PEOPLE begged food and money from the government when the pandemic paralyzed their daily grind. The count of “sektor na umaasa” ballooned from 18 million to 23 million. And this unforeseen increase blew hard the social amelioration program at the onset.
While the world war against Covid-19 is ongoing, the shortage of food and inadequate space to maintain physical distancing are serious continuing antisocial distresses, particularly in Metro Manila.
Emilio “Lito” Osmeña in 1997, organized the political party Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (PROMDI) in Cebu City. The objective was to equally distribute the opportunities of employment and the government projects for development to all nooks of the country, somehow will decongest the NCR. He then propagated this battle cry during his presidential bid in 1988 but lost to Erap.
Lito’s voice faded away with time. None of those self-proclaimed good presidents (Erap, Gloria, and PNoy) disentangled the EDSA bottlenecks and overcrowding at the shantytown. Instead, the improvements were biasedly poured to the home provinces of the last two presidents–Pampanga and Tarlac.
The sighed solution to decongest the metropolitan is long overdue.
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic for compellingly demanding a drastic action from this potent administration. Senator Christopher Lawrence Go pushed the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BPBPP).
The BP2 program became a law on May 6, 2020 via EO 114. Because the affirmation of law through an executive order is a fast-track process compared to a law that passes through the serpentine procedure in both houses.
Through this BP2 program, NCR will be decongested, immediately. Problems related to health and sanitation, joblessness that often led to the proliferation of drugs, crimes, and environmental degradation will be addressed swiftly.
In response, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol who has long fought for this initiative, announced that the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will create a special team to help the people get access to the financing programs and grants from the government.
Piñol is working for the Assistance in Loan Access for Livelihood and Agriculture Industries (ALALAI). The acronym sounds in a local dialect to mean “aid”, which would literally assist the poor families that will be pendulum to the countryside.
If by paradise’s/heaven’s mercy this urgent program will be implemented, none of the Filipinos will be starving; the unemployed in the slum becomes integral in the food security and agricultural advocacies in the countryside; and this will be the most admired legacy of this administration than ambitiously agitating of “build, build, build,” only to end as white elephants.