MANILA – It may be an uncertain future ahead, but the latest beneficiaries of the national government’s “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program" (BP2) expressed optimism that the pandemic could portend a brighter future after arriving in Apayao on Oct. 13.
The family, consisting of six individuals, was originally scheduled for departure on Oct. 11 but was moved to a later date due to the effects of Severe Tropical Storm Maring that battered the Cordillera Administrative Region early this week.
“Maayos na yung panahon pagdating nila dito. In fact, kahit bagyo ay present po ang ating agencies na nagbigay ng tulong sa mga benepisyaryo ng BP2 (The weather was fine when they arrived here. In fact, government agencies provided support to the beneficiaries despite the storm),” said Rellie Button, National Housing Authority (NHA) community support officer in a phone interview.
After arriving in Apayao, the family was brought to a quarantine facility where they will spend 14 days before going home to their home in Flora, Apayao.
Among the government agencies who gave assistance to the family include the Provincial Government of Apayao, Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Technical Education And Skills Development Authority, and Land Transportation Office.
Aquino Daguio, the family patriarch, expressed gratitude to the agencies behind the BP2 program and the local government of Apayao for the quick and efficient assistance – from the online registration to the facilitation of their trip back home.
Daguio, who has been working as a UV Express driver for 17 years in Metro Manila, has lost his livelihood at the onset of the pandemic last year.
“Nakatanggap kami ng ayuda, pero hindi na rin naging sapat kasi anim kami sa pamilya at meron pa akong two-year-old na anak (We received cash aid but it was not enough since we’re six in the family and I have a two-year-old son),” Daguio said.
Institutionalized under Executive Order 114, series of 2020, the BP2 program is an initiative of the national government created to address the congestion in Metro Manila’s urban areas.
Government agencies guide the beneficiaries throughout this transition by providing additional support and incentives on transportation, livelihood, family needs, subsistence, education, housing, and others.
The BP2 program has sent families back to Leyte, Isabela, Davao del Norte, and parts of Bicol.