Government temporarily suspends ‘Balik Probinsya’ program

Aileen Cerrudo

The government’s ‘Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa’ Program has been temporarily suspended to give way for the repatriation of overseas Filipinos and stranded students in Metro Manila.

National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Arcelino Escala Jr. said this is following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to prioritize the stranded individuals in Metro Manila to decongest the area to prepare for the ‘new normal’ setting.

“This was a clear instruction from the President, unahin pauwiin ang ating mga kababayan na stranded dito sa Maynila (Prioritize our fellowmen stranded in Metro Manila) and these are the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), the construction workers, ating mga turista at mga estudyante (our tourists and students). That is the arrangement right now,” he said.

Escala said the Balik Probinsya will resume once all stranded Filipino have been sent home.

“I foresee that in the next month, let’s say for example July, I think bababa na ang demand ng stranded (there will be less demand for stranded citizens) and therefore Balik Probinsiya will now take our second rollouts by that time,” he said. –AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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