A family’s journey to a new and better life
With businesses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people lost their precious jobs. One of the families who were gravely affected by the pandemic was the family of Regine Visto, 24, a mother of two (2) daughters.
According to Regine, this created a severe impact on her family in which her husband, Ian Panuelos, 32, onlyreceives Php300.00 a day now from the usual Php500.00 to Php600.00 per day income.
Due to wage cut, the family cannot fully meet their daily needs especially for their children.
As part of the recovery mechanism from the economic downturn of pandemic, the Department of Social Welfare and Development through the BalikProbinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program offers assistances to low-income families who decided to return to their home provinces.
Seeing this as a new chapter of their lives, Regine’s family chose to settle permanently in her husband’s hometown, Presentacion in the province of Camarines Sur.
BABY STEPS FOR NEW PHASE
The program identified the family as one of its 13 beneficiaries who returned to Camarines Sur on April 29, 2021.
Regine’s family initially received Php64,270.00 of assistance from the Department comprised of Transportation Assistance, Transitory Family Support Package, and Transitory Shelter Assistance.
During the transition phase, the Sustainable Livelihood Development (SLP) staff also assisted the family in assessing and identifying possible livelihood interventions.
After the assessment, the family received Php50,000.00 of Livelihood Settlement Grant to set up their own Feeds Supply Store.
Aside from the assistance provided by the Department, the family also received 50 heads of white leghorn chickens from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and free one-year rental of commercial space from the Local Government Unit of Presentacion for their Feeds Supply Store.
Using the assistances provided by the government agencies, Regine and her husband are planning to expand their business.
“Nakabili na kami ng dalawang biik, tapos dadagdagan namin yung manok, kasi lahat na kita ay idadagdag sa Feeds Supply namin para mas maraming pagpipilian ang mga tao at mas lumaki siya,” she proudly shared.
(We bought two  piglets and we are also adding more chickens because all the income earned will be added to the Feeds Supply Store to grow our business and expand the choices of feeds for our customers.)
On the other hand, she is also very grateful of the program.
“Kung hindi dahil sa Balik-Probinsya program, hindi po kami makakapagsimula ng bagong buhay dahil sa pandemic,” she remarked.
(If not for the Balik-Probinsya program, we won’t be able to start a new life because of the pandemic.)
Taking a new journey in life is both scary and uncertain but Regine and her family has already taken a big step forward.
“Tiyaga lang po at sipag para po makamit natin yung mga pangarap natin,”
(Patience and perseverance is the key to achieve our dreams) she advised to fellow BP2 beneficiaries.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The BP2 program is one of the support measures to decongest urban poor communities. It also aims to provide opportunities to families from urban areas affected by the pandemic, displaced workers, or those susceptible to health and safety risks and other environmental hazards.
Based on the assessment of social workers, the program thru the DSWD, may offer transportation assistance, transitory family support package, livelihood settlement grants, transitory shelter assistance, and/or psychosocial support to family beneficiaries while community grants may be provided for municipalities with more than 20 BP2 family beneficiaries.
Other National Government Agencies (NGAs) as members of the Regional BP2 Program Committee also provide complementary assistance to eligible families.