Issue of September 20, 2020
Mt. Province

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RDC Cordillera creates Balik Probinsiya Support Committee
by Marlo Lubguban

The Cordillera Regional Development Council created the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Support Committee with Department of Agriculture Sec. and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (Cords) for the Cordillera William Dar as chairperson.

The BP2 Support Committee functions as the regional counterpart of the national BP2 council which implements Executive Order 114 “Institutionalizing the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program as a pillar of balanced regional development, creating a council therefor, and for other purposes.”

The BP2 implements the long-proposed decentralization of wealth, resources and opportunities from the National Capital Region and other congested metropolitan areas to the other, less dense, and less concentrated areas of the country.

Its implementation was fast-tracked and changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic which exposed the vulnerability of congested, high-density metropolises to disease outbreaks and pandemics.

National Economic Development Authority-Cordillera Director and RDC Vice-Chair Milagros Rimando emphasized that this program is in line with the Cordillera Regional Development Plan as well as the Philippine Development Plan.

DTI-Cordillera Director and RDC Economic Development Committee Chair Myrna Pablo said that agencies must ensure proper allocation in their respective budgets to prepare for the provision of services to these returning citizens.

Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cordillera Director Marlo Iringan said that chief executives of the LGUs must be members of the committee as they are at the forefront of handling the localized BP2 program.

Benguet League of Municipalities president and Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said that the region must implement its own measures.

Economic centers like Baguio City and Itogon, among others in the Cordillera, host people who came from other provinces to  find better working opportunities.

The BP2 Support Committee will formulate an action plan with the participation of both government and non-government organizations. The committee will also provide guidance to the LGUs and promote market investment in the region. Key areas of focus are the empowerment of local industries, food security, agricultural productivity, social welfare, health, employment, human resources development, and infrastructure development.

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