Koronadal City—The Arts, Culture, Tourism, and Museum Development of South Cotabato, who is in charge of the Balik Probinsya Program, divert its Tourism Development funds to cater, facilitate and manage overseas workers and stranded individuals back home.
Indira Cagaanan, ACTM Officer-in-Charge, said she submitted an activity design to augment the fund for meals, payment for van and bus rental, and other operating expenses of the Balik Probinsya Program, “considering the impact of COVID 19 pandemic on global safety and travel.”
“This is to provide necessary assistance to towns and one city in transporting and receiving our kababayans to curb the spread of the infection,” Cagaanan told this writer.
ACTM shares P800, 000 in the convergence fund of Balik Probinsya Program for the next six months, Cagaanan confirms.
Argie Ryan Asaria, Tourism Operations Officer I, meanwhile, said the team faces pandemic fear to extend services to fellow South Cotabateños.
“Indi ni sya sugat-sugat lang!” Asaria, who is in charge of the team that fetches Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) in Cagayan de Oro City, replied to online comments.
“We will rock our tourism industry after everyone is at Home in the Land of the Dreamweavers,” Asaria said.
In the meantime, he asked everyone to “please pray for us that we can be in good health all the time in support of our Balik Probinsiya Program.”
“Our Arts, Culture, and Tourism programs are not set aside. We need to address the present situation because beyond, tourism we care!”
“We will be together in the new normal for our tourism industry, and like you, we are also excited,” ACTM staff said.
As of June 25, Balik Probinysa Program initiated arranged 10 trips for LSIs and fetch at least 12 OWWA-facilitated special flights and regular flights for returning overseas Filipinos and LSIs.