The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII convened virtually the recently created Eastern Visayas Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2) Committee for the first time on 04 September 2020. The meeting aimed to formally organize the Committee and discuss its ways forward. It also served as a venue to orient the members on BP2 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

The Committee is tasked to come up with the BP2 Regional Action Plan to serve as the framework for the implementation of the program in Eastern Visayas.

This covers its mandate to coordinate the BP2 activities in the region and advise the RDC in formulating policies to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the BP2 projects.

The meeting comes as the country braces for the full implementation of the program in the coming months. Eastern Visayas ranks as the top destination for returnees under the BP2 program based on applications received by the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Secretariat for the program. As of
01 September, 21,365 applicants expressed their desire to return to the region.

BP2 is focused not only on decongesting the country’s metropolises but on creating alternatives for people in the provinces so they could stay in their home regions.

“The alternative is to create livelihood opportunities in the provinces, in the region, so they will not be tempted anymore, to migrate in the metropolis,” said Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Eastern Visayas Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario.

The Secretary also emphasized the need to take advantage of the opportunity brought by the program as it refocuses the resources of the national government toward improving the socioeconomic conditions of the regions.

Earlier, the RDC VIII Full Council approved the creation of the Regional BP2 Committee through RDC VIII Resolution No. 26, s. 2020 following Executive Order No. 114.

Article and Photos by:  Knulp Aseo, NEDA VIII