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Duterte issues EO to institutionalize Balik Probinsya program

File photo shows a vast corn field in the province of Bukidnon.

The government will come out with new guidelines next month to institutionalize its Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pagasa (BPBP) program, which aims to decongest highly urbanized cities by encouraging people to relocate to their provinces.

On Wednesday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Executive Order No. 114 creating the BPBP council, which will be tasked to come out with the necessary guidelines and framework within the next 30 days. 

The BPBP council will be chaired by the Executive Secretary and will be vice chaired by the Secretary for Socio Economic Planning and Director General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

It members include the secretaries of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Department of Agriculture (DA); Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Department of Health (DOH); Department of Information and Technology (DICT); and Department of Finance (DOF).

Other members of the council are the secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM); Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); Department of Transportation (DoTR); Department of Tourism (DOT); Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD); Department of Education (DepEd); and Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR).

Also included in the council chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); and chairperson of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

The council’s secretariat will be led by the general manager of the National Housing Authority (NHA). 

Funding

The BPBP program will have provisions for empowering local industries; food security and agriculture productivity; social welfare, health, and employment; and development infrastructures.

Each framework will have a corresponding shot-term, medium-term, and long-term plan.

To implement the BPBP program, the council is also tasked with local government units (LGU), Philippine Communication Operation Office (PCOO), and other stakeholders to craft the necessary guidelines and legislation for it.

DBM is tasked to fund BPBP program using the the budget of the member agencies of the council. 
“To the extent permitted by law, agency heads are hereby authorized to realign items in their respective appropriations to fund PAPs (programs, activities, or projects) approved as part of the BPBP program,” Duterte said in the 7-paged EO 114.

“Funding requirements for the succeeding years shall be included in the respective budgets of government agencies implementing the BPBO programs,” he added.

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