By Mario Casayuran
The proposed decongestion of Metro Manila could only happen if national government creates opportunities in the rural areas.
This was the view of Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee, on the proposal of Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ Go for government to now begin planning for a ‘’Balik sa Probinsya’ (Back to the Province) program.
In Friday’s announcement by President Duterte extending the lockdown to May 15 at Malacanang, Department of Trade and Industry (DOH) Secretary Ramon Lopez supported Go’s proposal, adding incentives to the business sector should be thrown to the move.
‘’The answer lies in a more equitable distribution of the national budget that adopts a mere 20 percent of projects, activities and programs out of those endorsed by the local development councils,’’ Lacson said.
Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, said the ‘’Balik sa Probinsya’’ program should be implemented when the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is already under control or when “we have already flattened the curve.’
He said the national government should learn from the experiences encountered during the COVID-19 crisis in order to provide long-term solutions that would put a stop to the current public health emergency and avoid the further spread of such diseases in the future.
Cases of COVID-19 infections are reported high in densely-populated communities such as several districts in Metro Manila and its adjacent areas.#