DAVAO CITY: The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), a member of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program, has completed a series of consultations with local government units (LGUs) and regional directors of line agencies for the implementation of the program in Mindanao. In a statement on Sunday, MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that after their trip in Lanao Del Norte to consult with Governor Imelda Dimaporo and several mayors and Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte Mayor Salvador Antohado Jr. on May 27 and 28, respectively, their team has traveled by land from Mindanao to Manila over the weekend for a series of meetings with Senator Christopher Lawrence Go. Go is the main proponent of the program, while the BP2 program council secretariat is headed by National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Jun Escalada. “I will present to them the concerns of the LGUs, specifically Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Norte so that these will be taken into consideration as we stage the roll-out of the three model resettlements. Let me clarify that, contrary to earlier reports that Balik Probinsya has already started in Mindanao, not a single family has yet returned to Mindanao under the program,” Piñol said. He said the program is a “noble undertaking” which will correct the flawed development planning of the government for so long. Piñol also assured the public that with his long experience in governance and involvement in crisis management, he will not initiate a program without the needed consultations with all parties involved. “The most important guiding philosophy I have embraced in governance is to build programs from the ground up and that the most solid foundations of any program are those which are made up of the dreams and aspirations of people who will be affected,” he added. Piñol said MinDA will ensure the program will succeed in Mindanao as he hoped they would be able to provide a template for ‘Balik Probinsya’ communities in other parts of the country.
(PNA/ Prexx Marnie Kate Trozo/ SRNY/ RSP)