CITY OF KORONADAL, South Cotabato – As the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program prepares to commence its implementation in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region in Calendar Year 2021, the Special BP2 Committee XII convened on February 26, 2021, graced by the presence of its Chairperson, Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña.

“Let us always be reminded of the goals and objectives of this program, and that is to provide hope and a better future for Filipinos through equity in resources. As I have stated in our previous meetings, it is expected that government agencies should have all hands on deck in ensuring the continuous recovery of the economy and including the quality of life in the provinces” said Secretary Lapeña, who is also the Director-General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The meeting highlighted the accomplishments of the Committee for the period June to December 2020 as reflected in its Bi-annual report which is mandated under Executive Order (EO) 114, series of 2020, and its Implementing Guidelines.

To further provide direction for the Committee’s undertakings, the Special BP2 Committee XII secretariat likewise presented the Work Program for CY 2021. This includes the review of policy proposals, firming up and updating of the BP2 Annual Investment Program (AIP), 2021-2024 of BP2 member-agencies, the conduct of quarterly Special BP2 Committee XII Meetings, the conduct of project monitoring in the provinces where BP2 projects and activities are implemented, strengthening of the BP2 communication plan and participation in BP2 national conferences, among others.

The highlights of the SOCCSKSARGEN Region BP2 Action Plan were also presented during the meeting. Secretary Lapeña emphasized the need for member agencies to submit their inputs for the enhancement and updating of the said plan. The BP2 Program is the government’s initiative in addressing Metro Manila’s congested urban areas by encouraging people, especially informal settlers to return to their home provinces and assist them in this transition with support and incentives on transportation, family, livelihood, housing, subsistence, and education. (Joseph Didius L. Clave, NEDA XII-DRD)