GROUNDBREAKING. Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Emmanuel Piñol (4th from right) leads the lowering of the capsule as the first 'Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa' model village breaks ground in Barangay Tacub Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, on Wednesday (June 24). The village, which will be established in a 6.8-hectare area donated by a private corporation, will be patterned after successful models of communities involved in one common production activity with a complete value chain. (Photo by MinDA)

DAVAO CITY – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), along with its government and private partners, broke ground the first “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2)” model village for returning informal urban dwellers in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte on Wednesday.

In a statement, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the village will be patterned after successful models of communities involved in one common production activity with a complete value chain.

The village will be established in a 6.8-hectare area donated by a private corporation and will have 50 units of quadruplex housing to accommodate 200 families who will be involved in the production of organic chicken and vegetables.

“This program in Kauswagan is the first and the model for the whole country. BP2 will be the start of the equitable sharing of the national wealth, the shift of the focus of economic priorities from urban centers to the countryside,” Piñol said.

Piñol said MinDA selected Kauswagan as BP2 model community because of the good and transparent governance of the local government.

“BP2 is a challenge to Kauswagan but it is never a burden to help our fellow men. We dream that BP2 will be the key for the upliftment of lives of Filipino, the key to food security and sustainable development,” the MinDA chief added.

After the groundbreaking ceremonies, the Project Management Office (PMO) for the Kauswagan Organic Balik Probinsya Village signed a marketing agreement with the Eng Seng Foods Products, a private agri-trading company in Mindanao.

Under the agreement, Eng Seng Food Products will buy and market the organic chicken and vegetable production of the village.

“The private sector support for the project was actually started by a Kauswagan-based GN Power Kauswagan (GNPK) which donated PHP10 million. The fund was used in acquiring the 6.8-hectare property and the construction of the first model quadruplex unit,” Piñol said.

Piñol assured that all member agencies of the BP2 Council will contribute to the development of the village.

“BP2 will be our strategy to maximize our own resources to boost our industries -- that will provide jobs and economic development in the local community,” he said.

For his part, Mayor Rommel Arnado thanked the MinDA chair for bringing BP2 to his municipality.

“Kauswagan is ready for this type of program, while we are still planning and trying to conceptualize BP2, we already saw the potential of this town. I saw Kauswagan as the most ideal place for the BP2 program,” Arnado said. (PNA)