10,000 Filipinos apply for ‘Balik Probinsya’ program — NHA
MANILA, Philippines — Around 10,000 Metro Manila residents have already enrolled in the government’s “Balik Probinsya” program that aims to decongest the National Capital Region and promote more robust regional development, according to the National Housing Authority (NHA).
NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. said Wednesday that he sees a “very positive indication” on the number of interested employees for the program, which was launched just last May 6.
“(It is) very promising because three days or four days thereafter, I already see 10,000 enrollees all over Metro Manila going to the top 10 provinces and municipalities of our country,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
Among these 10 provinces are Leyte, Bohol, Samar, and Camarines Sur, according to the NHA official.
Escalada said the agency is currently validating the identity of the online applicants. He added that in the application form, they are also being asked about which livelihood they intend to engage with once they reach their provinces.
“’Yun ang tumbok natin ngayon, fishing ba, farming ba, sari-sari store ba, driving? There are 10 options (in the application form), dropdown lang, so that specific ‘yung interventions ng ating government agencies involved,” he said.
(That’s what we want to focus on. Do they intend to engage in fishing, farming, setting up sari-sari stores, or driving? There are ten options, which are listed in a dropdown so that government agencies involved can have specific interventions.)
He noted that coordination with provincial local government units (LGUs) is also necessary to ensure that they are ready to receive those who will return to the provinces.
Escalada also said he will ensure that beneficiaries of the program will automatically have their voter registration transferred by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“Above all, ito ‘yung pinakabagong infusion ko sa program. I will make sure that Comelec will automatically register the transfer of our kababayans from Metro Manila to the provinces, ma-transfer na siya kaagad in terms of residency and registration,” he said.
(Above all, this is my latest infusion to the program. I will make sure that Comelec will automatically register the transfer of our countrymen from Metro Manila to the provinces, that they will be transferred immediately in terms of residency and registration.)
Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development earlier said the department is ready to offer housing units to qualified individuals who will return to provinces, saying there is an available inventory of units through the NHA which are unoccupied and unawarded.
Around one million residents from Metro Manila are expected to join the “Balik Probinsya” program in the next six months.
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