The Executive department headed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has issued an Executive Order No. 114 to create the “Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa Council to initiate balanced regional development. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea signed the document last Sunday for immediate implementation.
The signing followed by the Senate adoption on a resolution sponsored by Bong Go who openly brought out the idea in the Senate when COVID-19 has made Metro Manila as the epicentre of the current pandemic.
“Malaking factor po sa mabilis na pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa Metro Manila ang congestion o overcrowding. Sabi nga ng mga eksperto, maraming global pandemics pa po ang mararanasan ng mundo sa hinaharap. Kailangan po natin ng mas proactive at pangmatagalang solusyon dito upang mas maging handa tayo sa hinaharap,” Go said.
Senator Bong Go in the Senate resolution is to urge the Executive department to formulate and implement the “Balik Probinsiya Program” that will decongest Metro Manila, promoting more robust regional developments, encouraging the equitable distribution of wealth, initiating viable livelihood opportunities, and pushing economic growth nationwide.
Various government department officials have openly supported Senator Bong Go’s program.
The Department of Trade and Industry has expressed to provide more incentives for businesses to open manufacturing facilities in the provinces. The Department of Social Welfare and Development will initiate to adopt a community-driven development approach. And the Department of Agriculture will ensure food security and will safeguard the farmers and fishermen.
DAR also mentioned that the program should be well-planned and consider the convergence of resettlement, employment and livelihood opportunities, social development, health supply system, infrastructure, and resilient environment.
Despite its booming economy, Go also cited that the Philippines remains a largely agricultural country with plenty of idle lands in the countryside that can be developed.
“The government may facilitate the utilization of some of these idle lands for the productive use of people who will be relocated from Metro Manila and other metropolitan areas,” he suggested.
Go emphasized the need to develop the countryside consistent with the policy direction of President Duterte to create robust economic activities and wealth generation outside Metro Manila or other urban centres.