THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) called on partylist group Gabriela and their allied leftist groups to just help the government in fighting the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic and addressing hardships the crisis caused on Filipinos instead of spreading fake news and disinformation.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said Gabriela made a basic error in criticizing Balik Probinsiya when it failed to distinguish the Balik Probinsiya program from another government program, Hatid Probinsiya, a humanitarian program meant to repatriate thousands of people stranded in Metro Manila by the pandemic.
“By attacking the Balik Probinsiya program, Gabriela showed that its true agenda was never the truth but merely to nitpick and to discredit the government at every possible opportunity,” he said.
In truth, Malaya said the Balik Probinsiya program is a long-term government program designed to help low income families in Metro Manila resettle in their home provinces, especially those who live in overcrowded informal settlement areas. He said contrary to Gabriela’s claims, the Balik Probinsiya was never just about relocating low-income families to the provinces.
“The Balik Probinsiya program is the government’s long-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic which intends to provide means of livelihood and accessible healthcare programs to those who chose to relocate to the provinces. This is not a quick fix as Gabriela claims but a long-term solution to provide healthcare and job opportunities in rural areas,” he said.
Gabriela erroneously premised its attack on Balik Probinsiya on the recent report that two people repatriated recently to Leyte province by the government were found positive with COVID-19. The leftist group claimed the two were among those repatriated by the government under Balik Probinsiya.
Malaya clarified that Hatid Probinsiya helps stranded people while Balik Probinsiya is a long-term program to make low income families relocate to better lives in their home provinces.