By Rey Anthony Chiu | 11:21 AM November 13, 2021
Four Boholano families comprised of 15 individuals along with local and international tourists stepped out of the Philippine Airlines flight from Manila and to the tarmac in Panglao for good.
Ran out of luck and better opportunities in the metropolis especially during the pandemic, the four families have decided to permanently come home to Bohol, and availed of the government’s Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa (BP2).
BP2 is geared towards addressing Metro Manila’s congested urban areas by encouraging people, especially informal settlers to return to their home provinces and the government can assist them in this transition through support and incentives on transportation, family, livelihood, housing, subsistence and education, and still a package of assistance, so they can make a good restart here.
Apart from direct assistance and subsistence allowances to families, government agencies have been in convergence to ensure continuous improvement of economies and quality of life in the provinces, so these re-settlers can benefit some more.
This, it does with the program’s long term plans on various investments in infrastructure, agriculture, business, transportation and access to a responsive healthcare system.
On the other hand, local governments are empowered to effectively manage crises to come and build resilient communities to provide hope for a better future to Filipinos and boost countryside development.
At the short welcome program held at the airport airside nook, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Carmelita Tecson, for the Provincial Government of Bohol handed out food packs, snacks, and hygiene packs to the arriving families and cash assistance of P5,000 per family.
Also at the welcome ceremonies were BP2 technical working group agencies: Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Housing Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Education, Department of Labor and Employment, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority as well as Mayor Conrada Amparo and local government units representatives.
The returning families include Nestor Baja Calderon and family of 6 returning to Abijilan Garcia Hernandez, Nerisa Dabon and family of 3 from Poblacion Sur Carmen, Janice Beronio Danlog and family of 4 from Duero and Vevencio Serinas Mabalhin Jr. and a family of two from Tubigon.
Nestor Calderon, who finished his high school at Tabuan High School said he worked as a gardener in Taguig until the pandemic laid him off. He brought his family to Caloocan to help in selling vegetables until he realized he could give a much better future to his family in Bohol.
“I was a gardener, and if that is the work that I do in Bohol, it’s still the same, and cost of living there is not as much as in the metropolis,” he said.
Calderon’s wife Deliza also comes from Abijilan, said her parents have idle lands while her husband’s family also have some spare lots they can cultivate.
Duero Mayor Amparo, who took it as her responsibility as mother of the town to personally meet the arrivals, urged Boholanos who still have relatives in Manila and willing to come home to take the chance to avail of the BP2, adding that Bohol will be doing its best to accommodate the returning residents and help them transition and adapt to their new environment. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)