TESDA arms ‘Balik Probinsya’ beneficiaries with livelihood skills

By Lade Jean Kabagani

The government’s “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2)” program just got better with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offering scholarships on vocational courses for applicants.

Qualified BP2 beneficiaries can enroll in such courses as Ships Catering Service National Certificate (NC) III, Cookery NC II, Driving NC II, Massage Therapy NC II, Electronics Products Assembly NC II, Organic Agriculture Production NC II, Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II, and Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC I.

“The training programs can be availed (of) by the beneficiaries if these are offered by the TTIs (TESDA Technology Institutions) or TVIs (Technical Vocational Institutions) in their areas,” TESDA told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a text message during a recent dispatch procedure for BP2 beneficiaries.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 114 on May 6, 2020 to institutionalize the BP2 program, which aims to reverse the continuing migration of the rural population to Metro Manila and decongest the region by encouraging applicants, especially informal settlers, to return to their home provinces.

TESDA, a member of the BP2 Council, said the beneficiaries could apply the skills training in the transition to their new lives.

Parida Macmod, 47, is among the successful TESDA beneficiaries who underwent a 30-day training on animal production in December 2020.

For 10 years, Macmod lived in Tandang Sora, Quezon City until the pandemic left her unemployed.

She decided to return to her hometown in the Soccsksargen Region through the BP2.

“The ruminant training helped me and the trainer motivated me to become an entrepreneur,” Macmod said in an interview.

She accepted the challenge.

“I am raising animals for meat and milk production until the day that I can (sell) the products,” she said.

The National Housing Authority and the Department of Social Welfare and Development verify and evaluate the beneficiaries at the BP2 Depot along Agham Road in Diliman, Quezon City.

Beneficiaries can likewise avail of livelihood starter kits from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment, and poultry animals and farm equipment from the Fam Diversification Program of the Department of Agriculture.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government coordinates with the receiving local governments to make sure the beneficiaries are successfully accepted in their destination province while the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education will supervise the transfer of returning students.

Starting April 22, the Balik Probinsya program will be accessible via www.balikprobinsya.nha.gov.ph, after which the current www.balikprobinsya.ph will no longer be available.