The Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Committee for Bicol region held its organizational meeting and action planning workshop on July 24, 2020 via videoconference. In a pre-recorded message, Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan, Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for Bicol and BP2 Committee Chairperson, lauded the region’s efforts in organizing the BP2 Committee and preparing the Regional Action Plan for the BP2 Program. He emphasized that “The BP2 program is a sustainable whole-of-nation approach focused on promoting the local economy of each region to ensure balanced regional development all over the country, inclusive growth and industrialization in rural areas”. Essentially, the BP2 program is geared towards addressing congestion in Metro Manila by encouraging people to return to their home provinces. Through this program, the government will assist Filipinos in their transition back to the provinces by providing necessary support like transportation, livelihood, housing, education among others.
Undersecretary Marvel C. Clavecilla, the Presidential Adviser for Bicol, addressed the committee and ensured his commitment to provide strategic advice in the implementation of the BP2 program. NEDA Regional Director Agnes E. Tolentino, Vice Chairperson of the BP2 Committee, presided the meeting, which started with a presentation of the Executive Order (EO) No. 114 and the BP2 Implementing Guidelines by Architect Marissa B. Maniquis of the NHA Central Office as the BP2 National Council Secretariat.
The Regional Development Council (RDC) is the counterpart of the BP2 National Council at the regional level. Under the RDC is the BP2 Committee which will coordinate the BP2 activities in the region. It is composed of governors, mayors, the RDC sectoral committee chairpersons and co-chairpersons, and regional line agencies. Recognizing their relevance in carrying out the mandate of the BP2 Committee, the membership of the committee was expanded to include other government agencies and private sector representatives.
The 140 participants composed of representatives from the regional line agencies, local government units, and private sector organizations, and the RDC private sector representatives gathered in five virtual break-out sessions and came up with draft action plans for the BP2 key result area assigned to them, i.e. empowering the local industries, ensuring food security and agricultural productivity, providing social services and employment, and developing infrastructure to improve the quality of life in the rural areas. The BP2 Regional Action Plan will be finalized for endorsement of the committee to the RDC for adoption.