SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – Initial 21 beneficiaries composed of 70 family members were the first group of Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program recipients in Bicol who were given direct livelihood interventions by the Department of Agriculture regional office here. DA is one of the government agencies assisting the BP2 beneficiaries in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur.
Camarines Sur is one of the pilot provinces of BP2. The PLGU of Camarines Sur expressed its intent to accept applicants bound for Cam. Sur as early as February 23, 2021. The first batch of beneficiaries (13 families) arrived at the quarantine facility in Baao on April 30 while the second batch (8 families) arrived at the quarantine facility in Iriga City on July 25. The PLGU of Cam. Sur took care of the food and survival kits of the beneficiaries during the entire duration of the quarantine. They were transported back to their residences in Cam. Sur in coordination with their respective LGUs.
On August 19-20, this first group of beneficiaries underwent an in-house training on poultry production and management, and vegetable gardening at the DA – ATI grounds.
After completion of the beneficiaries’ training on August 20, Lorenzo Alvina, DA regional coordinator of BP2 program and Regional Technical Director Luz R. Marcelino turned over 1,050 heads of ready to lay hens, 21 chicken cage with 50 heads capacity, and 63 bags feeds and drugs and biologics as DA’s livelihood assistance to the beneficiaries. Each family received Poultry Production Module with 50 heads hens, chicken cage with 50 heads capacity, and three bags feeds and drugs and biologics. The DA-BP2 program also provided Gulayan Project composed of assorted vegetable seeds, water hose, hand garden tools and knapsack sprayer.
One recipient was Carlito Nabus, a native of San Jose, Camarines Sur. “Nagtatrabaho ako dati sa isang kompanya sa Manila . Biglang nagka-pandmic nawalan ako ng trabaho. Nagbakasali po ako sa Balik Probinsya, at maswerte pong napili ako,” Salamat sa lahat ng bumubuo ng BP 2, malaking tulong poi tong natanggap naming sa aming panibagong buhay,” he said.
Jessa, 24 year old wife of Jelon Buenavente from Tigaon, Camarines Sur was also very thankful to the BP2. “Sobrang hirap po ang buhay namin sa Maynila dahil lahat binibili. Hindi katulad dito sa probinsya na kahit nakikitira lang kami basta may tanim kami sa paligid ay siguradong kakain na kami. Delivery boy dati sa gulayan ang asawa ko, tapos lumipat sa construction. Pero dahil sa pandemic, pabago-bago ang sitwasyon sa Manila, laging ECQ, kaya mas marami ang araw na sarado ang pinapasukan ng asawa ko. Salamat po ng marami sa BP2 program, sa Department of Agriculture sa mga ibinigay sa aming manokan at pantamin. Naturuan din po kami kung paano magtanim at mag-alaga ng mga manok,” she said.
The BP2 program encourages people, especially informal settlers in Metro Manila to return to their provinces. The beneficiaries are being assisted in their transition with support and incentives on transportation, livelihood, housing, subsistence and education, among others. To qualify for the BP2 program, eligible families must signify and enroll in the online registration system. Aside from the DA, other government agencies assisting in the BP2 program are NHA, DSWD, DOH, TESDA, and DepEd. (Lovella P. Guarin / photos credit Ramon Adversario, Jr. – DA RAFIS 5)