MANILA – General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. of the National Housing Authority (NHA) said they are temporarily suspending the dispatching of beneficiaries of the “Balik Probinsya Program, Bagong Pag-asa” to give way to the immediate needs of locally stranded individuals.
This was disclosed by GM Escalada during a live radio-TV interview Friday, June 12, that they came up with the decision upon orders from President Rodrigo Duterte to prioritize individuals who are stranded because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Recently, a stranded individual was reported dead while waiting for her ride to go home.
“Sinabi ng presidente na ipauwi na yan sila. Kaya hindi muna natin pwede ialis ang mga tao sa programa going to the provinces kase nagkasabay-sabay na sila ngayon sa mga locally stranded individuals, OFWs, estudyante at turista,” (The president instructed us to bring them home. That is why we cannot bring home the beneficiaries of the program yet to their provinces because of the urgent need to bring home locally stranded individuals, OFWs, students and tourists), he said.
GM Escalada further said the assets of the government are limited like buses, boats and transportation facilities from the Navy and Coast Guard that are also used by the Balik Probinsya program so they have to prioritize who will go first. He said “we will continue to prioritize the ‘hatid initiative, hatid tulong’ of those stranded because they are most in need now.”
He concluded that registration for the Balik Probinsya Program is still going on. Those who want to avail themselves of the program and to go home to their provinces for good will go to their respective local government units or to the online portals of the National Housing Authority, and the DSWD.