BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 30 (PIA) - - Agriculture Secretary William Dar set into motion the implementation of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pagasa (BP2) with an organizational meeting with the Regional Development Council at DA - CAR Conference Hall, here Friday.
Dar, the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Cordillera, outlined that the BP2 program institutionalized thru Executive Order No. 114 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, aims to give opportunity to city dwellers and their families to be able to return to their hometown or relocate in rural areas to start anew.
The BP2 program was set for implementation in May but it was held in abeyance due to the influx of locally stranded individuals who have been and still being assisted in going home to their residences. Now with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as chairperson of the BP2 National Executive Council, he mandated the CORDS to lead the implementation of the program.
"Being CORDS for Cordillera, it is my responsibility to work with the Regional Development Council to pursue this BP2 Program. I will be happy, if after this meeting everyone will have the same appreciation and understanding of this program before it is fully implemented on the ground," Dar said.
During the meeting, National Housing Authority OIC Architect Elizabeth Joseph gave a briefing on BP2, program related updates and on the profile of Cordillera beneficiaries that applied for the program.
DA Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communication Noel Reyes also presented the agriculture department's program for BP2 particularly on the key area of food security and agricultural productivity while the National Economic and Development Authority - Cordillera (NEDA - CAR) presented a draft regional BP2 action plan.
For ways forward, the Cordillera RDC headed by NEDA will be formulating regional and provincial implementing guidelines and procedures for BP2 and it was agreed upon that Baguio and Benguet will be the pilot areas.
"The Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pagasa program requires a whole of nation approach and shall provide the beneficiaries with the vital support services from various government agencies.
The NHA as the lead agency, is currently in the process of validating and finalizing the program beneficiaries for Cordillera which has 527 applicants as per October 30 data.
Dar calls for stronger partnership with the RDC for the accelerated implementation of the program in Cordillera.
"The Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pagasa program requires a whole of nation approach and shall provide the beneficiaries with the vital support services from various government agencies," he said. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)