Lawmaker firming up plans for relocation

LA TRINIDAD. A farmer tends to his plants in La Trinidad, Benguet amid the global pandemic. Farmers are one of the few frontliners working to make sure there is enough food for every household. (Photo by Roderick Osis)

BAGUIO City Representative Mark Go recommended a progressive strategic plan for relocating individuals in the city wanting to go back to their respective provinces by providing livelihood.

Go explained similar programs done in the past should be a learning experience for local government units (LGU) to assure the availability of livelihood for those wanting to return to their provinces.

“This is a strategic plan on the part of the government not only because we have this Covid-19. One of the conditions that should be set under the ‘Balik Probinsya’ is for people who are to be resettled to have a complete package when returning those people to their area of origin or to another area for relocation,” Go said.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) earlier identified the provision of transportation assistance under “Balik Probinsya” targeting about 5,000 stranded workers and students in the city as beneficiaries.

The CSWDO projected a funding of P5 million for the program which is set for implementation after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted by May 15, and will be stretched up to June, as the department is yet to come up with the implementing guidelines.

“There should be the presence of companies for them to be able to work, their children should be able to study in an educational facility in the area where they are to be relocated, where would they stay? We do not want a repeat of what has happened in the past when those relocated from Metro Manila came back to Manila after getting the support from government,” the lawmaker added.

Go said there should be a strategic program of government wherein an area is prepared to receive those who will be relocated.

A livelihood assistance for at least 15,000 displaced informal workers, solo parents as well as drivers, vendors, tourist guide, caddie boys, waiters, among others as beneficiaries is now in the pipeline, to be rolled out May 16 to July with a funding requirement of P225 million as startup capital.

“Our office can help those wanting to go back to their respective provinces. We can financially support them of the program of the government. The Department of Social Welfare and Development can assist them in their return to their provinces,” Go added.

Another project is the sustainable livelihood program which targets to benefit 10,000 individuals, solo parents and families. The program will cost about P20 million to provide livelihood trainings to vulnerable individuals and families in an aim to improve socio-economic conditions, to be implemented after ECQ until end of December 2020.

Go added the self-employment assistance to 5,000 families and solo parents engaging in small-scale industry is being formed, which will require a budget of P25 million and is set to be implemented from June to September of 2020.


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