Fifty-five BalikProbinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) beneficiaries arrived in the region on 28 May 2021, as part of the continued efforts of the national government to address congestion in Metro Manila.

Upon arrival, the beneficiaries were fetched by their respective local government units (LGUs) from the airport and will still need to undergo an RT-PCR test and quarantine despite a negative result in Manila.

They were tested Thursday at the BP2 Depot in Quezon City before heading to Leyte. Originally, 61 people were slated to arrive on 28 May but six people tested positive and were not cleared to join this batch of returnees. They might be included in the next dispatch once they test negative.

Beneficiaries received free airfare, food packs, and health kits on their trip back to their home province of Leyte. Staff from the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) were present who validated the beneficiaries and facilitated government support to ease their transition as they start their lives anew in the region.

This includes incentives on transportation, livelihood, family needs, subsistence, education, and housing among others.

Preparations for the arrival of beneficiaries have long been started by regional agencies and the LGUs as Eastern Visayas ranks as one of the top destinations for returnees based on applications received by the NHA.

Previously stakeholders met to discuss the procedures for receiving beneficiaries arriving in May and June of this year and providing them with DSWD assistance in a meeting on 26 May.

Article and Photos by: Knulp Aseo, DRD; Maria Veda G. Eslopor, and Mark G. Lomboy, PFPD