DAVAO CITY: Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) along with government and private sectors has launched the first “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2)” model village in Kauswagan, Lanao del Sur for returning informal urban dwellers.
MinDA chair Secretary Emmanuel Piñol led the ground breaking rites at the 6.8-herctare project site at barangay Tacub on June 24.
The land donated by a private corporation would be patterned after successful models of communities involved in one common production activity with a complete value chain, according to Sec. Piñol.
It will have 50 units of Quadruplex housing to accommodate 200 families who will be involved in the production of organic chicken and vegetables, he said.
“This program in Kauswagan is the first and the model for the whole country. BP2 will be the start of the equitable sharing of the national wealth, shifting the focus of economic priorities from urban centers to the countryside,” the former journalist-turned politico bureaucrat said in a MinDA statement.
Earlier MinDA statement said BP2 program had initially identified four pilot provinces in Mindanao, namely Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon and North Cotabato.
In Lanao del Norte, Piñol said, he chose Kauswagan as a model community of BP2 due to the sound and transparent governance of the present administration, which will be an ingredient to make the program successful.
In subsequent meetings, Kauswagan Mayor Rommel Arnado and Sec. Piñol selected barangay Tacub, where the municipal government has been carrying out massive organic farming and being the location of the donated project lot.
“BP2 is a challenge to Kauswagan, but it is never a burden to help our fellow men. We dream that BP2 will be the key for the upliftment of Filipino lives, the key to food security and sustainable development,” Piñol said.
After the groundbreaking ceremonies, the Project Management Office (PMO) for the Kauswagan Organic Balik Probinsya Village signed a marketing agreement with the Eng Seng Foods Corporation, a Mindanao private agri-trading company.
Eng Seng Food Products will buy and market the organic chicken and vegetable production of the village.
“The private sector support for the project was actually started by a Kauswagan-based GN Power Kauswagan (GNPK), which donated PHP10 million. The fund was used in acquiring the 6.8-hectare property and the construction of the first model quadruplex unit,” he said.
Piñol assured that all member agencies of the BP2 Council would contribute to the village’s development.
“BP2 will be our strategy to maximize our own resources to boost our industries- that will provide jobs and economic development in the local community,” he further added.
Mayor Arnado thanked the MinDA chair for bringing BP2 in his municipality, assuring that “Kauswagan is ready for this type of program, while we are still planning and trying to conceptualize BP2, this already saw the potential of this town. I saw Kauswagan as the ideal place for the BP2 program.”
A press conference at the sidelight of the launch rites, Sec. Piñol clarified anew that no beneficiary people have been moved yet under the “balik Probinsya” program.
Media reports about government shuttling of stranded people and overseas Filipino workers involved efforts through the government “hated probinsya” project as a measure covering the COVID-19 containment campaign, he said.
ALI G. MACABALANG