Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program begins clearing operations, model house construction
by: HRS News
KAUSWAGAN, LANAO DEL NORTE (13 June 2020) – Despite news on the suspension of the program, clearing operations and construction of the model house began today in the designated pilot area for the Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program (BPBPP) in barangay Tacub in this town.
Municipal Mayor Rommel Arnado confirmed that layout and construction site preparation for the model house had began and is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.
"The preparations for the construction of the model house began today and we hope we will be able to complete it within two weeks," said Arnado.
The local team comprising the project management office (PMO) headed by Arnado has been organized and coordination with national government agencies in the BPBPP Council commenced through working group meetings done via Zoom teleconference since Wednesday.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Administrator, Secretary Manny Pinol, said that the program has not been suspended but only delayed.
"The ‘Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa’ Program of the government has not been suspended but the scheduled transfer of the urban dwellers to their provinces has been reset. This was confirmed today by National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Marcelino Escalada, Jr. in a phone conversation while I was traveling back to Cotabato from a 2-day trip to Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon," said Pinol.
In the same statement, he added that "only the schedule of the transfer of families from Metro Manila to the provinces has been reset to address concerns of the local government units on their preparedness in receiving the families."
In an earlier Zoom meeting on Wednesday with Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda 'Angging' Dimaporo attended by some of the national government agencies of the BPBPP Council including Escalada and DSWD Undersecretary Aimee Neri, Pinol confirmed that Lanao del Norte has been identified as the pilot area for this year's implementation of the program.
In the same meeting, Escalada explained that the program will have the immediate or short-term phase that will be implemented this year.
The PMO will construct 100 duplex houses in a 6.3-hectare relocation site. The site of the BPBPP model community is a counterpart contribution of the local government unit of Kauswagan which was earlier donated to the LGU by GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co., a power plant located in Tacub.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) is set to transfer funds to the PMO next week for the house construction. The construction and site development is set to be completed within two months and residents are expected to move in to their new houses by September.
While site preparation is ongoing, the PMO is working on the guidelines for the final selection of the first 200 beneficiaries. It was earlier reported that only residents of Lanao del Norte who currently reside in Metro Manila, Cebu City or Davao City are eligible for the program.
MinDA, acting as an advisory agency for the implementation, turned over a list of applicants to Dimaporo and Arnado which will be further screened and validated by the PMO.
The BPBPP is the brain-child of Senator Christopher Lawrence 'Bong' Go, aimed to decongest Metro Manila and other big cities in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 114 organizing the BPBPP Council in May.