October 3, 2023

PIDIGAN, Abra – The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera led an information caravan on the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program for municipal focal persons.

The Cordillera BP2 Committee updated municipal social welfare and development officers and municipal agriculturists of the program components, timeframe of implementation, and communication plan, among other things.

They were also apprised on the role of local government units and BP2 focal persons in validating and assisting the applicants.

Chris Paul Monganili of the National Housing Authority said as of Nov. 25, there are 568 BP2 applicants in the Cordillera.

Benguet has the most number of applicants with 173, followed by Abra with 157. Most of the applicants for Abra want to go back to Bangued.

Apayao has 125; Kalinga, 48; Mountain Province, 35; and Ifugao, 30.

Local government units were urged to lead in the implementation of BP2 in their respective municipalities.

Monganili reminded the municipal and the provincial governments to write to the BP2 secretariat to signify their intent and readiness to receive BP2 beneficiaries together with contact details of their focal persons.

The BP2 contained in Executive Order 114 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, aims “to ensure balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources, and opportunities through policies and programs that boost countryside development and inclusive growth, provide adequate social services, and promote full employment, industrialization, and improved quality of life in rural areas.”

Applicants to the program are assessed if they qualify and then will be validated. Qualified applicants can avail of livelihood assistance and packages and training programs from concerned government agencies.

BP2 Focal Person of DA-Cordillera Lito Mocati said beneficiaries of the program may avail of DA’s support services, such as household food sufficiency, capacity building, and household livelihood development.

The BP2 in the region was rolled out in Apayao last October.  – Christian  Tubadeza