Cordillera Administrative Region-In 2021, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here distributed a total of Php 5,271,165 assistance to 100 qualified families from the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Kalinga and Mountain Province under the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services National Community Driven Development Program (Kalahi CIDSS NCDDP) Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program (BP2P) modality.

The amount distributed for each family varies depending on their needs as assessed by the DSWD registered social workers, considering the conditions of their new home and the number of the family members. All of the 100 families received a transitory support package which aims to cover three months (3) of the beneficiaries’ basic needs such as food, payment for rent and bills, among others. While 22 families from Abra, assessed to be in need of livelihood assistance, received an additional Livelihood Settlement Grant not exceeding Php 50,000 per family, in partnership with the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). The additional assistance aims to provide seed capital fund for their proposed small business.

Hindi ko po talaga alam kung paano magsisimula ulit na ang laki-laki na po ng utang ko simula nung nawalan ako ng trabaho sa pandemya. Kaya sobrang laki po ng aking pasasalamat sa programang ito kasi kung wala ito hindi ko na po talaga alam ang gagawin ko. Lalo na pag nakikita ko po iyong anak kong two years old, naaawa po ako sakanya kasi wala akong maipambili ng gatas.” (I didn’t know how I could start again with all the debt I had from losing my job to the pandemic. That is why I am very much grateful to the program because without it, I really don’t know what else to do. Especially every time I see my two year old son and I couldn’t provide for his milk), shared Aquino Daguiao, the first to receive assistance from the BP2 Program in the region.

The Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program of the Philippine Government aims to boost countryside development by providing equity in resources throughout the county. This is geared towards addressing congestion in urban areas, such as Metro Manila, by encouraging people, especially informal settlers, to return to their home provinces and assist them in this transition with support and incentives on transportation, livelihood, and housing, among others.

The grants from the DSWD is one among the assistance under the BP2 Program that the government provides to families whose livelihood and/or living conditions were affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic, and has decided to move back to their home provinces permanently. Assistance is provided after series of interviews, validation, and assessment done by registered social workers, either from the DSWD Central or Regional Office.

Before the assessment, the beneficiaries, representing their family, must register to website or be enlisted in their nearest Local Social Welfare and Development Office. This is done to ensure that assistance provided to the family is according to their needs and to avoid duplication from other partner agencies, as the BP2P is an inter-agency program, headed by the National Housing Authority.

For 2022, the Livelihood Settlement Grant of the other 78 qualified families is under review and validation by the DSWD Field Office Cordillera Administrative Region. Additionally, the Field Office is still accepting returning families for assessment. This includes families who are already back in their provinces since 2019, affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, these beneficiaries must either be referred by the local social welfare and development office or from the applicants through the balik probinsya website, after their successful validation.To know more about the Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program, visit #DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Eden Faith S. Fataner

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