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Homesick and Tired of the City? This Program Can Help You Get Home

The program got 5,000 online applicants in just four days.
by Clara Rosales
May 13, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Tired of being stuck in quarantine in cramped quarters in the city? 

The Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program sees around 1 million Metro Manila residents moving to other regions in the country over the next six months.

National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Marcelino Escalada announced the projection on May 12, as he observed that many were interested in the program. It got 5,000 online applicants in just four days.

Escalada heads the secretariat of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Council.

“If this will be the future, there will be exponential enrollees every now and then. Perhaps we can hit a figure in the next six months of 1 million residents of Metro Manila who would like to enroll,” he said in a virtual briefing.

Joining the program is on a voluntary basis, he said.

The government will extend assistance for transportation expenses and allowances for those willing to relocate to rural areas in the country. The government will also assist in helping program patricipants ease into their new life outside of Metro Manila. The national government would work with the receiving local government unit to prepare for the flow of new residents. 

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Interested individuals can go to the nearest Balik Probinsya center or fill out an assessment form on the Balik Probinsya website.

The Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic. Metro Manila reported a lot of cases and rapid spread of the virus due to its population density. With this program, the government aims to decongest the Metro while encouraging growth and development in the rural areas of the country.

Leyte, Camarines Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Pangasinan, Quirino and Marinduque have shown interest in joining the newly launched program, he said.