Friday, 29 May 2020
Governance

Bong Go urges gov’t: Ensure peace, order in countryside for successful ‘Balik Probinsya’ program

Sen. Bong Go

As various departments under the Executive branch prepare for the short-term and long-term implementation of the “Balik Probinsya” program (BPP), Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go emphasized that maintaining peace and order as well as enforcing the rule of law are important for the success of the program in the countryside.

Go urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government, local government units, and law enforcers to implement necessary measures to ensure a stable and peaceful environment conducive for doing business in the provinces in order to promote economic development.

“Maintaining peace and order and providing security in communities lead to better quality of life, more economic opportunities and smoother business operations,” Go said.

“Ito po ang dahilan kaya mahalagang ma-maintain ang peace and order sa ating mga probinsya upang ma-engganyo natin ang mga Pilipino na bumalik at manatili roon at maging matagumpay ang programa ng gobyerno,” he added.

The presence of criminal elements and lawlessness in some areas in the countryside is a major concern for businesses and families to relocate back to these provinces.

“Isa rin pong requirement ng mas malagong business environment ang pag-maintain ng peace and order at maayos na pag-implementa ng mga batas. Kaya naman nararapat lamang po na siguraduhing napapatupad ng maayos ang mga batas sa ating mga probinsya para maging attractive ang mga ito sa mga investors,” he said.

Citing his experience as long-time aide of President Rodrigo Duterte during their days in Davao City, Go stressed that genuine and sustainable progress can be achieved if peace and order concerns are addressed.

“Gaya noon sa Davao, nang hindi pa po mayor si Pangulong Duterte doon, napakagulo noon. Ngunit dahil sa maayos na law enforcement na ipinatupad noong umupo siya na Mayor, nagkaroon ng peace and order at nasugpo ang krimen kaya dumami mga negosyo, hindi natakot pumasok ang mga investors, at naging isa sa fastest growing regions sa bansa ang Davao,” Go explained.

Go also echoed the sentiments of DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año that a stable peace and order situation is crucial in the success of the proposed “Balik Probinsya” program. Año mentioned in a statement that the government should promote peace and order in the provinces to entice investors under a post-community quarantine scenario.

The DILG Secretary also encouraged LGUs to start thinking of ways on how to prepare for Balik Probinsya. “Malaki ang populasyon ng Metro Manila kaya napapanahon at sang-ayon kami sa magandang mungkahi ni Senator Go. The proposed decongestion of Metro Manila is a timely measure at kailangan po natin ito.”

“Kung mangyayari ito, hinihikayat natin ang mga LGU na as early as now ay mag-isip na ng mga hakbang para matugunan ang pagdating ng mga kababayan nilang magsisiuwian mula sa Metro Manila. Malaki ang potensyal nito na makatutulong sa ating mga kababayan,” he added.

In his previous pronouncements, Go has earnestly sought the implementation of a “Balik Probinsya” program to decongest Metro Manila and bring about economic prosperity in the countryside. Last May 6, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order 114 institutionalizing the Balik Probinsya, Balik Pag-asa Program and creating a council therefor.

“Malaking factor po sa mabilis na pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa Metro Manila ang congestion o overcrowding. Sabi nga ng mga eksperto, maraming global pandemics pa po ang mararanasan ng mundo sa hinaharap. Kailangan po natin ng mas proactive at pangmatagalang solusyon dito upang mas maging handa tayo,” Go said.

Go then emphasized that the need to develop the countryside should be consistent with the policy direction of President Duterte in order to create robust economic activities and wealth generation outside Metro Manila or other urban centers.

“Sa ‘Balik Probinsya’ program, hindi lang natin naiiwasan ang mas mabilis na pagkalat ng sakit. This program is also about equitable distribution of the gains of our fast developing economy, balanced development of the urban and rural areas and poverty alleviation,” Go said.

Go also said that as the proponent of the “Balik Probinsya” program, he will continue to remind national agencies to implement the program immediately to benefit all affected Filipinos who wish to go back to their home provinces and, at the same time, recommend to the Executive branch necessary measures that can support the objectives of giving Filipinos a better future after the COVID-19 crisis.

“Bilang proponent ng programang ito, patuloy akong makikipagtulungan sa Executive branch. Sila naman ang may mandatong mag-execute at mag-implementa nito,” Go said.

“Now is the time to act. Marami nang gustong umuwi. Pero walang pilitan po ito. Layunin po ng programang ito na mabigyan ng bagong pag-asa ang mga Pilipino na may hinaharap silang maayos na kinabukasan at tutulungan sila ng gobyerno kung sakaling gusto nilang bumalik sa kanilang mga probinsya,” Go said.

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