A total of 400 families who benefited from the Balik-Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2) program in the Bicol Region have received a total of PHP15.3-million cash assistance, a regional official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported Tuesday.
Ranelle Anne Sertan, BP2 information officer, in an interview said the 400 families were a combination of beneficiaries dispatched and assessed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) and DSWD Central office, and endorsed and identified by different local government units (LGUs) in Bicol.
“Identified by the LGUs are those who voluntarily returned to their respective provinces, while those dispatched by NHA are the ones who applied to return and settle permanently,” she said.
Sertan said the amount of transitory family support packages depends on the number of families and number of school children.
“The payout was conducted in 34 towns and cities from the six provinces in the region from June 29, until July 27, this year. Each family received what we call transitory family support package, financial support ranging from PHP10,000 to PHP50,000 that intends to cover the food and non-food items needed by the family during the transition phase,” Sertan said.
Aside from the transitory family support package, the families will also receive a livelihood settlement grant that is a start-up financial assistance not exceeding PHPH50,000.
“After the transitory phase, the beneficiaries will be given the livelihood grant. With this grant, they are required to submit a proposal. Guided naman po sila ng mga sustainable livelihood program personnel natin and project development officer para mas mapaganda ang kanilang mga proposals. (They are guided by sustainable livelihood program personnel and project development officer to make their proposal more feasible),” she said.
Sertan said the agency wants to ensure the sustainability of the livelihood of the families.
“How can they adjust to their new environment, if they don’t have a source of income, that’s why the livelihood proposal submitted was subject to review, sometimes the amount was changed, and help improved the identified business and make sure that the livelihood support will be given,” she noted.
Katrina Maria Dagta, regional BP2 focal person, in a statement said families or individuals interested in availing of the BP2 benefits may apply through the official website of the program at www.balikprobinsya.gov.ph or visit the local social welfare development office for intake and assessment.
Vanessa Bermudo, a mother of three, said that she and her husband, Jeffrie, found it difficult to live separately from their children as they work in Taguig City and Sta. Rosa in Laguna as a housekeeper and baker, respectively.
They decided to return to the municipality of Libon in Albay on Sept. 15, 2020, and received a transitory family support package worth PHP50,000 last July 8.
Bermudo said they will use the assistance for the education of their children as well as in farming.
“Habang wala pang pasok yung mga bata, may aanihin kami para pang-gastos sa araw-araw. (While the children don’t have classes yet, we have something to harvest to be used for daily expenses),” she said.
The BP2 Program is one of the support measures being implemented by DSWD Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) to decongest urban poor communities. It also aims to provide opportunities to families from urban areas who are affected by the pandemic, displaced workers, or those who are susceptible to health and safety risks and other environmental hazards.
The program provides transportation assistance, transitory family support package, livelihood settlement grants, transitory shelter assistance, and/or psycho-social support to family beneficiaries while community grants may be provided for municipalities with more than 20 BP2 family beneficiaries. (PNA)