• By The Financial District


Agriculture Secretary William Dar, as Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS), urges concerned government agencies to craft needed guidelines, including tasking and manning, to effectively implement the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2) program in the Cordilleras.

“We should all have a deeper appreciation and understanding of the implementing guidelines and mechanics of the BP2 before we fully roll it out here in the Cordilleras,” said Secretary Dar during a special meeting of the Regional Development Council of the Cordillera Administrative Region (RDC) for the BP2 program, held October 30, 2020, at the DA-CAR office in Baguio City.

During the council meeting, he encouraged the different implementing agencies to work together to pursue the effective execution of the program intended to provide short, medium and long-term interventions to Filipinos affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

BP2 kicked off in May, with 112 participants who were brought back safely to Leyte. However, it was temporarily put on hold due to the influx of locally stranded individuals who wish to avail of the program.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), under Executive Order 114, is mandated to ensure food security and agricultural key productivity in relation to BP2.

“To attain this, we will focus on the transformation of local economies through a productive and resilient agriculture value chain,” Dar explained.

The secretary added that the DA will push for household food security to provide beneficiaries immediate resources of food and livelihood upon return to their provinces.

“BP2 beneficiaries will receive gardening kits prior to their departure, and will be supported by the Regional Field Office (RFO) of DA when they arrive in their destinations,” Dar said.

The returning residents will be provided skills training to capacitate and educate them on the value chain approach of agriculture.

“Through our Agricultural Training Institute and RFOs, we will give them knowledge from Production to marketing. It will be a full, complete cycle,” Dar said.