“Balik Probinsya” program that aims to decongest Metro Manila, promote more robust regional development, and encourage equitable distribution of wealth, livelihood opportunities, and economic growth nationwide.
The Senate adopted on Monday, May 4,a resolution sponsored by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, he said the Covid-19 pandemic “has exposed and brought to the surface many of our country’s perennial problems, including congestion in our urban centers, particularly in Metro Manila.”
“Such problem results in a whole lot of other issues, including poverty, economic inequality, traffic jams, environmental issues, among others,” he said. “More importantly, overcrowding in Metro Manila makes it more difficult to contain diseases here, putting us all at risk for future pandemics.”
He cited data from the Department of Health showing that as of May 1, 2020, of the total 8,772 COVID-19 infection cases, NCR registered a total of 5,968 cases, representing 68% of the country’s total.
The traffic in Metro Manila its the worst in Asia according to Asian Development Bank study. This heavy traffic costs the economy PHP3.5 billion a day and the situation can get worse at P5.4 billion a day by the year 2035 if interventions will not be made, according to another study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
To ease the congestion in Metro Manila, he then highlighted the need to improve the quality of life in the country and improve access to quality social services, especially in rural areas, through a “Balik Probinsya” program.
“The proposed program is envisioned as a multi-sectoral comprehensive program to decongest Metro Manila by helping stranded workers and OFWs, assisting people who want to relocate to the provinces, and encouraging people to settle down in the provinces for good,” he added.
The “Balik Probinsiya” program will also encourage informal settlers and those living in danger areas to move out of Metro Manila and go back to their home provinces by providing them with decent housing, easier access to key services, nearby schools, job and livelihood opportunities and even small-business support in the grassroots level, among others. More..
-May 5, 2020, Stockbytes! PH
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