To ensure balanced regional development and equitable wealth distribution, resources, and opportunities, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as one of the member-agencies of the Regional Development Council IX (RDC 9), continues to contribute in the roll-out of Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2) Program in Zamboanga Peninsula.
The BP2 program is also a measure that can support the decongestion of urban communities. It aims to give the beneficiaries who decided to settle in their original hometown or in other resettlement areas, various opportunities to start a new life.
The BP2 Program was institutionalized through Executive Order (EO) No. 114, series of 2020, to boost countryside development and inclusive growth, provide adequate social services, and to promote full employment, industrialization, and improved quality of life in rural areas. The Program is being implemented by the BP2 Committee in three provinces in the region, which are Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, and Zamboanga del Norte, including the Municipality of Kalawit, as the pilot municipality.
Since the program was enacted last year, national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) have collaborated and sustained support to achieve the common goal of advancing the implementation of BP2 Program in the region.
“Naniniwala naman ako na sa patuloy nating pagtutulung-tulungan, malaki ang magiging kontribusyon nito sa pagpapabilis at pagkakaroon ng epektibong pagpapatupad ng ating programa,” RDC 9-BP2 Committee Chair and DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista said in one of the Council meetings.
To date, a total of 21 BP2 beneficiaries consisting of 70 individuals are set to be dispatched in the region on November 25-26, 2021 from Metro Manila to start anew through the BP2 Program.
Developments on the implementation of BP2 Program
Initial actions have already been undertaken for the BP2 Program through the guidance of the Mindanao Development Authority together with the active participation of the National Economic and Development Authority, as secretariat of the BP2 committee.
To date, there are ongoing construction of 20 housing units for BP2 beneficiaries in Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte . The municipal LGU is also identifying sites/areas for the different agricultural activities to be implemented, along with cattle production, hog and poultry raising, rice and corn production, vegetable farming, bamboo plantation, commercial forest production, and endemic tree reforestation, among others.
In addition, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority IX has provided training on bread and pastry to the identified local beneficiaries in the province of Zamboanga del Norte while the Department of Trade and Industry IX has delivered equipment/machines for the processing of engineered bamboo. Furthermore, the Department of Information and Communications Technology Mindanao Cluster 1 has committed to putting up internet access in the BP2 site areas and Information and Communications Technology training for the beneficiaries.
Moreover, the Committee is coordinating with the Department of Agriculture to conduct soil analysis to determine the appropriate agricultural crops to be planted in the target BP2 site in Zamboanga del Sur. Meanwhile, the Provincial LGU of Zamboanga Sibugay is conducting profiling of the beneficiaries to determine the appropriate livelihood activities.
DSWD is committed to this convergence effort of decongesting Metro Manila by facilitating community-driven development initiatives through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services’ (KALAHI CIDSS) National Community Driven Development in the settlement areas in Zamboanga Peninsula. Likewise, the Department is ready to provide immediate relocation and transitional packages to help BP2 beneficiaries settle in their new environment.
Through the BP2 Program, the Philippine government aims to ensure more inclusive and balanced urban and rural development and resilient and sustainable communities across the country.