Governance Senate

“Balik Probinsya” program to create more efficient delivery of government assistance — Bong Go

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go emphasized that the proposed “Balik Probinsya” program can help make the delivery of government assistance more efficient especially at times of crisis such as the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“May mga nagiging issues sa implementasyon ng Social Amelioration program ng gobyerno ngayon. Isang rason nito ay ang pagkahiwa-hiwalay ng mga miyembro ng pamilya. Nasa Maynila sila habang ang pamilya nila ay nasa probinsya,” Go said.

“Mas mapapadali at mas magiging maayos ang pagbibigay ng tulong sa mga tao kung bibigyan natin sila ng oportunidad na mabuo ang pamilya nila sa iisang bahay sa pamamagitan ng Balik Probinsya Program,” he added.

In an interview on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Go lamented that the lack of job opportunities in the countryside eventually led to the congestion of urban centers, like Metro Manila, resulting to their separation from their loved ones as they migrate and find opportunities in the city.

“Ang hirap po mapalayo sa pamilya. Alam ko hindi nababayaran ang lungkot, mas nanaiisin ninyo makasama po ang inyong mga pamilya sa panahon ng krisis. Lalong-lalo na po kapag naiwan kayo sa Maynila, wala po kayong matatakbuhan, mahirap mag-isa dito sa Maynila,” he explained.

“Kung sa probinsya ka, pwede kang tumakbo sa pinsan mo o sa mga kamag-anak mo, humingi ka ng tulong, madali, may sasaklolo agad sa inyo,” the Senator added.

Go also explained that this contributes to unforeseen instances of duplication of the provision of social amelioration to Filipino families who are scattered throughout the country as breadwinners are stranded in Metro Manila due to travel restrictions.

“Isa po yun sa dahilan kaya po nagkaroon ng duplication sa mga Social Amelioration, sabi ng DSWD, inaayos na nila yung nangyari na may duplication po ng recipients,” Go said.

“Iyung iba naman po, example ay ‘yung tatay nagtatrabaho nandito sa Maynila, hindi po siya makakatanggap (ng ayuda) kasi madodoble dahil yung pamilya nila sa probinsya nakatanggap na,” he added.

At the same time, Go also commended those individuals who returned duplicated social amelioration aid, saying that Filipino honesty and kindheartedness live through amid the pandemic.

A tricycle driver in Pasay City was recently reported returning the emergency cash aid from the government upon learning that his wife earlier received the same in Nueva Ecija. Meanwhile, an Ati from San Enrique town, Iloilo was also reported to have returned an assistance grant because she is already an active member of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) which entitles her already for a similar kind of aid as top up to the regular 4Ps grant.

“Hanga ako sa mga naging honest na ibinalik ang sobra o nadoble sa natanggap nila mula gobyerno na ayuda. Sana maging honest po tayo. I am encouraging recipients whose grants were unintentionally doubled due to the challenges in the distribution to be honest,” Go said.

“Magsabi po kayo kung isa kayo sa nadoble ang ayuda. Sa pagiging honest ninyo, isang pamilyang hindi nabigyan ang pwede ninyong mailigtas,” he emphasized.

Go also urged LGUs to be transparent and report how they distributed the Social Amelioration Funds downloaded to them by the Department of Social Welfare and Development to their constituents.

“Let us address the challenges in the distribution and make sure those who are deserving are provided the assistance that they are entitled to receive in this time of need,” he said.

To further address the challenges in the distribution of assistance and to ensure that more Filipinos benefit from various government programs, Go said that a “Balik Probinsya” program aims to give Filipinos economic opportunities in the countryside, therefore eliminating the need for them to migrate to Metro Manila and be separated from their families.

Go also mentioned that during his fire visits, he has met several residents who have expressed willingness to return to their provinces. However, their reluctance comes from the lack of job opportunities in the countryside.

“Gusto ko lang po i-kwento sa inyo nung umiikot pa ako sa mga nasunugan noon, wala pa itong COVID, una kong sinasabi sa kanila sino ang gustong umuwi ng probinsya? Ang daming nagtataas ng kamay,” Go said.

“Sabi ko bibigyan ko po kayo ng ticket, sabi ko one-way lang, ‘wag na kayong bumalik ng Maynila, bumaba yung kamay. Ibig sabihin, gusto pa rin nila bumalik ng Maynila dahil nandirito ‘yung trabaho nila, andito ‘yung pamilya nila,” he added.

To encourage city dwellers to return to their provinces, Go said that the government is currently crafting a long-term plan to create economic opportunities in the countryside and boost regional development for returning individuals and families to start their life anew in their home provinces.

“Para ma-encourage natin sila na doon na po sa probinsya manirahan, kailangan mabigyan sila ng maayos na pabahay, trabaho at economic opportunities. Bigyan natin sila ng ‘hope of a better tomorrow’, gaya ng sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Go.

“Bigyan natin sila ng pag-asa pag bumalik na sila sa kanilang mga probinsya. Malaking tulong po ‘yun kung kusang loob na nila,” he added.

Post Comment