KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO – The Special Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Committee under the Regional Development Council or, RDC requested the National Housing Authority to include its provinces as pilot areas in the implementation of the program. This surfaced during the 4th Special BP2 Committee XII meeting on July 01, 2021 chaired by the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security of Region 12, Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña.

During the meeting, the National Housing authority apprised the members on the status of BP2 enrollees in the region. As of June 29, 2021, around 2,484 enrollees in Region 12 have applications undergoing processing. This is broken down as follows: Cotabato Province – 844, Sarangani – 280, South Cotabato – 960 and Sultan Kudarat – 400. It was noted that across the provinces of Region XII, the enrollees for Cotabato Province and South Cotabato, were higher than the total number of BP2 enrollees in other BP2 pilot provinces for CY 2021 which are the provinces of Isabela, Camarines Sur, Leyte, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao Del Norte and Davao del Norte.

Based on this observation, the committee agreed, through the representation of Secretary Lapena, to request the NHA as the Secretariat of the BP2 Program at the national level, to consider including at least one of the provinces of Region XII as among the pilot provinces for the implementation of the BP2 Program in the country this year.

Other matters discussed during the meeting were the guidelines and templates needed to facilitate the preparation of the bi-annual report and data generation in anticipation of the full implementation of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program in SOCCSKSARGEN Region.

The various sub-committees of the Special BP2 Committee XII, through the Sectoral Committees of the RDC also presented initiatives undertaken by their various member agencies aligned with the objective of the BP2 program.

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)