the family decided to return to Apayao to start anew.
“Pagkatapos nitong huling lockdown, napagtanto ko na mas okay bumalik ng probinsya tutal meron namang binigay ang Pangulong Duterte na Balik Probinsya program. (After the most recent lockdown, I realized that it’s best to go back to the province since the President gave the green light for the Balik Probinsya Program),” Daguio said.
The family underwent transcription-polymerase chain reaction swab tests on Monday at the BP2 Depot in Quezon City to ensure that they are negative of Covid-19.
They are set to leave Manila on Tuesday evening, and are expected to Arrive in Apayao on Wednesday.
The BP2 program, institutionalized under Executive Order (EO) No. 114, series of 2020, is an initiative of the national government designed to address the congestion in Metro Manila areas.
BP2 encourages the public, especially those in informal settlements, to return to their home provinces.
The government leads the charge in providing assistance throughout this transition by offering additional support and incentives on transportation, livelihood, family needs, subsistence, education, housing, and others.
Under the program, the NHA is tasked to provide technical and administrative assistance by coordinating with various local government units (LGUs) and facilitating their return. (PNA)