IATF reluctant to resume Balik Probinsya program | Inquirer News

IATF reluctant to resume Balik Probinsya program

/ 05:08 AM December 06, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The number of applicants who want to leave Metro Manila and return to their provinces under the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program has risen to 120,000, but officials are still reluctant to resume the program due to the lack of a COVID-19 vaccine and concerns over the readiness of local governments.

National Housing Authority general manager Marcelino Escalada, executive director of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa council, said he had asked council officials if it could resume the trips to the provinces this December.

The program was suspended in June.


Escalada said the council was apprehensive about lifting the suspension without the go-signal of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.


“(U)ntil there is no certainty yet in terms of [the availability of] the vaccine and at the same time the readiness of some [local governments], [the program] is suspended until further notice,” he said.

The destinations have to be ready with isolation and treatment centers for the arrivals, Escalada said.

But he also said that even if the program had been put on hold, the evaluation and assessment of applicants continue.

The program has received 120,000 applications, he said.

Top destinations are Leyte, Camarines Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Norte and Isabela, Escalada said.

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, IATF

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