Eastern Samar gov urges use of P80-B coco levy to fund Balik Probinsya program
TACLOBAN CITY –– Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone has proposed to the national government to use the P80-billion coconut levy fund to help finance the “Balik Probinsiya” (Return to the Province) program.
Evardone said the fund could be used to finance programs and services intended for people who would be returning to the provinces from Luzon.
“I am proposing that the government use the P80-billion coco levy fund to finance the Balik Probinsiya Program to jumpstart economic activity in the countryside. The fund can finance infrastructure, agriculture, and social services programs to attract those who are in the urban centers, particularly Metro Manila, to go back and stay for good in the countryside,” Evardone said.
For people to be encouraged to return to the provinces, he said there should be “viable alternative livelihood and job opportunities” for them in the provinces, or else they would choose to remain in Metro Manila.
Evardone said part of the preparations under the “Balik Probinsiya” program is the improvement of health and communication services as well as education.
“We must also ensure self-reliance in terms of food production. All these can only be realized if there is enough funding by using the coco levy fund, which is idle,” he said.
Meanwhile, isolation facilities are being readied in different towns of Eastern Samar for those returning from Luzon.
As part of their protocol, those who will return to the province shall undergo quarantine for 14 days to ensure that they are not infected with COVID-19.
“We have a provincial strategic plan called “COVID ka lang, Estehanon Kami (You are just COVID. We are Estehanons). The main features are to prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and recover,” Evardone said.
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