The municipality of Kalawit in Zamboanga del Norte has earmarked a 200-hectare plantation area for the first 200 families coming home from Metro Manila under the government’s Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BP2).
In a statement on August 20, 2020, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the agency turned over on August 18 PHP500,000-support fund for the survey of the proposed BP2 site.
“I met with Kalawit Mayor Salvador Antojado and Zamboanga del Norte official Joey Bernad in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay to turn over the support fund. The Kalawit Balik Probinsya Resettlement Village is one of the four Pilot Sites chosen to serve as model BPBPP communities all over the country,” Piñol said.
The other sites, Piñol said, are in Camarines Sur, Leyte, and Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.
Kalawit, a young town with vast, unused land, offered to host 200 families originally from Zamboanga del Norte who are now temporarily living in Metro Manila.
Quoting Mayor Antojado, Piñol said the families to be selected for the Kalawit resettlement will be those who would be willing to till the land and get involved with agriculture.
He said each family will be given a house and the whole community will work as one in undertaking agricultural production.
“In contrast, the Kauswagan Model only has a compact area of 6.3-hectares where the beneficiaries will undertake Organic Chicken and Vegetable Production,” he said.
BP2 is being pushed by Senator Christopher Lawrence Go and backed by President Rodrigo Duterte, who issued Executive Order No. 114 to institutionalize the initiative.
EO114 said BP2 aims to “ensure balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources and opportunities through policies and programs that boost countryside development and inclusive growth; provide adequate social services, and promote full employment, industrialization and improved quality of life in rural areas.” (Che Palicte, PNA)