DSWD bats for community-driven approach in Balik-Probinsya program

Published May 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Charissa Luci-Atienza 

With President Duterte’s issuance of an executive order directing the implementation of Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is recommending a “community-driven development” approach in the formulation of assistance packages for the program beneficiaries.

DSWD Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje expressed the agency’s commitment to be actively involved in implementing the program which seeks to decongest Metro Manila.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Social Welfare and Development

“Ang DSWD ay nakikipag-ugnayan sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno upang makabuo tayo ng sustainable and comprehensive livelihood employment opportunities,” he said in a virtual press briefing after President Duterte signed the Executive Order 114 on the implementation of the program.

(The DSWD is coordinating with different agencies of the government to come up with sustainable and comprehensive livelihood employment opportunities.)

The DSWD is one of the members of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Council, which is created under EO 114 to ensure “the whole-of-government action” on the implementation of the program.

The Council is chaired by the Executive Secretary with the Socioeconomic Planning Secretary as vice chairperson.

Paje said with the issuance of EO 114, the DSWD would further strengthen its existing Balik Probinsya Program to encourage calamity victims and internally-displaced persons to return to their respective provinces.

Under the EO, President Duterte cited the need to institutionalize “a balanced regional development program to foster socially cohesive, resilient and sustainable rural communities to reverse migration to the NCR and other congested metropolises, as well as to attain rural prosperity through equal distribution of wealth, resources and opportunities.”

Covered by the program network are empowerment of local industries; food security and agricultural productivity; social welfare, health and employment; and development of infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Bohol 3rd district Rep. Alexie Besas Tutor expressed optimism on Thursday, May 7 that President Duterte’s order would help expedite the passage of her proposed “Balik Probinsya Public Housing and Relocation Act”.

She said her House Bill No. 6674 seeks to complement the EO 114 to decongest Metro Manila and promote countryside development.

“We appreciate the swiftness of Malacanang in the issuance of the EO 114 because it also boosts the chances of HB 6674 at becoming law as soon as possible,” Tutor said in a statement.

Tutor said she filed HB 6674, citing the urgent need to establish such program to benefit the country’s urban poor.

“HB 6674 goes into the details of methodically identifying beneficiaries by the Philippine Statistics Authority, registering the urban poor for basic government services, and laying out the broad strokes of creating the public housing communities for the beneficiaries,” she said.

The neophyte lawmaker described the Balik Probinsya program as “a medium term solution” to the urban congestion and population density of Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

“I am hopeful that by Year 2022, the first Balik Probinsya public housing communities would have its first batches of residents settled in,” Tutor said.